Consider the luxuries of silk upholstery fabric and its gorgeous appeal. Muslin is a plain woven fabric that comes in various weights. Microfiber, which has increased in popularity over the years, is a blend of polyester and polyamide. Consider the style of your furniture as well as its function to help when choosing the type of upholstery fabric. Polyester is a manufactured fiber that is resistant to stretching and shrinking. It is also quick drying, wrinkle resistant, and strong. It may make more sense to avoid a very bold fabric color for a smaller room, especially if your furniture piece is also large. 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. Upholstery fabrics can be used for arts and crafts. Upholstery fabrics are sometimes light enough for window treatments and slipcovers. Damask is a lustrous fabric (such as linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) that is characterized by its flat, glossy pattern on a solid background. Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. 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. Sofas, chairs, and ottomans receiving only moderate amounts of wear will do fine with a less durable fabrics. Developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, rayon is durable, yet wrinkles easily. Recent developments have made high-quality rayon very practical. 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. Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. 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. 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. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. Olefin is derived from petroleum, and can mimic wool in appearance. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. Silk is a delicate fabric and only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms and must be professionally cleaned if soiled.