The fabric of an upholstered piece is the most visible sign of quality and style. Upholstery fabric also is the part most likely to show wear and tear.
When choosing upholstery, you should be aware of its durability, cleanability and resistance to fading.
What fabrics are the best for your situation, here is a quick guide.
Linen: Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. And, it won’t withstand heavy wear. However, linen does resist pilling and fading. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinkage.
Leather: This tough material can be gently vacuumed, damp-wiped as needed, and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap.
Cotton: This natural fibre provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable.
Wool: Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fibre to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibres (causing them to bond together until they resemble felt). Blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary.
Cotton Blend: Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use.
Vinyl: Easy-care and less expensive than leather, vinyls are ideal for busy family living and dining rooms. Durability depends on quality.
Silk: This delicate fabric is only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms. It must be professionally cleaned if soiled.
Acetate: Developed as imitation silk, acetate can withstand mildew, pilling, and shrinking. However, it offers only fair resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. It’s not a good choice for furniture that will get tough everyday use.
Acrylic: This synthetic fibre was developed as imitation wool. It resists wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less.
Nylon: Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibres to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. It doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill.
Olefin: This is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear. It has no pronounced weaknesses.
Polyester: Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibres to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. When blended with wool, polyester aggravates pilling problems.
Rayon: Developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, rayon is durable. However, it wrinkles. Recent developments have made high-quality rayon very practical.
Our amazing range has a good selection of many popular upholstery fabrics, available by the metre, why not order your FREE samples today! Drop in at our Batley Mill or take a look online.