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How to choose upholstery fabric

The textile manufacturing industry is always evolving and through technological advancements homeowners have more possibilities than ever to add individual personality to their furniture, while investing in textiles that will have longevity.  There is a vast array of upholstery fabrics available in the market, each offering different performance characteristics.  It is often difficult to evaluate how an upholstery fabric will likely perform in any given situation based solely on what it looks like.

Upholstery fabrics are used for the coverings of chairs, sofas, and other furniture.  They come in a wide range of colours, weaves and prints and are more robust than a drapery fabric.

You may be looking to recover an old sofa or buying a new arm chair, whatever the piece of furniture, you need to take into consideration how it is going to be used and by who and where it will be located in your home. High traffic areas, such as family or living rooms, will need durable fabrics, while furniture that doesn't get as much wear and tear for example a cushion cover or headboard, needn’t be as robust.

The style of your home and the function of the item is also important.  Is it a formal living space?  Does the chair get a lot of use by children or pets?  Let’s look at the top considerations: 

 

Tips to consider:

  • What style is the room – Modern? Traditional?
  • How often is the furniture being used?
  • By who?
  • What room is the furniture/accesorry going in?  Childs room?  Living space?
  • Does it need to be stain resistant?
  • Does it need to be fade resistant?
  • Does it need to be durable?

 

Stain Resistant Fabrics
New technologies in fabric design now include a unique fabric that stands up to stains and spills. You now have peace of mind knowing that your furniture will be looking fresh year after year.  These fabrics come in a range of colours and designs and are an effective choice for families with children and pets.

 

Read more about common stain resistant brands for home here.

 

TESTING METHODOLOGIES:

A fabric's durability is dependent on the quality of the yarns, dye-stuffs, weaving and finishing techniques used during manufacturing.

Fabrics are put through testing processes to determine how durable and resistant fabrics are to abrasion/rubbing as well as light.  There are two main abrasion and colourfastness tests that help to determine if a fabric will perform to the requirements needed. 

  1. Martindale Abrasion
  2. Wyzenbeek Abrasion
  3. Colour Fastness To Light
  4. Colour Fastness to Rubbing

 

Learn more about Abrasion Resistance here.

Learn more about Colourfastness here.

Learn more about upholstery and see our full range here.

Related

How to Choose Curtain Fabric

Tips & How To

Soft window furnishings provide practical benefits such as energy savings through insulation (control of head and cold), noise reduction, privacy and light control.  With an enormous array of design, colour and textures available homeowners have more choice than ever to add individual personality to their curtains, complete the look and feel of a room and enhance the value of their greatest financial asset – their home!