How to Choose the Right Upholstery Fabric

Posted by Savvy Swatch on

When planning a custom upholstery job, it is crucial that the correct fabric is used in order to ensure the longevity of the furniture. Personally, I like to ask customers three questions to determine the perfect fabric for the occasion. First, ‘What is the application of the fabric?’ I would never dream of recommending a spun polyester fabric to a customer looking to decorate their sun porch. Spun polyester is a one to two season fabric at the most, and would quickly deteriorate after a year or two if left outside year-round. Instead, I would suggest a rugged, but stylish solution-dyed acrylic. After this, my next question is ‘how often will this fabric be used, and by who?’ A dining room chair sat in multiple times a day will wear out much faster than a fancy couch in a room used only on special occasions. Children and pets are also big contributors to wear and tear. Water cleanup and stain resistant fabrics are essential for the modern household, removing the need to use poisonous cleaning products and standing up to the natural wear cycle of furniture. Finally, I like to ask ‘where will this fabric be used?’ Wide varieties of living spaces require wide varieties of fabric to choose from. Water cleanup, krypton coded, indoor/outdoor, fade resistant, UV resistant, microbial resistant; there are just so many different attributes to choose from. Factors of lesser importance to consider would be the weight and stretch of a fabric. Certain fabrics with low stretch and high weight will be tougher to work with and may result in higher labor costs.

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