Types of fabric for your upholstery

  • 1
  • August 6, 2015
cleaning upholstery fabrics

When we buy our furniture we not only look at the style and design, but also at the fabric that it is made out of.

Good furniture is resistant and still looks good after being used, because it doesn’t only serve a decorative purpose, but a functional purpose as well.

Therefore, when we buy our upholstery, we bare in mind looks, design, size, usability and last but not least for how long it can look at its best. This gets us to the fabric that your upholstery it made out of. Each type of fabric comes with pros and cons. To make the best choice keep in mind what you need it for: display only, long-wear, easy cleaning, pet friendly, stain resistant.

While buying your upholstery you have a choice between natural or synthetic fabrics. Among natural fabrics you can find linen, wool, cotton, leather, vinyl, silk and among synthetic ones you can find acrylic, nylon, olefin, microfiber, polyester.

Linen and silk are extremely good looking fabrics. They suite formal contexts the best because they require a lot of care, they wrinkle easily and they pickup stains fast.

Leather is probably the most popular upholstery material because of its luxurious looks and durability. It is long-wear, easily cleaned, pet friendly and almost stains free.

Cotton and wool have been popular in colder countries because they are soft and warm. They are both sturdy and resistant to pilling and soil. Unfortunately, the colour fades easily, they wrinkle a lot and they pick up stains almost in a blink of an eye.

Vinyl imitates leather pretty good, but it is not as durable. Its popularity comes from its affordability and ease of cleaning. All these make vinyl ideal for busy family living and dining rooms. Durability depends on quality.

One of it’s weak points is that vinyl tends to show cracks and damage over time.

Natural fabrics can be too pricey and too pretentious, therefore they are being replaced by their synthetic siblings. Synthetic upholstery fabrics have been created to offer the perks of wool, cotton, silk, velvet but not the disadvantages. Therefore, they are more durable, resistant to stains, piling, shrinking or wrinkling and they are easier to clean.

Polyester is great for fabric blends. When combined with other materials, polyester brings resistance to wrinkle, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading.

Microfiber is a blend of polyester and nylon. This fabric provides a soft, comfortable feel and it is long-lasting and easy to clean.

Acrylic provides the look and feel of wool, but it is less expensive, easier to maintain and more resistant to fading in sunlight. Low-quality acrylic will pill excessively, though.

No matter of your upholstery fabric, bare in mind that maintenance and regular cleaning will keep your upholstery looking great for a longer time.