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The word upholstery refers to the casing on furniture which generally consists of the springs, padding and fabric covers. It can be rather expensive to buy new furniture or re-upholster old furniture, so a lot of care should be taken that the right kind of upholstery fabric is chosen. The right kind of upholstery fabric is one which can endure both the tests of time and durability while at the same time matching your home décor.

The significant factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing an upholstery fabric are color, style, thread count, durability, comfort and fade resistance. The fabric should obviously suit the furniture, but also increase the beauty of the room. Color determines if the fabric can resist stains and also sets the feel of the room. Durability is vital as you would want the fabric to last for a long time. A fabric’s thread count lets you know how strong the fabric is and fade resistance determines whether or not the fabric can withstand continuous exposure to sunlight without fading. Fade resistance, however, may not be as much of an issue if the room has sufficient protection from the sun via your window blinds.

Now that you know what to look for, you can evaluate any fabric for your upholstery needs. There are 3 basic types of fabrics: natural, synthetic and blends. All 3 have their advantages and disadvantages, but generally blending natural and synthetic will give you the best of both worlds.

Cotton is probably the most popular natural fabric for upholstery. It is durable and offers good resistance against wear and tear, however it is very easy for stains to show on it and it is very difficult to clean as well. Basically, if the furniture is going to be used a lot, pure cotton is probably not the best way to go. Cotton blend is a much more sturdy fabric and is suited for everyday use.

Leather is another popular upholstery fabric. It gives a classic look to the room, is easy to clean and lasts for a very long time; the only factor that could go against it is the price as leather is expensive. However if you have the money spend, leather is definitely worth it as it will last for years.

A new type of synthetic fabric that is quickly gaining popularity is microfiber fabric. These types of fabric are durable, soft to the touch and easy to clean. But, there are disadvantages to microfiber fabrics as well. Rayon and linen, for example, can wrinkle easily so these types of fabrics are best suited for furniture that doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic. Other microfiber fabrics include acetate, acrylic, olefin and polyester.

There are a number of upholstery fabrics to choose from and these are just a few of your options. As long as you keep these significant factors in mind with respect to your specific home décor, you’ll be able to choose the best fabric for your upholstery.


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