While Chenille upholstery fabric is extremely cozy, it's also excellent at hiding dirt. Velvet was originally made from silk for royalty. Acetate offers only fair resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber and was developed as imitation wool. Mohair is a very desirable fabric or yarn made from the long silky hair of the Angora goat. Mohair is characterized by its luster and exceptional strength. Cotton is a fiber that grows out of a plant and is woven in many forms. The attractiveness of the napped suede look has lead to microsuede gaining in popularity in upholstery fabric applications, replicating the feel of real suede and adding stain resistance and durability, in addition to lower costs. Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven upholstery fabrics. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. For a slightly retro or timelessly Scottish look, tartan plaid is another superb choice for seat or couch coverings. Jacquard is a heavier fabric that tends to be multicolored and used for upholstery, as well as drapery. Tapestry is a heavy, flat-woven fabric features elaborate designs appropriate for various uses throughout the home. A large bold upholstery fabric pattern might work better in a larger room, while a smaller pattern might be a happier choice for a smaller space. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less. Silk has a very soft hand and can be woven into nubby informal textures and shimmering paper-thin sheets. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Faux Suede is a fabric woven with a nap to resemble suede. Today’s faux suede is primarily made of microdenier polyester. There are many different choices for upholstery fabric. Cotton is the most used fabric in the world. It can breathe. Fabrics are versatile and allow for quick and inexpensive reinventions. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear as they're usually a little more heavy and more durable than multi-purpose or drapery and curtain weight fabrics. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. 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. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Muslin is a plain woven fabric that comes in various weights. 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. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinking. Nylon is a manufactured fiber that is exceptionally strong, elastic, and lustrous. What type of upholstery fabric should you choose? Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Some fabrics appear casual, while others might look more formal. Consider the syle of the piece when choosing. Also consider the style of your interior decor. 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. Silks are manufactured by worms. Silk is so delicate that although it can be hand-washed it is best sent to the dry-cleaners. Leather is a very popular choice as an upholstery fabric, as it is delightfully soft yet resistant to spills and stains. Dry Cleanable is a fabric that is dry cleanable, can be cleaned with chemical solvents instead of water. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Acrylic fibers are also man made and include such brand names as Orlon, Acrilan, Dolan and Dralon. Cotton is a popular plant based fiber that is used extensively for many kinds of upholstery fabric. 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. Boucle can be identified by its curled or looped surface, this material is heavier than many other upholstery fabrics. Boucle is a fabric or yarn with a looped surface. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. Vinyl (Poly Vinyl Chloride) is a manufactured thermoplastic fiber. Vinyl is noted for its strength and ability to resist weathering. When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Velvet has one plush side and one plain woven side. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Autos typically are clad in either leather or cloth, ranging from ultra expensive to the very basic. Jacquard's name comes from the type of weave used to produce the fabric. Chenille tends to be a family favorite upholstery fabric. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. Cotton can also be washed. When purchasing an upholstered piece or upholstery fabric, be aware that the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric is, and the better it will wear. During fall and winter, it is inviting to be surrounded by the warmth of velvet and chenille in deep and sober colors.