Whether it's upholstery for beds, sofas or chairs, the fabric in our home adds comfort to our living space. It's important to choose a type of fabric that suits your style in look and feel, and it's equally important to think about your lifestyle when choosing the right fabric. Here we are going to introduce the most common types of fabric used in upholstery to help you choose the best fit for your home.
Leather is a durable and flexible material created by the tanning of animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide. It's generally expensive, but depending on factors such as whether the piece is created from top grain or split hides.
Bonded leather or "Reconstituted leather" is an economical type that uses leftovers of organic leather (often from leather tanneries or leather workshops) which are shredded and then bonded together with polyurethane binders or latex on top of a fiber sheet. It's less expensive than top grain leather and easy to clean and maintain.
Leatherette is a form of artificial leather, usually made by covering a fabric base with plastic. The fabric can be made of a natural or a synthetic fibre which is then covered with a soft PVC layer. It's a less expensive option but doesn't have the same softness and feel than leather.
Polyester is often blended with natural fibers, such as cotton, to produce a fabric with combined qualities. Generally, polyester is perceived as having a less natural feel than wool or cotton.
Microfiber or microfibre is a less expensive alternative to suede. Although it is stain-resistant, the fabric does tend to pick up watermarks. Microfiber fabric is lightweight, durable and somewhat water repellent, so it makes a good substitute.
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for the exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.
Chenille may refer to either a type of yarn or fabric made from it. The chenille yarn is manufactured by placing short length of yarn, called the "pile", between two "core yarns" and then twisting the yarn together. The edges of these piles then stand at right angles to the yarn’s core, giving chenille both its softness and its characteristic look. Chenille will look different in one direction compared to another, as the fibers catch the light differently. Many chenille fabrics should be dry cleaned. If hand or machine-washed, they should be machine-dried using low heat, or as a heavy textile, dried flat to avoid stretching, and should never be hung.