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Pros & Cons of The 13 Types of Upholstery Fabric for Furniture

When it comes to style, comfort, and luxury, upholstered furniture dominates. As people’s hobbies and preferences have altered, the need for furniture pieces has grown exponentially in contemporary times. Furniture that is both stylish and comfortable is becoming a must-have for today’s buyers.

Furniture that is cushioned and padded and is totally covered in fabric is referred to as upholstered furniture. The springs and cushions are attached to a metal or wooden frame. Cloth is used to completely hide the padding or cushioning.

Contrary to popular belief, the phrase “upholstered furniture” does not refer just to sofas. Dining chairs and couches, as well as cushioned living room chairs, may all be ordered. Sofas can accommodate one, two, three, or four people. Upholstered furniture may be used in every part of your house, so long as you know what you’re looking for.

All kinds of forms, patterns, and color combinations may be found in upholstered furniture. Most people choose this type of furniture because of the various design options it offers.

The material that wraps the springing and padding on the frame is the most important factor in influencing the aesthetic and usability of upholstered furniture.

There are a wide variety of upholstery fabric options to choose from. Upholstery fabric comes in a wide range of styles and colors, so acquaint yourself with the options before making a purchase.

It’s possible that you’ll come across a wide range of upholstery fabrics while looking to buy or refurbish furniture. The personality and impact of each upholstery fabric variation are different. Knowing all there is to know about different types of upholstery textiles will help you make an educated decision.

1. Leather

TORRAMI Soft Synthetic PU Fabric Material Faux Leather Sheets 1 Yards 54" x 36", 0.95mm Thick for Upholstery, DIY Crafts, Pebbled Pattern Brown

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The most popular and widely used upholstery fabric is leather. Aside from providing exceptional comfort, leather upholstery also exudes luxury in terms of appearance, feel, and aroma. Furniture covered in leather looks stunning in living spaces.

Advantages

  • In terms of maintenance, leather furniture is a cinch. If cared for properly, leather-upholstered furniture may survive for five years or more. You can clean it up with a towel after spilling anything on it since leather doesn’t hold liquids or stains.
  • Leather-upholstered furniture may last for a very long time since it is such a durable material. Chemicals and substances that may normally damage the furniture can’t affect it thanks to this material’s resistance.
  • Leather doesn’t smell since it doesn’t absorb spilled liquids. Other textiles are quickly absorbed by the spilling of liquids and results in furniture smelling unpleasant. If you own a dog, leather is the ideal material for your furniture’s upholstery. You don’t have to worry about their odor clinging to your belongings. Furthermore, leather upholstery would not eliminate the smell of smoke if you are a smoker.
  • Leather, in general, is a hard-wearing fabric that keeps its appeal and beauty even after long periods of use.

Disadvantages

  • As a result, leather is an extremely durable option compared to other textiles. In comparison to other types of upholstery materials, its degree of comfort is much lower.
  • A tanned skin renders leather vulnerable to splits and cracks. Sharp objects may easily injure it.
  • It’s not cheap to buy leather-upholstered furniture.

2. Polyamide

Yutong Fabric by The Yard and 9OZ-100% Polyester Upholstery Sewing Fabrics-Solid Navy Pattern

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In the world of upholstery, polyester is a popular microfiber fabric. Polyester upholstered furniture may go with any kind of home decor because of the wide range of colors it comes in. When compared to leather-upholstered furniture, polyester has a more “expensive feel.”

Advantages

  • It’s hard to find a more sumptuous and comfortable fabric than polyester.
  • Cleaning upholstered furniture in polyester is a breeze.
  • This is also abrasion and stain-resistant, making it very long-lasting.
  • Polyester does not collect odors as effectively as other breathable textiles.

Disadvantages

  • Polyester upholstery fabric might break if exposed to hot or fluctuating temperatures. In other words, polyester is an elastic fabric, which means that it will stretch with use.
  • The polyester material is also flammable, so it should be handled with caution. Consequently, smoking is not authorized near it since it might constitute a safety risk.

3. Olefin

Olefin is a petroleum-based synthetic fiber. It can withstand a lot of abuse and is perfect for places where furniture is exposed to a lot of abuse and wear. Wool-like olefin upholstery fabrics are among the most durable upholstery fabrics.

Advantage

  • It is molten plastic that is water-resistant.
  • It is also resistant to fires and chemicals.
  • Olefin upholstery may easily be cleaned of water-based stains.
  • It is resistant to fading.
  • It may be cleaned with bleach.
  • As the dye is applied to the plastic rather than to the cloth after it has been woven, the cloth retains its consistent color.

Disadvantages

  • The chemical, Olefin is combustible and very sensitive to the presence of heat, light, and oil.
  • It lacks variety, making it inappropriate for upholstery on the inside of your home.
  • Stains with oil as their main component are extremely difficult to remove.
  • Olefins may become brittle if they are exposed to sunlight for a lengthy period of time.

