Six Important Factors to Consider When Buying Upholstery Fabric

A well-designed and beautiful looking home is the result of many different components that blend with one another. One such important component in home décor is the upholstery. The soft cloth covering the sofas, armchairs, and ottomans in your home has not just a functional role to play, but also an aesthetic one. Exactly why the choice of upholstered fabrics has to factor in these six considerations for them to be well-suited to the homes they adorn.

Fabric type, durability, and maintenance

Upholstery fabrics can be made of natural or synthetic fibers. Different fabrics behave differently to different environmental stimuli. Among natural fabrics, cotton is highly resistant to wear and fading. Wool is another sturdy fabric resistant to fading, pilling, and wrinkling. Leather is a tough material, which Is also easy to clean and maintain. Silk and linen are fabrics that are extremely delicate, sensitive to sunlight, and which can withstand very little wear and tear. Among synthetic fibers, acetate mimics silk while acrylic mimics wool. Nylon and polyester are extremely durable and wrinkle resistant. They are often blended with other fibers for stronger, longer-lasting fabrics.


The fabric that covers the furniture has to take into consideration the kind of people who use it, and how often. An armchair placed in low traffic areas such as a residential library or reading room will see far less visitors than the sofas that deck up the living room or the cushioned stools in the kitchen or bar. Lighter fabrics like silk and linen work in the former setting. Tougher fabrics like cotton, cotton blends, polyester etc. work in the latter settings. If your home has kids or pets, fabrics in vinyl, faux leather, and those that are stain resistant can be extremely handy.

Color scheme

The color of the upholstery you choose for your home has to sync with the colors used in interior design and décor. The walls, other furniture, the theme, and many other factors play a deciding role in the choice of colors. The personality of the owner or dweller, as well as personal preferences too have a bearing on the choice of hues. Monochromes and subtle or pastel colors are great for larger furniture or rooms with a large area. They also blend well with contemporary and urban themes. Colorful upholstery gives an edgy vibe to any interior setting, and so, are better suited for single large chairs or homes with chic, traditional, or rustic crossover themes. Bright and colorful fabrics are also an apt choice for upholstery in kids’ rooms.


Similar to color, the pattern of the Kravet upholstery fabric has to factor in the interior design theme. Simple striped prints are classics that stay trendy for a long time. Large, seasonal prints are great for remodeled or renovated homes, but may look outdated very soon. So, choose unique prints, checkered patterns or other designs only if you intend to haul them over in a short period of time. Else, stick to classic patterns like floral, geometric weaves etc. if you want the upholstery to adorn your home for long. Kravet and Robert Allen are two brand of upholstery that have a great choice of such classic fabrics.


The grade refers to the quality of the upholstered fabric. These can be indicated by numbers or alphabet. Better grade fabrics are generally more durable than their lower grade counterparts. The grade can often be determined by the thickness of the yarn and construction of the fabric. The denser the construction, the sturdier, and better the fabric is.

Other considerations

Some special considerations like the climatic conditions and allergy too need to be factored in when choosing upholstery. If any of the members in the family is allergy prone, it is recommended to buy microfiber upholstery as they remain lint-free, and trap very little dust. Also, in tropical climatic conditions, fabrics tend to develop mildew very soon. Hence it becomes necessary to pick fabrics that are resistant to the same, especially if you live in humid areas.

Keep these six considerations in mind when choosing upholstery fabric for your home. Pick swatches of the fabrics that you intend to buy, and see how they perform under different conditions before you make the actual purchase.