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Choosing the Best Fabric for Upholstery

Posted by John Dawkins on 7th Sep 2018

Upholstered fabric requires both quality and style. These two factors are important given the wear and tear associated with its use. The process of shopping for upholstery fabric is not easy, but it is a pretty straightforward process. The key is to learn what factors you need to know in order to make the right choice. Whether you are shopping for upholstery fabric online or locally, you need to take note of the following important factors.

How to Choose the Best Fabric for Upholstery?

First and foremost, you need to assess the use of the furniture that you want to get upholstered. The most commonly upholstered furniture types are sofas, ottomans, and armchairs. Depending on which room they are used in, some of the furniture undergo more wear and tear than others. Those furniture pieces that are used daily tend to experience heavy wear than others. For these furniture types, you need to choose a thicker and more durable fabric.

Factors for Choosing Upholstery Fabric

Want to get the best quality upholstery fabric online? Yu need to take note of these factors when doing your shopping:

  • Fabric Durability – The durability of the fabric is important when choosing which to use for upholstery. Your choice will vary depending on your personal needs, such as if you have pets or children at home. If this applies to you, it is important to choose a fabric that is able to withstand wear and tear. Woven pattern fabric is more durable than printed ones as they have tighter weaves. Denser fabric have been proven to last longer.
  • Thread Count – The thread count is one of the factors that you must look into to determine the durability and resiliency of the fabric. It refers to how tightly woven the fabric threads are. To give you an idea, a higher thread count would also mean a more tightly woven fabric. This will offer better wear and resiliency.
  • Fabric Style – Even though upholstery fabric is chosen based on their performance, you should not overlook the style too. After all, your sofas and chairs are an integral part of your home’s interior design. Choose a style that would provide balance to your other home interior décor elements. It is important to know each fabric type closely as some fabric types are more luxurious than others. Consider both the aesthetic and practical elements of each fabric.
  • Fabric Color – Just like style, the color of the fabric for upholstery can also have an impact of the finished look when it is added to a room or interior space. Take time to consider what color of fabric would best complement your existing room décor. Your choice will vary depending on whether you have a traditional or contemporary décor, or your interior color scheme.

Types of Upholstery Fabric

There are two general classifications of fabric for upholstery: natural and synthetic fabrics. Each of these options will vary in terms of the quality, durability, and the finished look on upholstered furniture. Therefore, it pays to know the difference in the characteristics for each.

Natural fabrics include the following fabric types: linen, leather, cotton, vinyl, silk, or cotton blend. Linen is best recommended for upholstery of furniture on adult areas as this fabric can soil easily and get can quickly wrinkled too. It is also not ideal in terms of heavy wear – so it is best used on furniture that does not get as much wear and tear as sofas or chairs. Leather is one type of natural fabric that is commonly used as upholstery fabric due to its durability and the fact that it is easy to clean. For cotton and cotton blend fabric, the quality and durability will vary according to the thread count. Make sure you look into this information when choosing. As for vinyl, it is considered as the best alternative to leather (if you want to cut down on your cost) yet can still offer dependable quality.

On the other hand, synthetic fabrics used for upholstery include acetate, nylon, acrylic, rayon, and polyester. Rayon was created as a synthetic version of silk but it isn’t as durable. Polyester is one type of fabric that isn’t used on upholstery as much as the other synthetic fabrics on this list. But when you blend it with other fabric, it can be suited for use as upholstery fabric since it can resist wrinkles and offer improved durability. It does not fade easily, too.


Upholstered fabric is a specialized kind of fabric that is manufactured for a specific purpose. If you want to make the most of its use, it is important that you take that purpose into consideration. This will help to not only make the fabric endure the wear and tear, but also protect the furniture for longer so it will last.