When taking on an upholstery project, the fabric of the piece is the most visible sign of quality and style. When selecting the fabric for your project, it’s important to consider its durability, resistance to stain and fading, and how easy it is to maintain. Your fabric selection for the project should also be based on the type of furniture you’re upholstering. How will the furniture get used? For example, if the piece in question will only be used moderately, you can opt for a less durable fabric and vice versa for pieces that will get heavy use. Thread count, is a good indication of the quality of the fabric.
You can opt between synthetic and natural fabrics for your projects. Natural fabrics like linen, leather cotton and wool make for wonderful, rich finishes, but can be considered delicate. Linen for example, is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. Leather on the other hand is a tougher material that can be gently vacuumed or damp-wiped, can withstand accidents but can rip if not careful. Cotton provides good resistance to wear, fading, but is less resistant to soil and wrinkling. Wool is sturdy and durable, and also offers good resistance to, fading, wrinkling, and soil. You might also consider vinyl for your upholstery project since it’s easy to care for and practical for living rooms but on the flip side can rip easily. Silk can make for a beautiful luxurious finish but is quite delicate and mostly suitable for adult areas.
Synthetic fabrics like acetate, acrylic, nylon and polyester can also be used for upholstering projects. Acetate, developed as imitation silk, can withstand mildew, pilling, and shrinking, but is only slightly resistant to dirt, and has a tendency to wrinkle, and fade in the sun. Acrylic on the other hand resists wear and fading quite well. Nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it a stronger upholstery fabric. Nylon is very resilient and doesn’t readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade. Polyester, mostly blended with other fibers, resists well to wrinkling and fading. Rayon, which was also developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, is durable, but wrinkles. More recent finishes of rayon are higher quality and quite practical.
Reupholstering a piece of furniture may seem daunting, but with some practice and advice, you can come out with a wonderful looking piece. It may be worthwhile to practice on a second-hand, low-cost piece from a thrift store or flea market. In the end, you’ll have saved a lot of money and will end up with a unique and beautiful piece in your home. If you’re considering reupholstering furniture, stop by any of our Montreal, Brossard, Ottawa, and our soon to open Boisbriand locations. Our experts will be happy to help with your project.