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How to Choose the Right Fabric for Your Chair and Sofa

There is a cornucopia of textiles and fibers to choose from - all the way from leather to cotton to wool to polyester.


The first thing I ask a client is how the sofa or chair is used and by who. Basically I'm trying to understand how durable and robust the fabric needs to be. All upholstery fabrics sold through a reputable supplier come with a "double rub" abrasion test rating.  If the fabric is rated at 30,000 double rubs it is rated for 'heavy duty' commercial use; 15,000 double rubs is for average residential use.



Next consideration is clean-ability. If pets are allowed on the sofa, choose a fabric that will hide the fur color. Alternatively, choose a contrasting color if you [are a clean freak] wish to roller the fur off on a daily basis. If young children are using the sofa, consider leather or vinyl as it is extremely wipe-able. There are many other fabrics that can be cleaned with warm soapy water, or are cleanable by an expert.  Cryptons are the ultimate for cleaning and durability and are used in high use environments such as nursing homes and schools as well as residential.



Style of fabric is also a consideration :
Solid or pattern?
Soft and cozy or crisp and supportive?
Supple or rigid?
Modern or Traditional?


Style of chair or sofa :
Square or rounded ?
Structural or fully upholstered ?
Modern or Traditional?

Other considerations :
Will there be tufting or top-stitching on the piece?
Will there be 2 fabrics used on the piece?
How pliable or stretchy is the fabric?



Last is color. As with paint, it should be chosen in the environment it is to be used in. Lighting conditions vary and thus the fabric color will be perceived differently depending on where it is.
Blogatcha later !
- Yvonne

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