Choosing Furniture Fabric

When choosing upholstery, several things should be considered. There are design-related considerations – what colours and patterns to choose. And there are more practical matters to consider – the required durability of the fabric and its ability to resist dirt and stains.

Here is some advice to what you may take into consideration:

Colour and pattern:

  • What expression do you want in your room, and what style do you prefer? Plain fabrics in subdued nuances will give you a discreet and classic expression, while a pink or turquoise settee creates a different youthfulness in your lounge.
  • How big is the room, and how much light does it receive? Furniture upholstered in very dark colours need more space around them in order to not draw all the light out of a room. On the other hand, a sofa in white or light beige can make a small, dark room appear bigger.
  • How often do you wish to renew your interior? A settee upholstered in black, grey, beige or white gives you better opportunities to change colours and styles on accessories such as pillows, throw-rugs, pictures, lamps and candles.
  • How much daily use and strain will the fabric endure? Even the strongest and most stain-resistant furniture upholstery cannot avoid being marked by dirty dog paws and greasy children’s hands. The lighter the colour, the more wear and tear will show.
Durability and material:
  • What will your furniture be used for and how much? The fabric for the sofa where the whole family romps every day about must evidently be much stronger than the upholstery on the antique armchair that is mostly used as a beautiful exhibit in a corner. Generally, wool is stronger and more stain-resistant than cotton and flax.
Durability is measured in Martindale. For private homes, the durability of furniture fabrics should be between 10,000 and 25,000, while certain public uses demand a Martindale of up to 45,000.
  • How hard is the padding of the furniture? A hard padding demands higher durability than a soft padding. Often seat cushions, back cushions and armrests are padded differently. Use the hardest padding as a reference.
  • Where is the furniture placed? Direct sunlight will make furniture upholstery fade. So if the armchair will be placed in front of a window or in a bay window, the fabric must be more light-resistant than if it were placed in the back-most corner of the room. Generally, wool is more light-resistant than cotton.
  • How long at a time do you wish to sit in your furniture? Most of us recognize the unpleasant feeling of sweating on the backside of the thighs after sitting in a chair or a sofa for a while. This happens because the fabric does not absorb heat and humidity. In this connection, wool is a unique material. Wool absorbs both heat and humidity and gives an unsurpassed seating comfort – even for long periods of time.
All our upholstery fabrics meet the technical demands for use in private homes, and many of them also meet the demands for public use. On the product pages of the fabric you can see their precise values for durability and light-resistance.
To find out more about what demands furniture fabrics should meet, we recommend the Upholstery Fabric Classification from Technological Institute. Find it on the below link: