Uncategorized Picking the Right Fabric

Picking the Right Fabric

You’re ready to take the plunge and reupholster your furniture. That’s great! Custom reupholstery is a great way to take something you already love and make it just the way you want it. Redecorating? Restoring? Change in the household? This is a terrific opportunity to update your furniture to meet your lifestyle.

We are here to help our clients choose a fabric that will suit the type of use their furniture receives, so let’s talk about that first.

Is this something you use every day? For a couple minutes, or a couple hours? Do you use it near food or drink? Is it a piece that’s near the door where people put their wet coats? Do you have small children or pets that use this furniture? All of these are things to consider when selecting fabric.

If the answers to these questions are yes, or even “well, kinda” it might be beneficial to consider a fabric with some sort of stain repellent. Most of our vendors offer stain repellents like Crypton, Nanotex and many other non-toxic options that come already on their fabrics, or as an add on finish. These are a great way to take the anxiety out of your precious new purchase (particularly if you choose a light color!)

There are a variety of non-toxic stain repellents on the market today–a vast improvement from when Scotchguard was the only option.


Some other things to consider as you’re looking through our extensive selection of upholstery fabrics: fiber content and durability.

Most upholstery fabrics are going to have a significant polyester content, either as 100% polyester, or blended with other natural and synthetic fibers. While we all would love to have more natural fibers in our lives, things like cotton, linen, and wool on their own tend to come with a much higher price tag, and lower durability. Synthetics add strength and versatility, as well as greater ease of care. A blend of more than one fiber usually brings out the best in each of the options.

And while we’re talking about durability, looking at the numbers will help you as you consider your options. The furniture industry uses different tests to determine whether a fabric is heavy duty, medium duty, or light duty. When looking at a fabric sample, look for the words “double rubs”, “Wyzenbeek” or “Martindale” to find the abrasion test results for the fabric. Higher numbers mean higher testing scores, and therefore higher durability. 15,000 double rubs is the industry standard for a heavy duty fabric, and 30,000 double rubs for commercial. Given the way we use our furniture these days, most companies are aiming for significantly higher numbers for even more wear resistance.

The back of a fabric sample can provide loads of information, from fiber type, to pattern direction, and durability rating

So now that we’ve talked about the practical stuff, let’s move on to the fun stuff! How your new fabric looks is usually the first thing people think of when starting a project, but once you have the performance elements nailed down, you can find patterns, solids, velvets, wovens, prints—just about any style of fabric that can be used for upholstery. Let your designer know what colors you like (and hate!) and what sort of texture appeals to you. Some people love the soft fuzziness of velvets and chenilles. Some prefer a smooth satiny finish like a polished cotton or damask. Chunky weaves add visual textures, and tweeds can give a piece a classic look.

Check out our fabrics page to start your search. All of our samples are available for free 7 day check out.


Above all, make sure you pick something you love that is going to serve you for years to come. Custom upholstery is a great way to extend your relationship with your favorite piece of furniture.