Top tips for choosing upholstery fabric
Selecting the best upholstery fabric for sofas, armchairs and chairs can be a confusing business. Whether you’re buying from a retailer or having a bespoke piece of furniture made for you, it’s important to think about these 4 key factors before you make a decision
Appearance and style
The right upholstery fabric should complement the style of the furniture item and enhance its character. Think about the colour scheme for the room as well as other furniture or soft furnishings to coordinate with. What sort of ambiance are you trying to create – modern and casual or classic and formal? Make sure you obtain fabric samples to help you decide on the best colour, pattern and texture.
There are famous brands, regular household names and fabric manufacturers you’ve probably never hear of. Does it matter? Not necessarily. Just because the fabric is a designer brand doesn’t make it better. If you love the fabric, by all means follow your heart. Just don’t be blinded by the brand – consider the quality of the material, its durability and value for money too
Performance and durability
Buying a new sofa or armchair is an investment into your home that should give you years of pleasure. Whichever upholstery fabric you choose, it needs to score highly on
- Durability and wear resistance for the intended level of use.
Ask about colour fastness and Martindale rub test
- Maintenance and ease of upholstery cleaning
- Stain protection such as Scotchgard
- Furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations
Aside from choosing an attractive fabric that’s fit for purpose, you need to consider whether it will still be fashionable in a few years’ time. Fabric trends come and go, so it may be prudent to choose a design that will stand the test of time to avoid a costly re-upholstery exercise on account of a passing fashion trend.