Getting your furniture reupholstered is a great way to bring new life to an outdated piece and the end product is often a one-of-a-kind furnishing that’s the focal point of a room. Reupholstering old chairs also helps to cut down on your carbon footprint since bulky pieces of furniture are notoriously difficult to dispose of. There’s no denying the benefits that come from reupholstering, but if you’re new to the world of upholstery, knowing which fabric to pick can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, we’re here to help! Here’s everything you need to know about how to pick the perfect upholstery fabric.
Determine Durability Needs
The first step to picking out the perfect upholstery fabric is considering your lifestyle and durability needs. What’s the point of getting a chair reupholstered if it’ll just get ruined again in a couple of years?
The durability of upholstery fabric is determined by a manufacturer-administered double rub test, which mimics the wear and tear a fabric will undergo using a back and forth motion — the higher number of double rubs a fabric can withstand, the more durable the material.
You should also consider upholstery fabrics that have been treated for performance and have water repellent or stain resistance qualities. This is especially important if you live in a household with kids or pets. In general, woven patterns with high thread counts, microfiber, and leather fabrics are able to withstand more wear and tear. More delicate and textured options like wool, linen, cotton, and silk don’t hold up as well and typically soak up stains.
Find Complimentary Fabric
In addition to suiting your lifestyle, the upholstery fabric you select has to complement your unique piece of furniture and the décor present in the rest of your house. Here are the qualities of some of the most popular fabrics that you should consider:
- Chenille: This silken thread that is sewn into cotton or wool has a 3-D effect and is well suited to heavier pieces. Chenille cut pile helps with comfort and abrasion resistance.
- Basketweave/Tweed: These solid, woven fabrics are ideal for upholstery applications. They hide stains well and are able to withstand wear and tear.
- Canvas: Typically made from cotton or linen, this durable weave is well suited to printed designs. When canvas fabrics are created from cotton, the shape can distort over time, so it shouldn’t be used for heavy-use furniture. If you’re looking for a more tightly woven fabric, duck canvas is the way to go.
- Faux Leather: This imitation leather is super easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for furniture pieces that will be used a lot.
- Faux Suede/Microfiber: Similar to faux leather, this polyester fabric is easy to clean, very strong, and resistant to abrasion.
- Jacquard: This highly textured fabric that features intricately woven patterns makes for a great decorative piece and is an ideal choice for furniture that will be used moderately.
- Marine Vinyl: Also known as PVC or polyvinyl chloride, this durable material is resistant to mildew and mold. It can also be made waterproof.
- Velvet: Velvet can be made entirely from silk, but cotton is also used as a less-expensive alternative. Typically velvet has a dense cut pile and can withstand heavy usage. Spills easily come off this material when they are treated immediately.
Other general rules of thumb to follow are to pick traditional fabrics for traditional-style frames, large, bold patterns tend to work better in larger rooms, and the fabric you choose should echo the style already present in the room, whether that be casual or formal.
Make Sure The Colour Works
Lastly, you need to be super selective when it comes to the colour of your upholstery – that is what most people will notice first. Pick a colour that you can live with and will like for a long time since sofas and chairs oftentimes dominate a room. Avoid going for trendy, bold colours that will go out of style within the next few years. Neutral colours tend to be a safer choice, and they age well over time. If you have children or pets, stay far away from delicately coloured fabrics.
Why Prestige Decor
Prestige Decor is the best-rated custom drapery fabric store in the GTA. We carry over 100,000 upholstery fabrics, and our highly experienced craftsmen can reupholster your sofas, chairs, and marine cushions with the highest quality upholstery foams and fabrics. Book a free consultation with our upholstery consultants today, and you’ll be well on your way to getting the furnishing of your dreams.