Which Fabric Should I Use For Upholstery?

Which Fabric Should I Use For Upholstery?


The fabric is a sign of quality and style of an upholstered piece. When selecting upholstery, you should be aware of its durability to withstand daily use. Upholstery fabric is a solid and sensible choice, if a buyer wants to make upholstered furniture or restore an old piece of furniture.

Most of the time, people are likely to wonder when they try to find the right upholstery fabric as they cannot decide which type best suits their needs. Selecting upholstery fabric depends on how it will be used and what type of furniture to use. Tough, durable and tightly woven fabrics should be bought for upholstery.

Basic Considerations of Upholstery Fabric

Fibre content, weave and thread count plays an important role when selecting the right upholstery fabric from various types of upholstery fabrics. Right choice of colour and textures also very important.

Types Of Upholstery Fabrics

There is a wide range of fabric available to use for upholstery. Generally they fall into two categories:

  • Natural Fabrics
  • Synthetic Fabrics

Natural Fabrics


Natural Upholstery Fabrics are made of plant fibres or animal products. Buyers who want to prefer natural fabrics in their home decor have a wide range of upholstery fabrics to choose from them. Natural fabrics are not much durable as synthetics, but they are used for luxurious comfort and hobbies. Various types of natural fabrics are available like Cotton, Leather, Linen, Silk and Wool.

Cotton provides good resistance to wear, fading and pilling. But it is not resistant to soil and wrinkling. Leather is a tough material and extremely durable. Leather can be cleaned with leather conditioner. Linen is a synthetic fabric which soils and wrinkles. It is resistant to fading and pilling. Silk is suitable for adult areas and formal living rooms. It requires professional cleaning. Wool is durable. It is good resistance to fading, pilling and wrinkling.

Synthetic Fabrics


Man-made fabrics are synthetic fabrics. Some man-made fabrics require raw materials from natural fibre. Acetate is a synthetic fabric which developed as imitation silk. It is resistant to pilling and shrinking. But it is not a right choice for everyday furniture. Acrylic was developed as imitation wool. It resists wrinkling, fading and soiling. Nylon is another synthetic fabric which is often blended with other fabrics to make it stronger upholstered fabric. It doesn’t wrinkle or soil, but may fade and pill.

Polyester is resistant to wrinkling and fading. It is usually blended with other fabrics. Rayon is durable and affordable.

Know Your Upholstery Fabrics

Know Your Upholstery Fabrics

There are a variety of upholstery fabrics available in the market or online e-shops. If you are considering creating your own furniture, then you should know the types of fabrics. It is a great way to furnish your home at a reasonable price and the right choice of upholstery fabric.


Most people focus on colour and pattern of fabric when they try to buy online. Colour and pattern are important, but you also has to take in mind that fabric should be properly designed. Right choice of colour and fabric will express your mood and standard of selection. A mere fabric may be beautiful material for a sofa but it need also to last long. Appearances are important, so make sure the fabric of your choice looks good.

The thickness of a fabric is also an important issue. A buyer should focus on the thickness. Generally the thinner fabric can be used for simple upholstery. A thicker fabric can be used as curtain fabric and also for high-use upholstery such as a family room chair. Try to be objective while selecting upholstery fabric for your furniture.

You also have to consider the safety factors. Most fabrics are highly flammable. When considering fabric be sure to choose a fabric which is fire retardant.

Styles of Fabric

There are more fabric styles available than you can count. But Chenille, Jacquard and Velvet are most popular these days. Let’s take a look at these popular choices:



Chenille is a tufted fabric in cotton, rayon or wood and synthetics. It is originating in France. Chenille is a more informal and beautiful looking fabric, but it is not extremely durable. It is a perfect choice for soft furnishings which excessive stress.



Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the process of Jacquard fabric. The fabric was named after him. Jacquard is created with a very specific weaving style. During the looming process individual threads are raised to different heights. Jacquard is a great choice for stylized chairs.



Velvet is made up of synthetic fibres, linen, silk and cottons. Some people like velvet and some people hate. Velvet is a great choice for many upholstery projects as it consists of very short piles which are cut to the same length. Velvet is a thick fabric which is very difficult to clean. You can use velvet as curtain materials for your bedroom but you should avoid velvet for heavily used furniture.

There are many other things you need to consider when choosing an upholstery fabric. You have to be careful when selecting materials for furnishing your children’s room as children can tear, write on, trip or destroy anything around them. Don’t use expensive fabric for your children’s room. You can change the fabric when they will grow up. So always try to select the right fabric for your home as it is also a matter of safety and appearance and it will also change the look of your furniture as well as room.