4. Rayon

Burgundy Poly Rayon Spandex Stretch Jersey Knit Fabric by The Yard - 1 Yard

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Semi-synthetic synthetic fibers are used to make rayon. It may be used in a variety of ways and gives a level of comfort that is equivalent to that of natural fibers. Despite the fact that rayon isn’t the most long-lasting of upholstery fabrics, newer variants of the material are often seen on upholstered furniture.

Advantages

  • This material is a particularly cost-effective option for upholstery.
  • It’s really soft and cushy. In addition, it is resistant to moth and mildew.
  • The most recent rayon variations are very long-lasting.

Disadvantages

  • As time passes, rayon loses some of its initial beauty.
  • It is prone to nicks and dings.
  • As a result, it is prone to wrinkles.
  • It’s not water-resistant and quickly loses its natural appearance when wet.
  • As a result, rayon has a low elastic rebound, which implies it does not quickly return to its original form.

5. Shearing

Benartex Winter Wool Wool Tweed Heather Grey, Quilting Fabric by the Yard

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Using wool for upholstery is a logical choice. It has a wide range of options. It’s the perfect upholstery material since it’s both soft and warm. If you’re looking for a new couch for your living room, consider one upholstered in wool. The benefits of using wool for upholstery much outweigh the disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Wool-blend upholstery is quite comfortable.
  • It is water and fire-resistant.
  • It’s an environmentally friendly material.
  • Wool provides insulation, making sure you are warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • Wool is a hardy material.
  • It is resistant to mold and mildew.
  • It is resistant to deterioration and tarnishing.
  • In addition, it is wrinkle-proof.

Disadvantages

  • It is a pricey fabric
  • Wool is an expensive fabric.

6. Acetate

Black Fuschia 60'' Iridescent Two Tone Taffeta Acetate Taffeta Fabric

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Upholstery made of acetate is quite common. In the beginning, it was designed to seem like silk because of its gloss and brightness. It lends a feeling of opulence to the decor. This kind of furniture offers a refined and sophisticated aspect to a formal sitting area. This synthetic fiber, although beautiful, lacks the durability of other synthetic fibers.

Advantages

  • It is resistant to dampness.
  • It has a silky shine and luster.
  • Pill resistance is one of acetate’s many advantages.
  • Acetate is a cost-effective upholstery fabric.
  • It’s resistant to mold and mildew.

Disadvantages

  • The brittleness of acetate is a problem. Because of this, it’s easy to wrinkle.
  • Acetate upholstery requires dry-cleaning.
  • It’s not meant to be used on a regular basis.
  • It quickly soaks up blemishes.
  • Because of this, it is not scratch-proof.
  • Unlike other plastics, acetate has no give to it.

7. Cotton

EXCLUSIVE Premier Prints Blooms Cotton Duck Slate, Fabric by the Yard

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Upholstery fabrics made of cotton are the most common and widely utilized. In upholstery, cotton is a natural substance that is very long-lasting. Cotton upholstery fabric can be dyed in virtually any color, which is why you can get it in almost any shade. To begin with, there are several grades to choose from so that no matter your budget, you can choose cotton quality that meets your demands and exceeds your expectations. For these reasons, cotton is highly sought-after upholstery fabric.

Advantages

  • Cotton is an entirely natural material.
  • It can be colored in any color you wish.
  • It has a delightfully soft and cozy feel.
  • It can be penetrated and has a breathable quality.
  • Fabrics made of cotton have a long lifespan and are easy to clean.
  • It’s pill-resistant.
  • It resists abrasion.
  • The hypoallergenic properties of cotton make this fabric an excellent choice for folks with very sensitive skin.

Disadvantages

  • Cotton can wrinkle quite easily
  • Cotton is a great canvas for dyeing. But this is not always a positive thing. It can also catch the color of your blue jeans easily.
  • Over time, your cotton-upholstered furniture may get smelly because of the material’s ability to absorb liquids.

8. Silk

Raw White 100% Pure Silk Fabric Solid Color Charmeuse Fabrics by The Pre-Cut 1 Yard for Sewing Width 44 inch

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In terms of natural fibers, silk is among the most expensive and sumptuous. Silk is a good option for more formal settings. Silk may be an excellent long-term investment if it is properly cared for. Silk is the most luxurious fabric available because of its unmatched luster and softness.

Advantages

  • Silk has the potential to last a very long time if properly cared for.
  • As a result, it has a royal and luxurious appeal.
  • A wide range of colors, patterns, and styles are available in silk.
  • It is able to maintain its shape well.

Disadvantages

  • Silk is a pricey material.
  • The cloth should be dry washed because of its delicate nature.
  • It should not be used on furniture that will be subjected to heavy wear.
  • Silk upholstery should not be used in a household where there are pets present.
  • It is vulnerable to fading from the sun’s ray
  • Silk is not suitable for family settings where silk upholstered furniture will be heavily used
  • Spills and stains can have an effect on them.

