Tweed and wool are direct from the world of men's fashion. Just like in fashion, you can dramatically change the look of your home by changing the fabrics that surround you. Silk is derived from silk worms and has been a symbol of luxury since forever. Sheer fabric is commonly known as tulle or mesh. Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. 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. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinking. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. What type of fabric should you choose? As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Full grain leather is a top grain leather with all its natural texture (grain) intact. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. Damask can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic fabrics and is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. A large bold fabric pattern might work better in a larger room, while a smaller pattern might be a happier choice for a smaller space. Linen is a very strong and sturdy fabric, even more so than cotton. Sailcloth or Canvas are rigid fabrics are normally made of cotton and used for upholstery and slipcovers. Olefin is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear; however, it lacks the pliability and movement that natural fibers offer. Polyester was also introduced by DuPont in the 1950’s. 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? Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. Because leather is a natural product, it absorbs dyes and reacts differently to treatments from hide to hide. Boucle is a fabric or yarn with a looped surface. 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. Is your furniture in a traditionally themed living room that is only used on occasion? Cotton is quite popular because like any natural fiber, it’s inherently strong and comfortable. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. 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. 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. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Chenille tends to be a family favorite. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Cotton is best ironed when the fabric is damp. While Chenille is extremely cozy, it's also excellent at hiding dirt. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. Chenille is also used for bedspreads and garments. Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. Railroaded is a fabric that is railroaded is applied to furniture at a 90 degree angle from the way it appears on the roll. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. 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. Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. Chenille is a yarn with a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides.