Upholstery is the work of incorporating webbings, paddings, springs and fabric material to make a furniture piece. Upholstery fabric constitutes the outer look of the furniture item giving you the final outlook, feel and appeal.
Fabric House entails you on your journey to picking the perfect upholstery fabric to enhance your home décor requirements. Enormous options in terms of color, pattern, durability, maintenance, fiber content make it difficult for you to choose the right upholstery fabric. Color, style and the mood of the place are top MUST LOOK factors which influence your upholstery fabric choice. But you should also consider the purpose of upholstery use, the durability of fabric and maintenance for a long-term perspective.
Below we give you a brief description on how to choose the perfect upholstery fabric according to your needs.
Durability is the topmost feature to research when it comes to a piece of upholstery fabric. What if you buy the world’s most flamboyant and luxurious upholstery piece but it tends to warp and wear in a small time frame? DISTRESSED is what you would be…!!!
There are numerous aspects that depict the durability of upholstery fabric. If you want to buy furniture that is put to everyday use, durability becomes critical. Whereas a decorative piece that is rarely used, performance doesn’t matter as much. Silk, wool, linen, and embellished fabrics are such high maintenance luxurious fabrics. Cotton duck is one such trending strong, plain weave fabric ideal for printed designs having a higher tendency to warpage.
A “double rub” test is the golden standard measure to check the abrasion resistance of upholstery fabric. Double rub test uses a machine that detects how much “rubs” a fabric can sustain before it wears out. You rub a fabric when you sit on it as well as when you get up from it; this is referred to as double rub. Residential use upholstery fabric demands 10000-25000 double rubs whereas commercial ones demand 1,00,000 and more double rubs.
Double rub approximate rating:
Delicate use: 8000-10000
Light to medium use: 10000-20000
Heavy use: 20000 and more
“Martindale rub test” is similar to a double rub test and is commonly used in the UK and Europe for determining fabric durability.
Thread count is another feature to depict durability. It suggests the number of threads in a square inch area of given fabric. Higher the thread count, the higher the wear resistance of the fabric. Tightly woven fabrics tend to have a high thread count and last longer.
Upholstery fabric has a tendency to pill/fuzzball formation. Small strands of fibers on the fabric surface tangle together to form such pills with constant use. Loosely woven fabrics show increased pill formation. Pets bring in dirt and germs and loose fabrics form a storehouse for it. Synthetic fabrics should be used to avoid this.
Fabrics tend to fade when exposed to strong sunlight. Some even distort in humid areas. Fade resistance and mildew resistance respectively should be checked for while purchasing.
“Care for your fabric and it will care for you”
All upholstery fabrics call for utmost care and maintenance. Regular dusting, vacuuming and spot cleaning is prone to leave your upholstery in its original unblemished state. Always dry clean your upholstery fabric before setting it up. Choose a stain resistant fabric if possible. Use Fabric protectant sprays as they help increase fabric longevity.
Professional Upholstery cleaning services are also available. Demanding fabrics such as silk, velvet, chenille require professional cleaning.
Any stain or spill on fabric should be treated immediately. Use a blotting tissue to soak up the liquid. Never rub over the fabric. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning any upholstery fabric. Various fabrics react to water differently. Removable fabric covers can be hand-washed with mild detergent. Those covers that are fixed are vacuum cleaned or steam cleaned. Fabric tags over your material usually have a coding system for cleaning:
W- Can be cleaned with water
S- Requires solvent based cleaner
W/S – Can be cleaned with water or solvent based cleaners
X- Requires vacuuming only.
Always follow the recommended cleaning tag instructions.
For those fabrics that tend to pill, fabric pill shavers come handy to trim pills when they show up.
Upholstery fabrics must at all times be protected from direct exposure to sunlight as it may fade the colors.
Cushions if any should be routinely flipped, rotated to keep them fluffy and prevent color fading and fabric crimping.
Many innovative products are up for grabs to make upholstery fabric cleaning an easy peasy process:
- Upholstery detergent
- Upholstery Aerosol with built-in brush
- Fabric stain remover
- Foaming cleaners for dirt and grease
- Ecological Odour removers
- Vacuums designed for pet hair removal
Another easy method of cleaning your upholstery fabric all by yourself is to sprinkle baking soda on it evenly and let it sit for a few minutes. Vacuum clean it up after 20 minutes and you will get a sparkling and odor-free feel.
Cotton is a breathable and pocket-friendly fabric. It has good fade resistance and pilling resistance but it cannot stand harsh sunlight. Damask weave cotton is used in official setups whereas cotton duck canvas has a casual appeal to be used in households.
Linen is vintage, breathable and perfect for simple living rooms. Sunlight dampens linen. It soils and wrinkles easily so should be used with care.
Luxurious warm textured and heavy is wool. Good resistance to fading, soiling, and wrinkling. Flame resistance is its exquisite feature. However, it is scratchy to touch and should be used wisely.
Royal and ultra-soft are what constitute silk. It has good drape but is delicate. When used it demands professional cleaning.
Polyester is an all-rounder when it comes to performance. It is rarely used alone, blends with cotton or wool to deliver the extra mile. Durable and easy to clean.
Nylon is durable, has high abrasion resistance and resilience. So it can be used in areas of heavy use efficiently.
All the fabrics mentioned above come in vivid colors and patterns. The color of your upholstery fabric is highly dependent upon the color and size of your room. You can use a fabric color that blends in with existing wardrobes like light brown. Or you can match it with colorful dramatic curtains or lamp sheds. For example blue curtains with blue sofa fabric. A living room that has many windows and exposes nature can have a green colored sofa to blend in. If you want your sofa to stand out you can go for bold colors. A neutral color sofa will always blend in with the room.
It all depends on your choice, mood, and style. Go grab your perfect upholstery fabric today!