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  • Writer's picturekelleykolettis

Choosing Upholstery Fabric

Do you have a piece of upholstered furniture that needs a face lift? There's only a million options out there so let me help you to narrow down your search and hopefully make it easier for you to decide on the fabric for your project.


  • Look for fabrics with tighter weaves so they won't catch or pull on clothes, finger nails, or pets. Tighter weave, or thread count, refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and denser fabric lasts longer.

  • Woven fabrics last longer than prints in style and in durability.

  • Fabrics made of olefin are usually the most durable. Choose a fabric based on who will be using the furniture. For example, if your pet is sharing your sofa with you, consider a microfiber (or leather) because these can withstand the extra wear and tear.

  • Look for the number of rubs competed on the abrasion test. A fabric should be 15,000 or higher for residential use. The durability is very important if this upholstery pieces is getting daily use.

Things to consider: Style & Color

  • Some fabrics appear casual, while others look more formal. Choose the fabric that echoes your style and the decor of the existing room. Choose a fabric that compliments the piece of furniture AND the decor of your home.

  • The scale of the pattern. It should be appropriate to the size of the furniture it is covering as well as the room size. A large bold, pattern might work better in a larger room, while a more muted or smaller one might be a better choice for a smaller space.

  • The color you choose will make a difference on your decor style. Especially if it is a large piece that will dominate the visual space. Neutral fabrics are generally the safest route since they tend to satisfy over time.

Other Factors:

  • Pet-friendly fabrics/ Child-friendly fabrics. No silks, delicates, or textured fabrics.

  • Mildew-resistant/ Fade-resistant fabrics. Is it humid or in direct sunlight?

  • Allergies. Consider a fabric like microfiber for certain allergies (it is lint-free and doesn't attract dust).

If you need a designer to help you choose the best fabric for your upholstery project, let me know. My favorite fabric places in town are Cynthia East Fabrics and Designer Effects, so I'm happy to bring you along on my next shopping trip!

Have a fabulous day!

Kelley K

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