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Choosing Upholstery Fabrics

Posted by in Home: Home Improvement: Furniture  ~  May 08, 2012 09:31:33 PM

The word upholstery pertains to the covering on furniture which usually consists of the cushioning, springs and fabric covers. It can be rather expensive to buy new furniture or re-upholster old furniture, so several considerations should be required when picking out an upholstery fabric. The proper kind of upholstery fabric is one which can stand both the tests of time and durability while simultaneously matching your home décor.

The significant aspects that must be taken into account when choosing an upholstery fabric are color, style, thread count, durability, comfort and fade resistance. The fabric should obviously suit the furniture, but also enhance the beauty of the room. Color determines if the fabric can resist stains and also sets the feel of the room. Durability is essential as you would want the fabric to last for a long time. A fabric’s thread count lets you know how strong the fabric is and fade resistance determines whether or not the fabric can endure constant exposure to sunlight without fading. Fade resistance, however, may not be a problem if the room has adequate protection from the sun via your window blinds.

Now that you know what to look for, you can assess any fabric for your upholstery needs. There are 3 basic types of fabrics: natural, synthetic and blends. All 3 have their advantages and disadvantages, but generally blending natural and synthetic will give you the best of both worlds.

Cotton is perhaps the most popular natural fabric for upholstery. It is durable and offers good resistance against wear and tear, however stains to show on cotton very easily and cleaning it can be rather difficult. Pure cotton is probably not the best way to go if the furniture is going to receive a lot of traffic. Cotton blend is a much more sturdy fabric and is suited for everyday use.

Leather is another popular upholstery fabric. It gives a traditional look to the room, is easy to clean and lasts for a very long time; the one down side to leather is that it is very expensive. However if you have the money spend, leather is positively worth it as it will last for years.

A new type of synthetic fabric that is rapidly gaining popularity is microfiber fabric. These types of fabric are sturdy, soft to the touch and easy to clean. But, there are disadvantages to microfiber fabrics as well. Rayon and linen, for example, can wrinkle easily so these types of fabrics are most appropriate for furniture that doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic. Other microfiber fabrics include acetate, acrylic, olefin and polyester.

There are a number of upholstery fabrics to choose from and these are just a few of your options. As long as you keep these important factors in mind with respect to your particular home décor, you’ll be able to choose the best fabric for your upholstery.