Choosing the right upholstery fabric can be daunting. There are natural, man-made, and blend fabrics to consider before even thinking about the pattern and colors.
Here are some explanations to common fabric terminology so you can make the best choice for your furniture.
It’s important to note that fabric grades relate to pricing, not quality. Fabrics rated A or 1 are the least expensive, and H or 7 are the most expensive. Pricing is usually determined by the type of material, weave and design.
A rub test usually references the popular abrasion test conducted by the Wyzenbeek machine. These machines evaluate fabric strength by testing how many back and forth rubs the material can withstand before tearing. 15,000 double rubs is considered average while 30,000 is suitable for commercial use.
In order to find the proper way to care for a fabric, look for its cleaning label. Unlike clothing labels that clearly spell out directions, upholstery fabric can be difficult to decipher.
W — Use only water based cleaners
S — Use water based dry cleaning solvents
WS — Either can be used
X — Only vacuum or lightly brush
When deciding what fabric to choose, it is important to consider how the furniture will be used. Is it an item that will receive daily use, or is it mostly for decoration? JC Wood has compiled a list of fabrics we carry, along with their attributes and best uses to help you choose the best product for any job.
Cotton is one of the strongest natural fibers available. Its durability and ease of cleaning makes it perfect for furniture that will receive frequent use. However, you’ll want to take the room’s conditions into consideration since cotton is susceptible to yellowing in direct sunlight and can harbor mildew in damp environments.
Cotton holds dye well, so there is a wide variety of colors and patterns available. It is also a comfortable, breathable fabric, and presents a casual look.
Wool is a unique choice for upholstery projects due to its combination of warmth in the winter and breathability in the summer. Wool is resistant to pilling, fading, wrinkling and dirt, and is offered as a blended option with synthetic fiber for easier cleaning.
This premium material gives a sharp, crisp look to furniture, and it ages beautifully. It is easy to clean but is not as durable as cotton or wool, and it’s susceptible to scrapes and tears.
Leather conditioner should be used to maintain a clean, fresh appearance while dry cleaning solvents can remove build up of natural and body oils. While leather furniture can be stunning, it’s best to keep these pieces away from high traffic areas.
Polyester blends are a great choice for upholstering furniture that needs to stand up to the wear and tear of children and pets. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, poly-blends are fade and stain resistant.
Poly-blends come in a wide variety of combinations and can mimic other materials such as silk and wool. Materials can include acetate, acrylic, nylon, rayon and more.
Quality fabrics for your furniture
JC Wood has chosen Greenhouse Fabrics as a source for quality upholstery fabrics. They carry over 10,000 options to coordinate with any décor and environment. Search through samples online or ask us to help you find the perfect fabric for your next project.
What is your favorite piece of furniture’s upholstery fabric? Would you recommend it to others?