9. Acrylic

Acryee Waterproof X | 18oz High Performance Outdoor Acrylic Waterproof Canvas Fabric with PVC Undercoating,14 Solid Colors, 60" Widths. | Linen | Sample 3" x 5"

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Acrylic, a man-made material, is a popular choice for upholstery since it is easy to clean. It is also used in a wide range of mixtures. Synthetic acrylic looks a lot like wool. Acrylic-upholstered furniture is available in many different colors, making it an excellent option for more informal sitting areas.

Advantages

  • This is a silky-smooth material that is easy to work with.
  • Cleaning and maintaining it is a breeze.
  • It’s quick to dry.
  • A wide range of eye-catching hues is on offer.
  • It is weather-resistant, making it excellent for use on outdoor furnishings.

Disadvantages

  • There is a risk of excessive pilling because of this.
  • Acrylic may melt if exposed to high temperatures or flames.
  • Some people may have an allergic reaction to acrylic.
  • As a result, it is vulnerable to wear and tear.

10. Linen

100% European Linen Oatmeal, Fabric by the Yard

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The flax plant is the source of linen, a naturally occurring substance that can be spun into thread. It is among the most popular and affordable upholstery textiles in use today. To improve its performance, it’s often mixed with synthetic fibers.

Advantages

  • Slubby texture is part of what makes linen upholstery so appealing.
  • Linen is a particularly pleasant fabric to touch because of its smoothness and softness.
  • One of the most resilient upholstery fabrics on the market. It is highly durable.
  • It’s a good value for the money.
  • While dry, it is more durable.
  • It cannot be pilled.
  • It is abrasion-resistant.
  • Linen is naturally shiny and lustrous. Its beige-to-ecru grey color palette radiates a sense of sophistication.
  • Aside from being hypoallergenic, linen is also mildew-resistant.
  • It is resistant to fading.
  • In terms of environmental impact, it’s a good choice.

Disadvantages

  • As a result, linen is more susceptible to wrinkles.
  • It is very easy to become dirty.
  • This material is not recommended for everyday, heavy-duty use.
  • To prevent shrinking, professional washing is required.

11. Velvet

Plush Darling Velvet Teal, Fabric by the Yard

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Elegant and seductive, velvet is a must-have in every wardrobe. Sofas and chairs adorned with velvet are very eye-catching. It has the power to drastically transform the look and feel of any room.

Advantages

  • Velvet is luxuriously supple.
  • There is a royal air about it.
  • Light is reflected over the furniture’s surface because of velvet’s nap between the fiber piles. Because of its form, it attracts attention to what it is covering.
  • Velvet may well be colored in a wide range of colors.
  • In addition, it’s quite insulating.

Disadvantages

  • When it comes to caring for velvet, it is famously tough.
  • Because of its high price, it is not recommended for beginners.
  • It is the thickness of the woven fiber piles that determines how long velvet will last.
  • Furniture meant for formal use should not have this finish.

12. Jute

Burlapper 12 oz Jute Burlap Fabric Sheet, 40" x 5 yd, Factory 2nd

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In Bangladesh and India, jute, a type of natural fiber, is a widely used material. Mats and ropes were formerly made from it. However, jute can also be used as a cloth because it is a natural fiber. As a cloth, it’s possible to utilize jute, although it isn’t very common.

Advantages

  • Jute is a great way to add texture to any room.
  • It is most commonly used to cover ottomans.
  • Leather and other upholstery textiles, such as jute, go together well.

Disadvantages

  • The wrinkle-prone nature of jute makes it a poor choice for clothing.
  • The fabric is rough and stiff, making it a pain to wear.
  • It turns yellow when exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Moisture might weaken its properties.

13. Chenille

Damask Tapestry Chenille Fabric - Upholstery Fabric, L.Gold - 60" Width - Sold BTY

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A caterpillar is called a chenille in French. An organic fabric, it is very breathable and comfortable. Since chenille is such a flexible fabric, it must have a backing. The casual character of chenille makes it a popular upholstery fabric for children.

Advantages

  • There is a lot of sheen to the material.
  • It lasts for a long time.
  • Cleaning chenille fabric at home is simple.
  • Furniture upholstered with chenille is really comfortable.
  • It is available in a wide range of colors.

Disadvantages

  • Chenille is an extremely elastane-friendly fabric. With the support, the price goes up.
  • If you have a pet, this product is not suggested for usage.
  • It’s easy for dust and other particles to get tangled up in the long fibers.

Choosing the right upholstery fabric may be difficult since there are so many options to choose from. However, before settling on an upholstery fabric, a number of things should be considered. There are several factors to consider when purchasing furniture, including the kind of use it will be put to, the presence of dogs, how easy it is to clean, and how resistant it is to staining. It’s just as important to pick a good upholstery fabric as the design of your furniture if you want it to last a long time.