While Chenille is extremely cozy, it's also excellent at hiding dirt. 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. 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). If comfort is at the top of your priority list, then chenille is the upholstery fabric for you. Consider the luxuries of silk upholstery fabric and its gorgeous appeal. Upholstery in high traffic areas or pieces subjected to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Nylon doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill. Acetate is a synthetic fiber made from cellulose acetate. Color is the most important reason people choose a fabric, so make sure your color choice is appropriate. Polyurethane is a manmade organic polymer with high elongation and strength. Polyurethane is often used in elastic and plastic or vinyl like textiles. An upholsterer typically works on home décor, but some specialize in the marine or automobile industry. Avoid delicately colored fabrics around children and pets. i.e. White is going to appear dirty fast. 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. Matelasse is a heavy fabric with a soft hand. Matelasse has the appearance of being puffy or quilted. Woven fabric patterns hold up longer than printed ones. Chenille is a yarn with a fuzzy pile protruding from all sides. Some aspects of choosing upholstery fabric might seem pretty obvious like selecting a color. Jacquard is a fabric having woven patterns such as tapestries, brocades, and damasks. Jacquard designs may be simple or very elaborate. Polypropylene is a manufactured fiber that is a type of Olefin. Polypropylene is quick drying, stain resistant, and exceptionally strong. Linen is a delicate fabric and does not withstand heavy wear; however, linen does resist pilling and fading. Consider higher thread counts when purchasing a designer upholstery fabric. 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. A piece of furniture covered in chenille will still look new in 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it. Nylon is the generic name for a group of chemically related fibers and was introduced by DuPont in 1939. Leather furniture can be rather expensive, although the same look can be achieved with the use of fake leather. Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. 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.