Last updated on May 8th, 2017 at 12:34 pm
When it comes to purchasing furniture or upholstery fabric there are so many options available that at times it can seem overwhelming. For this reason, it is important to have a working knowledge of the pros and cons of the different types of fabric. This will help you choose the correct fabric for your particular project. You will want to take durability, color retention, cleaning requirements and, in some cases, flammability into consideration. This glossary lists some of the more commonly used upholstery fabrics.
- a man made fabric that is machine washable, dryable and has excellent color retention abilities.
- a natural fiber that comes from the pulp of the bamboo plant. It is moisture resistant, and in some cases antibacterial.
- a vintage woven cotton fabric often featuring large scaled patterns of leaves, vines and flowers. Think 1940’s Hollywood.
- a dyed fabric popular in bohemian decorating. The design is covered with wax before dye is applied to prevent the dye from penetrating. (similar to tie dye where the pattern is tied off before dying)
- 100% cotton, tightly woven fabric with a raised pattern.
- loose weave fabric with a rough texture popular for today’s eco-conscious homeowner.
- a cotton fabric that has been glazed to achieve a shiny surface. Must be dry cleaned to maintain the shine.
- an embroidered fabric that most often features colorful floral designs.
- A shiny woven fabric with a reversible design all done in one color.
- a zig zag patterned fabric
- Houndstooth check:
- a small check pattern that features 2 colors woven together, most common color combination is black and white.
- a handwoven fabric that has been dyed in the tie-dye fashion. Patterns range from small pin dots to large, exotic shapes.
- a natural fiber that is stronger than cotton and often features a slight sheen. Wrinkles easily but wrinkles are part of the “charm” of linen.
- very popular synthetic fabric that mimics the look and feel of natural fiber cloth. Very durable, moisture resistant and machine wash and dryable.
- synthetic fiber with excellent strength, durability and abrasion resistance.
- a synthetic leather
- natural fiber that is soft and drapeable
- a brushed or napped leather
- A patterned fabric that often depicts farm or country scenes. Commonly uses two colors with black and white being the most popular.
- a form of rayon that has a soft hand.
Many fabrics will offer a blend of fibers to add strength, durability, color retention and ease of maintenance to natural fibers. Selecting the correct fabric will save you time and money down the road.