Acrylic is a manufactured fiber made with synthetic materials. Acrylic may have the look of wool, cotton, or other fabric blends. It is colorfast, moth resistant, quick drying, and retains shape. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibers (causing them to bond together until they resemble felt). Vinyl (Poly Vinyl Chloride) is a manufactured thermoplastic fiber. Vinyl is noted for its strength and ability to resist weathering. Marine furniture requires a significant amount of heat and water resistance, resulting in heavy uses of vinyl and polyester. Upholstery fabric has so many choices, colors, textures. Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. Trevira is a manufactured fiber belonging to the polyester group of fibers. Trevira fabrics are durable, lightfast, and drape well. A special type of Trevira, Trevira CS, is inherently and permanently flame retardant. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Acetate offers only fair resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. It may make more sense to avoid a very bold upholstery fabric color for a smaller room, especially if your furniture piece is also large. Cotton is best ironed when the fabric is damp. Acrylic resists wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. The practice of upholstery originated in Europe, particularly London, in the 18th century. Before that, many chairs featured either bare seats or fabric coverings without padding or springs inside for cushioning. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Denim is a durable cotton fabric usually characterized by diagonal (twill) lines. Traditionally denim was indigo blue; however, today it is available in a wide range of colors. Jacquard is a heavier fabric that tends to be multicolored and used for upholstery, as well as drapery. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric. Latex is a substance often used as a back coating on fabrics to make them easier to upholster. It is a milky white liquid that is extracted from the rubber tree, milkweed plant, or the poppy family. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. To set the mood, take the color temperature into consideration. Since warm and cool colors affect the mood of the room, try choosing the right upholstery fabric for the right mood. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled. Olefin is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear; however, it lacks the pliability and movement that natural fibers offer. Color is the most important reason people choose an upholstery fabric, so make sure your color choice is appropriate. Unless you happen to really like them, try to avoid trendy colors. Color trends come and go so be careful. What if you don't consider the upholstery fabric color attractive in the first place? There is more chance you'll hate it when the fabric color is not popular? Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. Although it requires an investment, having an extra set of drapery, slipcovers and pillow covers allows you to adapt your interior design to the changing seasons. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Polyamide is a manufactured fiber that is a type of nylon. Polyamide is known for its exceptional strength, elasticity, and luster. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven upholstery fabrics. Chenille is commonly used for bedspreads or rugs, but makes an excellent choice for upholstery. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable. Chenille is soft to the touch and very popular as an upholstery fabric for sofas and chairs. Because leather is a natural product, it absorbs dyes and reacts differently to treatments from hide to hide. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. Consider the size of the pattern on the piece of upholstery fabric. Consider whether it is appropriate for the size of the furniture it is covering, as well as the room size. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. Linen is another plant derived fiber, and shares many similarities with cotton. Our broad assortment of jacquards, florals, stripes, damasks, chenilles, velvets, tapestries, faux suedes and solid textures will help you create fabulous furniture and great pillows! Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. There are natural fabrics such as mohair, wools and cashmeres, which are made from sheered and woven animal fur. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Backing is a sprayed coating or another layer of fabric applied to the back of fabric. A backing may be needed to give the face fabric more body or to make it more appropriate for upholstery. If comfort is at the top of your priority list, then chenille is the upholstery fabric for you. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. Chenille is French for “caterpillar,” chenille has a thick, soft pile and is one of today’s most popular fabrics. It was originally used in the 1800’s to block drafts at doors and windows. Silks are manufactured by worms. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less. Pure Aniline or Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. An upholsterer typically works on home décor, but some specialize in the marine or automobile industry. Is your furniture in a traditionally themed living room that is only used on occasion? Boucle is a fabric or yarn with a looped surface. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. Silk is so delicate that although it can be hand-washed it is best sent to the dry-cleaners. The natural fabrics are cotton, linen and silk. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Rayon is a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose which is processed from wood pulp. Rayon is characterized by it high absorbency, soft hand, and drapability. It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton, or linen. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Autos typically are clad in either leather or cloth, ranging from ultra expensive to the very basic. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, rayon is durable, yet wrinkles easily. Recent developments have made high-quality rayon very practical. Washable is a fabric that is washable resists fading and shrinking during the laundering process, using cold water or dry cleaning method. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Widely used for upholstery, drapery and garments. Damask is a sophisticated, floral-patterned fabric, damask has reversed colors on opposing sides. Faux Suede is a fabric woven with a nap to resemble suede. Today’s faux suede is primarily made of microdenier polyester.