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Choosing upholstery fabric is really about two things: it needs to fit your sense of style, and function to suit the way you live. Your choice will make a big impact on your furniture and your room. Our sales associates will help make it easy to choose the perfect piece of furniture from an incredible variety of colors and coordinating accent patterns to suit your style and budget.
What to consider when you shop:
What is the style of furniture you’re buying? Is it contemporary, relaxed, transitional or classic? Some fabrics appear casual and others more formal, so it should suit the frame it’s on. For example, a casual fabric will likely look great on a relaxed piece.
Color is a major factor behind the fabric you choose. First, consider whether the fabric color is considered “warm” or “cool” as it will definitely influence the tone of the room. Think about practicality: lighter colors may not be a great choice if you have pets or small children. If you gravitate towards trendy colors, think about if you will be pleased with your choice after the trend fades.
If you are considering a pattern, look at its scale. Patterns should suite the size of the furniture it is covering, and size of the room. Make sure to view your pattern from a distance. Big, bold patterns tend to work better in large rooms, while small, subtle patterns suit smaller rooms.
You will want the fabric to last for a long time, especially in rooms with high traffic. If it’s going to have heavy use, choose a quality, durable fabric. Tightly woven fabrics with a higher thread count (number of threads per square inch) are generally stronger and more durable.
5. Fade Resistance
If you anticipate that your furniture will be exposed to a great deal of sunlight, you will want to invest in fade-resistant fabric. Fabrics with a high thread count tend to be more fade resistant.
6. Fabric Grades
Our upholstery supplier’s fabric grades are organized and grouped to suit different budgets and needs, and are the result of a combination of several quality and durability factors. Each level has its own benefits. Talk to your Francis Furniture representative about which grade level for your product will best suit your individual needs.
TYPES OF FABRIC
Cotton: This is a durable, natural fiber that does not wear or fade easily. Different weaves will influence style, from very casual to formal.
Cotton Blend: Blending cotton with other fibers can make it more stain and wrinkle resistant. The result is a sturdy and durable fabric that can handle heavier use.
Leather: The luxury and functionality of leather is beyond compare. Learn more about it in our Leather Guide.
Linen: A special fabric that looks crisp and clean. Does not pill or fade easily, but is also not very resistant to soiling. Looks great in formal rooms and entertaining areas. May wrinkle easily.
Silk: Gorgeous, but not very durable. Use in formal areas with light use. Requires professional cleaning.
Wool: Durable and heavy, wool is often blended with other synthetic fibres for use on furniture. This strong fabric resists pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soiling.
Acetate: Not a durable fabric for everyday use. It’s a nice tight and flat weave that resists pilling but tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun over time.
Acrylic: Offers nice resistance to fading in the sun and generally a softer texture as opposed to wool. Choosing a higher quality acrylic will likely mean a higher resistance to pilling and suitability for heavier use.
Microfiber: Easy to clean and highly resistant to wear and stains, microfibre has a suede like appearance and feel.
Nylon: Very strong and durable when in a blend, which is how it is typically used on furniture. It is wrinkle and soil resistant.
Polyester: Very strong, resilient and resistant to fading, Polyester is often blended with other fibers. This adds stability and makes it more wrinkle resistant.
Rayon: Quite durable and less expensive, rayon is often used to imitate linen or cotton fabrics.
Vinyl: A popular alternative to leather, vinyl can be a practical choice for family rooms and other busy/less formal areas. Highly durable and easy to clean.