Choosing Furniture Upholstery Fabrics

The upholstered furniture in your house is an investment that needs to be made with care – like the many other things that are there inside the abode. No home owner wants to be in a position of second-guessing after the choice has been made or the piece has been bought. The color, pattern, style, and fabric type need to be matched not just with the interior décor, but also with the kind of furniture, its users, location, and so on. Else, you would end up fighting stains, snags, tears, poorly coordinated décor, and anything that makes the new piece look shabby. Here are a few tips that can help you zero in on the right upholstery fabrics that keep you happy for a long time.

Choose easy care fabrics for kids and furry friends

When upholstering furniture, one of your biggest worries is the fabric being spoilt by kids or pets that you have in the house. Today, the options for such needs are plentiful. Many of them are crafted specially for harsh use, and are durable too.  The range of low maintenance, easy care fabrics includes faux leather and indoor-outdoor convertibles. Slipcovers too are a great choice for such needs. Distressed leather is another popular choice among home owners as the fabric surface does not show off cuffs and scratches.

Pick silk and linen for a touch of luxury

An adult-only home can indeed be a boon when you want to flaunt luxurious upholstery. Textured silk, patterned linen, and fluffy wool are all great choices for homes that need comfy, indulgent fabrics. These upholsteries are great for locations that are little used, lesser prone to wear and tear, and which are not in direct contact with sunlight.  Imagine reading corners, in-home office spaces, and master or guest bedroom furniture with these upholstery – quite the stunners they turn out to be.

Always think long term

One big mistake that buyers commit when choosing upholstery fabric is getting carried away by how it looks in the present, and not factoring in use, wear and tear – all of which have a bearing on how the surface, color, and feel would be after a couple of years. In order to avoid this glitch, check fabric labels, and ask questions about the material content, its performance, maintenance and care needs. Certain materials like leather tend to develop a natural patina, so be sure if you are willing to embrace such details through use. Also, think about how much effort you are likely to put into the upkeep of the fabric. While some need minimal care and can be washed, others need constant upkeep with regular vacuuming. Some fabrics are sensitive to light, and if placed next to windows or sunny areas, you will need to maintain them well through the use of drapes and covered windows so that they fabric does not fade too quickly.

Consider solids vs. patterned

Solid upholstery fabrics and patterned upholstery fabrics have their own ups and downs. The former works well with larger furniture, especially when there are curves or joints involved. Mismatched patterns can look quite odd in such instances. Also, solids are a better choice for regular use furniture as patterns can wear out the eyes quickly. However, stripes, florals, jacquard designs, bold prints etc. such as those offered by Robert Allen upholstery fabric make great accompaniments to statement furniture or smaller pieces such as single chairs or ottomans.

Experience the fabric

An important thing to remember is that upholstery fabrics aren’t only about their visual appeal. They are also a lot about how they feel against the skin. For, who wants to feel pricked or chafed when lounging or engaging in a deep discussion? When on a visit to an upholstery fabric store, ask for swatches to feel with your fingers. Wherever possible, carry them home to see how they perform through time. Testing the fabric this way helps you understand how the piece would function in actual day-to day settings.