Woven fabric patterns hold up longer than printed ones. There are natural fabrics such as mohair, wools and cashmeres, which are made from sheered and woven animal fur. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Choosing an upholstery fabric's color is the single biggest factor in fabric selection. During fall and winter, it is inviting to be surrounded by the warmth of velvet and chenille in deep and sober colors. 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 fabric. 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. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Jacquard's name comes from the type of weave used to produce the fabric. Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Sailcloth or Canvas are rigid fabrics are normally made of cotton and used for upholstery and slipcovers. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. Duck is a strong, durable, plain woven fabric made from either cotton or flax. It is characterized by a tight weave and looks similar to canvas, but is much lighter. Chenille is soft to the touch and very popular as an upholstery fabric for sofas and chairs. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. Velvet was originally made from silk for royalty. Upholstery fabrics can be used for arts and crafts. Autos typically are clad in either leather or cloth, ranging from ultra expensive to the very basic. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Upholstery fabric has so many choices, colors, textures. Avoid delicately colored fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. 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. When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Silk has a very soft hand and can be woven into nubby informal textures and shimmering paper-thin sheets. Wool is obtained from sheep fleece and the term”virgin wool” denotes new, not recycled 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. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. Damask is characterized by elaborate floral motifs that are usually monochromatic or a maximum of two colors in matte and polished weave combinations. Today velvet is available in both silk and cotton. Polyamide is a manufactured fiber that is a type of nylon. Polyamide is known for its exceptional strength, elasticity, and luster. Railroaded is a fabric that is railroaded is applied to furniture at a 90 degree angle from the way it appears on the roll. What type of fabric should you choose? Upholstering for specific uses, such as in automobiles and boats, generally has a narrower set of upholstery fabric options. Cotton is a fiber that grows out of a plant and is woven in many forms. Chambray is a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric similar to denim. Chambray is woven on a colored warp with white fill yarns. Widely used for upholstery, drapery and garments. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. While Chenille is extremely cozy, it's also excellent at hiding dirt. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. 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. As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. Larger rooms can carry larger prints and bolder colors and even combinations of patterns and prints. Your upholstery and drapery are what typically give your room that comfort factor that is sometimes hard to achieve. Pure Aniline or Full Aniline is the most natural type of leather. Damask is a sophisticated, floral-patterned fabric, damask has reversed colors on opposing sides. The right upholstery can completely transform the look and feel of your furniture. Cotton is quite popular because like any natural fiber, it’s inherently strong and comfortable. 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. 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. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Up the Bolt is a fabric that is up the bolt is applied to furniture exactly the way it is made on the roll. This is often necessary to keep designs in the proper direction. Up the bolt fabrics may result in seams on some styles. Jacquard is a heavier fabric that tends to be multicolored and used for upholstery, as well as drapery. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less. Spandex is a manufactured fiber known for its high elasticity. 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. Velveteen is made from thick woven cotton and is available with ridges known as corduroy.