Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyl is ideal for busy family living and dining rooms and, durability depends on quality. All leathers display a variety of unique natural markings and variations in color. Chenille is a yarn with a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides. Acrylic resists wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. Olefin is a manufactured fiber that is strong and very lightweight. Linen is best to wash it in cold water to avoid shrinkage. Upholstering for specific uses, such as in automobiles and boats, generally has a narrower set of upholstery fabric options. For the ultimate in spill and stain resistance, however, synthetic fibers such as vinyl are used extensively. Cotton is a popular plant based fiber that is used extensively for many kinds of fabric. Chenille is made from woven yard loops that are then cut to expose a tuft. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. Cotton is best ironed when the fabric is damp. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Tweed and wool bring warmth to any piece of furniture and are just perfect for northern retreats. Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type 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. 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. 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 a natural fiber obtained from the flax plant. Linen is durable and has a natural luster. Sheer fabric is commonly known as tulle or mesh. The Jacquard loom is capable of weaving intricate patterns with many layers and many threads at the same time. Fabrics are versatile and allow for quick and inexpensive reinventions. 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. Today’s consumer is looking for “natural fabrics” and lots of textural interest. 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. Cotton is a fabric or yarn made from cotton fibers that have been obtained from the seed pod of the cotton plant. It is soft, breathable, and the most widely used natural fiber. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Acetate is a synthetic fiber made from cellulose acetate. Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use. Acetate is a manufactured fiber made of cellulose acetate obtained from wood pulp. Acetate has a soft feel, a luxurious appearance, and drapes well. It resists shrinking, moths, and mildew. Boucle can be identified by its curled or looped surface, this material is heavier than many other upholstery fabrics. Upholstery fabrics are designed to take more wear. This tough material can be gently vacuumed, wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap. Polypropylene is a manufactured fiber that is a type of Olefin. Polypropylene is quick drying, stain resistant, and exceptionally strong. What type of fabric should you choose? Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. 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. Washable is a fabric that is washable resists fading and shrinking during the laundering process, using cold water or dry cleaning method. Damask is characterized by elaborate floral motifs that are usually monochromatic or a maximum of two colors in matte and polished weave combinations. 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! Tweed and wool are direct from the world of men's fashion. As spring and summer bloom, linen and cotton in bright, happy tones suit the mood. Polyamide is a manufactured fiber that is a type of nylon. Polyamide is known for its exceptional strength, elasticity, and luster. Small or dimly lit rooms benefit from the use of plain fabrics, vertically striped fabrics or fabrics with a small motif. Acetate is not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. 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. Is your furniture in a traditionally themed living room that is only used on occasion? Olefin is derived from petroleum, and can mimic wool in appearance. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Larger rooms can carry larger prints and bolder colors and even combinations of patterns and prints. 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. 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. Choosing an upholstery fabric's color is the single biggest factor in fabric selection. 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. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable. Dry Cleanable is a fabric that is dry cleanable, can be cleaned with chemical solvents instead of water. Wool blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary. Dye Lot is a batch of fabric or yarn that has been dyed at the same time. There may be some color variation from lot to lot. Upholstery fabrics can be used for arts and crafts. Polyester was also introduced by DuPont in the 1950’s. Autos typically are clad in either leather or cloth, ranging from ultra expensive to the very basic. Determine where your upholstered pieces will be used in the home. Cotton can also be washed. 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). When blended with wool, polyester can cause pilling. Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. Jacquard is a fabric having woven patterns such as tapestries, brocades, and damasks. Jacquard designs may be simple or very elaborate. Ideally, upholstery fabric should compliment your room’s decor and the furniture itself while also proving practical for your needs. Toile de Jouy dates back to 18th century France, and is a cotton print. Velveteen or Corduroy is similar to velvet. During fall and winter, it is inviting to be surrounded by the warmth of velvet and chenille in deep and sober colors. Velvet is a short, dense, cut-pile woven fabric with a luxurious feel and appearance. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. Today velvet is available in both silk and cotton. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric; just like you see when you buy linens for the bed. Viscose is a manufactured fiber belonging to the rayon family, composed of regenerated cellulose. Viscose is characterized by its soft hand and drapability. 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. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Chenille is A soft tufted cord of silk, cotton, or worsted used in embroidery or for fringing.