Among the types of upholstery fabric are cotton, linen, wool, leather, acetate, hemp, silk, polyester, polypropylene, acrylic, rayon, and nylon. A fabric for upholstery can be made of one type of yarn or a blend of yarns. Your furniture will last longer if you choose the right upholstery fabric.
WHAT TYPE OF FABRIC TO USE FOR UPHOLSTERY?
If you are searching for upholstery fabric, you might be a little confused. Nowadays, there are a lot of upholstery fabrics to choose from.
Natural fabrics or synthetics are both options, but choosing the right fabric for the right situation will extend the life of your furniture. Here are some of the most popular upholstery fabric options!
A natural fabric is usually preferred by someone looking for the softest, least performance-oriented furniture. Natural upholstery fabrics include cotton, silk, wool, leather, and linen.
This is the most widely used and cheapest natural fiber. Cotton is soft and provides stability to your furniture while providing comfort. Cotton is durable and resistant to fading, but is susceptible to stains. For everyday use furniture, cotton is not the best choice due to its tendency to stain and collect dust and dirt.
Silk is probably one of the more expensive upholstery fabrics. The sofa should only be used in a formal living room without heavy traffic. Whenever something spills on silk or soils the furniture, it should be professionally cleaned.
When tested, wool is very durable and sturdy. Since it is very resistant to pilling and staining, it is a great choice for high traffic areas. The downside of wool is that when it gets wet, it can develop an odor that is hard to eliminate.
Leather is probably the most durable fabric for upholstery. While looking comfortable, leather is a great option for high traffic areas. Pet owners should also consider leather for their pets. A vacuum can easily remove hair from it and it lasts for a long time.
Due to its tendency to wrinkle and stain, linen is best suited to adult-only rooms. It’s great because most of the prints are on linen, making intricate designs more affordable. When linen is washed, it may shrink. It should be professionally cleaned to avoid damaging or altering the fabric.
The advantages of synthetic upholstery fabrics are superior durability and easy cleaning, as well as a lower manufacturing cost than natural fabrics. Chemicals and/or natural products are synthesized to create synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are then woven into fabrics we use every day. You may have heard of polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, or rayon.
Polyester is a great fiber to blend with cotton to add wrinkle resistance to the fabric. It was the first choice for outdoor upholstery yarn because of its ability to retain dyes.
OLEFIN OR POLYPROPYLENE
Olefin is another great upholstery fabric option. Polypropylene, or olefin, is the second most produced synthetic fiber after polyester. The fabric is durable and cleanable without protective stain treatments, such as Scotchgard. The fluorochemicals can in fact destroy certain synthetic fibers.
Polypropylene, or PP, is found in water bottles, yogurt containers, and tub ware. Polypropylene is the second most produced plastic and produces less waste by weight than any other plastic. In the United States, polypropylene can be recycled in almost all recycling programs
Another fiber that is rarely used alone is nylon. When combined with other synthetic or natural fibers, Nylon eliminates napping and crushing in velvet or chenille fabrics.
Original outdoor upholstery fabrics were made of acrylic, which was synthesized as an imitation wool. Fibers made from low-quality acrylic can pill if the fiber is fade-resistant, soil-resistant, and wrinkle-resistant
Initially, rayon was developed to imitate silk, cotton, and linen. Although rayon is strong and durable, it is prone to wrinkles.
Research the companies from which you are purchasing your fabrics, whichever fabric you choose. In the end, responsible sourcing will ensure the longevity of your furniture, and good research is the first step.
Crepe is a lightweight, twisted plain-woven fabric with a rugged, bumpy surface that doesn’t wrinkle. This versatile fabric is often made from cotton, silk, wool, or synthetic fibers. As a result, crepe is usually named after its fiber, such as crepe silk or crepe chiffon.
Since crepe is soft, comfortable, and easy to work with, it is often used in suits and dresses. Georgette, for example, is a type of crepe fabric often used in designer clothing. Also, crepe is used for blouses, pants, scarves, shirts, and skirts.
Lace is an elegant, delicate fabric made of looped, twisted, or knitted thread or yarn. Originally made of silk and linen, lace is now made from cotton thread, wool or synthetic fibers. Lace consists of two main components: the design and the fabric that holds the pattern together.
Lace is considered to be a luxury textile because it takes time and skill to create the open-weave design and web-like pattern.
Satin, unlike most other fabrics on this list, is not made from a fiber; it is actually one of the three major weaves, created when every strand is perfectly knitted together. Originally, satin was made of silk, but is now made of polyester, wool, and cotton. On one side, this fabric is glossy, elegant and slippery. On the other, it is matte.
Elegant and lightweight, satin is often used in evening and wedding gowns, lingerie, corsets, blouses, skirts, coats and outerwear. It can also be used as a backing for other fabrics.
Wool is our last type of fabric. Natural fibers come from sheep, goats, llamas, or alpacas. Knitted or woven, it can be both.
Wool is known for being hairy and itchy, yet it keeps the body warm and is durable and long-lasting. Additionally, it is wrinkle-free and resistant to dust and wear. Due to its need to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned, this fabric can be a bit pricey. Wool is mostly used for sweaters, socks, and gloves.
Wool includes tweed, Cheviot fabric, cashmere and Merino wool. Cheviot fabric is made from Cheviot sheep, cashmere from cashmere and pashmina goats, and Merino wool from Merino sheep.
Woven vs. Knitted
The second difference is the production process. Weaved and knitted are both types.
Two yarns interweave horizontally and vertically on a loom to create woven fabrics. As the yarn runs at a 45-degree angle, the fabric doesn’t stretch and is usually sturdier and more taut than knit fabrics. Fabric is composed of a weft (when the yarn runs across the width of the fabric) and a warp (when the yarn runs along the length of the loom).
Plain weave, satin weave, and twill weave are the three types of woven fabric. Chiffon, crepe, denim, linen, satin, and silk are popular woven fabrics.
As an example of knit fabric, think of a hand-knit scar; the yarn is formed into an interconnecting loop design, allowing it to stretch significantly. Knit fabrics are known for their elasticity and shape retention.
Knit fabric comes in two types: warp-knitted and weft-knitted. Among popular knit fabrics are lace, lycra, and mesh.
Natural vs. Synthetic
First, fabrics differ based on the type of fiber used.
Plants and animals produce natural fibers. Plants produce cotton, whereas silkworms produce silk.
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