Your items of furniture are the core elements that create your home. They substantiate how it looks and feels to those who live there. After years of owning your favourite Leisure Lounge pieces, you may be in the mood to revive your furniture to bring new life to your living space. Or maybe you are in the market for a brand new furniture suite and are seeking beautifully-designed high -uality furniture fabrics. To help you, we have put together some tips for choosing the best furniture fabrics for your home. First, let’s look at what upholstery is.

What is Upholstery?

Upholstery refers to any fabrics, padding, webbing and springs used to create soft coverings for chairs, sofas and other furniture items. Starting in the Middle Ages, upholstery has consistently increased in popularity and then accessibility throughout the 17th to 19th centuries. Many kinds of textiles are used to upholster furniture, and in modern times, the selection of materials comes down to a few core consideration, which we will discuss below.

Step 1: Consider the Application

The first and foremost consideration is the application of the piece of furniture. Take a look at your living habits and how the furniture will be used: will the piece be in a high-traffic area, will it receive a lot of wear and tear, and who will be using it most?

High-traffic furniture such as in the living room needs to be upholstered with durable furniture fabric to ensure that it last for many years. Furniture that will likely see a lot of wear and tear may be better suited to hardier fabrics without any bare threads that can be snagged and pulled.

Do you have children? Or perhaps you have pets that are allowed up on the furniture? Not only do these factors guide your choice of furniture fabric, but they will influence your colour scheme as well. Darker colours will help to disguise dirty footprints and scuff marks.

Step 2: Think about Longevity

An often overlooked factor is how the upholstery will age over time. This is something a Leisure Lounge specialist can help you with. Most fabrics will require consistent cleaning and good maintenance to extend their lifespan and continue looking beautiful for several years. Some fabrics, such as leathers, require careful attention to maintain.

Factors such as regularity of cleaning, regularity of special coatings and treatments, sun exposure, and general maintenance all affect the longevity of your piece.

Take a look at our blog about leather cleaning and general upholstery cleaning for the best practices that will keep your pieces looking beautiful.

Step 3: Suss out the Shape

The shape of your furniture is a creative and abstract concept to keep in mind, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice. There are some best practices to consider when choosing the best furniture fabrics for your piece, in keeping with its shape. For example, if your furniture item is curvaceous and soft edged, it is recommended to stick to solid colours, as patterns may become disrupted during the upholstery process.

Larger furniture pieces benefit from rich solid colours as well, or neutral tones, as they are less likely to go in and out of ‘fashion’ over the years. Further, these pieces are ideal for accessorizing with bright and interesting scatter cushions.

Smaller pieces are more conducive with bolder shades and patterns, as they are unlikely to overwhelm your living space. Occasional chairs and ottomans are a fantastic way of introducing some spice into your space.

Pro Tip: Great Furniture Fabrics for Kids and Pets

Having a happy home full of children or animals, or both, is lovely, but dealing with the scuffs and stains that generally accompany them, is not. Some fabrics are more durable than others, and they can make wise choices for parents and pet owners. Faux suede furniture fabrics are easy to care for and clean, making them ideal for family homes. We also love slip cover couches, which can easily be stripped down and chucked in the washing machine – no mess, no fuss!

Be sure to check out our blog for more interesting and inspirational articles about home décor, fine furniture, furniture fabrics, cleaning techniques and more!