Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. The unifying element might be color, a type of print or a game of textures. Chenille is commonly used for bedspreads or rugs, but makes an excellent fabric choice for upholstery. If you’re considering purchasing designer upholstery fabric for your furniture, do some research and consider the following to make sure you decide on the right upholstery fabric. Cotton is best ironed when the fabric is damp. Avoid delicately colored upholstery fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Linen's downfall is that it wrinkles a lot, but some consider that its allure. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Jacquard is a fabric having woven patterns such as tapestries, brocades, and damasks. Jacquard designs may be simple or very elaborate. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled. Linen is best to wash it in cold water to avoid shrinkage. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. 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. When executed properly, a mix of fabrics can be beautiful. The challenge is to find a few fabrics with a common thread that ties the combination together. Cotton is a fiber that grows out of a plant and is woven in many forms. Microfiber upholstery fabric, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Chenille is made from woven yard loops that are then cut to expose a tuft. Velvet is used in everything from garments and upholstery to bedspreads and drapery. An upholsterer typically works on home décor, but some specialize in the marine or automobile industry. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven upholstery fabrics. The nap (or hand) of chenille lasts forever. Woven fabric patterns hold up longer than printed ones. Boucle can be identified by its curled or looped surface, this material is heavier than many other upholstery fabrics. Acrylic resists wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. Railroaded is a fabric that is railroaded is applied to furniture at a 90 degree angle from the way it appears on the roll. Color is the most important reason people choose an upholstery fabric, so make sure your color choice is appropriate. 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. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. Linen is a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. Cotton can also be washed. Chenille is soft to the touch and very popular as an upholstery fabric for sofas and chairs. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric. Faux Suede is a fabric woven with a nap to resemble suede. Today’s faux suede is primarily made of microdenier polyester. Microdenier / Microfiber is a yarn made of fibers that tend to be thinner than a silkworm’s web. Most microfibers are synthetics such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, or rayon. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. There are natural fabrics such as mohair, wools and cashmeres, which are made from sheered and woven animal fur. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. Wool is obtained from sheep fleece and the term "virgin wool" denotes new, not recycled wool. Velveteen is made from thick woven cotton and is available with ridges known as corduroy. Chambray is a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric similar to denim. Chambray is woven on a colored warp with white fill yarns. Wool is a natural fiber obtained from the fleece of sheep, lamb, Angora goat, or Cashmere goat. Specialty wool fibers are obtained from the camel, alpaca, llama, or vicuna. Wools are characterized by their fine, soft, wavy appearance. Dry Cleanable is a fabric that is dry cleanable, can be cleaned with chemical solvents instead of water. 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. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of an upholstery fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home before buying your upholstery fabric.