Focus on pattern – stripes

Stripes have been a staple in fashion and interior design for centuries. Synonymous with jugglers, clowns and jesters in the 1300s, to the uniform of criminals in the 1800s. It was thanks to Coco Chanel that stripes were adopted by the wealthy and became a popular fashion choice. Inspired by the striped woven tops given to the navy seamen at the time, Chanel created her nautical themed collection. As stripes began to rise in popularity, they are still seen in the fashion world today, they became a design staple in our homes. A timeless style, stripes can cheer up a room and as a versatile print, they can be used anywhere.


Up or Down

While stripes are an easy style to incorporate into your home, but there are some tips to help you get the most from your stripes. Deciding between horizontal and vertical stripes should be your starting point. Decide whether you want to accentuate the height or width of your room, horizontal stripes can help to draw your eye further into a room so are great in hallways. Vertical stripes draw your eye to the ceiling so can make a room appear taller than it is. Along with this decision, you need to decide on the thickness of the stripe. Thin stripes are best suited to smaller rooms whereas thick stripes can stand-up to the awe of a larger room.

Bright and Bold

When you think of stripes you may think of black and white, and while black and white is classic, elegant and timeless but when you opt for bold, contrasting colours you can add some drama or you can be a little more playful with thin, multi-coloured stripes.


Want to create the illusion of height but can’t paint or wallpaper? Curtains are a fantastic way to make your ceilings appear taller. Use colours that complement your colour scheme, this means that the effect will be subtle. Opt for floor-to-length curtains to emphasise the effect and keep the design elegant. If you find curtains to be overwhelming or you have irregularly shaped windows then consider hanging blinds with a horizontal stripe.


To modernise your home then a statement piece of upholstered furniture can really make an impact, try our blue/grey textured chenille. Alternatively, striped accessories can break up blocks of colour and adds a graphic element to your home. Stripes don’t always have to be straight either, zigzag patterns like our Marlow striped fabric or our Carnival multi-coloured wave cushions are a great way to introduce stripes in a playful way.

At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we work hard to source unique fabrics to suit your style. We stock thousands of fabrics that you can browse online or at our warehouse to find that perfect match. Don’t forget that we also sell handmade cushions and made-to-measure curtains so you can be confident that you can achieve the design you want. To speak to a member of our team, call us on 01924 728 753, use our online contact form or email



What does the Martindale test tell us about our fabric?

There are many considerations to make when you are choosing your fabric. From the material to the colour to the perfect price, you need to make sure that you’re making the right choice. When choosing your fabric, one commonly overlooked factor is durability. Whether you’re using your fabric for an ornamental piece of fabric, cushions or upholstering your car seats, the durability of the fabric you choose is of the utmost importance but how do you know if your fabric is durable enough?

(Gloria Soft Chenille Upholstery fabric – 20,000 rubs)

The Martindale test, also known as a “rub test”, is responsible for assessing the durability of fabrics. The fabric that you want to test is pulled taut and placed on a plate on the Martindale machine. Small discs of wire mesh or worsted wool are then continually rubbed against the fabric until either two yarns break or there is a noticeable change in the appearance of the fabric.

(Bourbon Quilted Faux Leather – Above 80,000 rubs)

The results of the Martindale test are given in 1000’s of rubs or cycles, the higher the number, the more suitable the fabric is for heavier use. Every fabric store will categorise the results slightly differently, but we say anything over 30000 rubs is suitable for heavy-duty commercial use. Any result between 15000 and 30000 rubs is suitable for every day, home use. Less than 15000 rubs and you should only use the fabric for occasional or decorative purposes.

(Ipoh Chevron Striped Upholstery Fabric – Over 15,000 rubs)

At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality fabric. The Martindale test tells us how resistant fabric is to abrasion, but it doesn’t mean that your fabric is invincible! Your fabric is still vulnerable to dirt, rips, damage from incorrect cleaning chemicals and UV exposure, ensure that you know how to take care of your chosen fabric and if you have any questions you can contact our team on 01924 728 753 or email us at Our warehouse is open to the public so you can come and browse our stock and talk to our team about your requirements, or use our simple fabric finder to search our collections.


Focus on Pattern – Tartan

Many people believe that tartan is only suitable for a certain style, but it is a versatile pattern that can complement many different types of homes. Customers may look at tartan and automatically think of the Scottish Highlands or kilts, but with a variety of colours and styles available, tartan is suited to many different styles.


Tartan is commonly made up of horizontal and vertical crisscrossed stripes and is possibly one of the most recognisable patterns in the world. Tartan has become so popular that it is available in a range of colours and brings an element of warmth and cosiness to a room. Contrary to what you may think, tartan mixes well with of colours of tartan so if you can’t decide then you don’t need to make a choice!


As with most trends, the simplest way to introduce tartan into your home is to use accents like blankets, rugs, curtains or handmade cushions. We love our Louise Tartan Design fabric cushions. If you’re feeling brave and looking got a more permanent tartan infusion, then a statement piece of furniture is a great way of embracing the look. An upholstered footstool is a great piece of furniture to start with, less overwhelming than a sofa but big enough to show off your tartan, find out how to upholster a stool in our how-to guide.

You can keep the look subtle by using neutral colours like our Highland Collection Luxury Tartan, rather than going bold. Tartan creates a feeling of cosiness so enhance that feeling by layering the look with cushions, blankets and different textures.


Tartan is timeless, which is why so many colours have been made available. At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we stock a fabulous range of unique tartan, whether you’re looking for a subtler tartan or a showstopper, we can help. We offer free samples so that you can be confident that the fabric you choose will suit the rest of your interiors. Visit our warehouse and browse our fabrics or use our simple fabric finder to find your perfect fabric.