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How to Select an Upholstery Fabric

Upholstery fabric is designed to be durable and withstand frequent use, and comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Some popular types of upholstery fabrics include cotton, linen, wool, microfiber, vinyl, leather and velvet.

When selecting an upholstery fabric, it's important to understand the upholstery fabric, factors such as durability, stain resistance, and cleaning instructions and use case need to be considered before you buy. Some fabrics, such as microfiber or performance fabrics, are more resistant to stains and spills, making them a great choice for families with children or pets. Other fabrics, like velvet, are more delicate and require special care to maintain their appearance.

So here are some pointers when selecting fabric for upholstery to ensure you choose the best option for your needs:

  1. Durability: Consider the type of use the furniture will receive and choose a fabric that can withstand that level of wear and tear. Fabrics like microfiber, cotton, and linen are generally more durable than silk or velvet. Here in New Zealand most of the fabrics come with what's called a Martindale rating or a Wyzenbeek rating, higher the rating more durable the fabric.

  2. Stain resistance: If the furniture will be used in a high-traffic area, or if you have children or pets, choose a fabric that is stain-resistant or has been treated with a stain-resistant finish.

  3. Cleaning instructions: Some fabrics require special cleaning methods, so make sure you choose a fabric that you can easily clean and maintain. For tips on cleaning instructions click here

  4. Color and pattern: Consider the overall aesthetic of the room and choose a fabric that complements the existing décor. Also, consider the amount of light that the room receives and the colors that will fade less under sunlight.

  5. Comfort: Think about the level of comfort you want for the piece of furniture. Some fabrics like chenille, velvet or wool provide a higher level of comfort than others.

  6. Budget: Keep in mind the cost of the fabric and compare it to your budget. Upholstery material can coming in varying price range depending on a lot of factors. Stating your budget makes decision making easier.

  7. Check Sample: It's also a good idea to sample the fabric before making a final decision, by ordering swatches or visiting a showroom where you can see and feel the fabric in person. And if possible, try to get a sample of the fabric and test it with a small piece of furniture before committing to a large purchase.

In summary, when selecting fabric for upholstery, consider factors such as durability, stain resistance, cleaning instructions, color and pattern, comfort, and budget. It's also a good idea to sample the fabric before making a final decision, to make sure it meets your needs and preferences.

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