First, a non sequitur. Hipsters. Because there’s an underlying love of things of substance, timelessness, and even soulfulness the hipster era celebrates, reveling in all things solid and classic. This love, we have in common. Enter today’s topic: tweed.
Any conversation about fabrics, and furniture upholstery fabrics in particular, is simply incomplete if it doesn’t include the timeless elegance, versatility, and durability of tweed.
That’s where we’ll dwell today, in the land of timeless sophistication. We’ll take a brief stroll through the history of tweed, what makes it such an amazing choice for furniture upholstery, and, last but certainly not least, we’ll help you envision it in your home.
How Tweed’s Tough Past Set It up for a Timeless Future in Your Home
The British Isles. This winter, when you’re dreaming up your next warm, sunny, and exotic beach getaway, you’ll be dreaming of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England, right? Not so much. Regarding climate and weather, the British Isles (lovely for so many other reasons) are not known for their warm and sunny days. But for our purposes, that’s great news.
Because it’s precisely that cold, rainy, positively sodden climate that gave rise to tweed. Its origin story varies a bit, but there’s a consistency to the overall theme.
Originally, it was a wool fabric, tightly woven and intended to help weather the weather (so to speak), to hold up in the ever-changing conditions, and to keep the wearer as warm, dry, and protected as possible. Initially, these characteristics seem to have made it fundamentally a working man’s fabric.
Zooming in, the weave is typically a simple chevron pattern. And, as a working-class fabric, initially, the colors and patterns that emerged were derived from earth tones and other readily available options.
This is also why it’s sometimes considered one of the original camouflage fabrics and was adopted by the wealthy class as hunting apparel. Soon, the versatility, durability, and increasing ubiquity of tweed saw it moving well beyond its roots.
Tweed Meets the Demands of Your Life and Home With an Elegant Swagger
And then came furniture. Tweed, with all its deep ties and affiliations to a particular region, has evolved far past those origins. Over time, it’s proven itself an unexpected intersection of traditional and trendy, classic and contemporary.
And — most importantly to us — tweed has serious game as a performance upholstery fabric. What makes tweed a clutch performer as a furniture upholstery fabric? Great question!
First off, it’s the weave. If your life is full of the marvelous messiness of life, you need a fabric that’s up to the challenge. In other words, you’ve got kids, pets, and so much more in the Grand Central Station that is your home.
That means you’ve got furniture getting clawed, poked, spilled on, and so much more. As a result, you’re not looking for a delicate fabric for your furniture mainstays. You need tough. And for that, you need a tightly woven fabric like tweed.
Though now usually a hybrid of materials and not just wool, tweed continues to be made with the most durable threads going into that tight weave.
The result gives a sense of substance and weight that immediately conveys durability—because it is. And the weave and weight aren’t just useful guards against wear and tear, they also offer a rich texture that lends a sense of style and character to the eye and touch.
Finally, knowing tweed furniture upholstery fabrics are tightly woven, weighty fabrics, it will come as no surprise that they’re not light and gauzy to settle into.
No, indeed, no. Furniture pieces clad in tweed are positively beacons of comfort. They practically sing (in a mellow, honey jazz sort of way) to be snuggled up with a good book or movie (or someone else worth snuggling with) and a piping hot cup of your favorite beverage.
And there you have it. Tweed, meet your life. Your life, meet tweed. We’re sure you’ll be besties. Because whatever your furniture upholstery needs are, there’s no doubt a tweed that can help get you there — and then last.
Now You Can Elevate Your Home’s Style With the Power of Tweed
By now, like us, you’re likely ready to bring some tweed into your life and home. Can do. There’s good news, and then there’s… actually, it’s all good news. Because today’s tweed upholstery fabric options have come a long way from the early days.
Sure, the weave, weight, and warmth still come standard. But now there’s a wide array of color, style, and pattern options to meet your unique interior design tastes and needs. Let’s look at some ideas.
Perhaps your home style is a calming and subdued neutral vibe, whether traditional, contemporary, or something else altogether.
And, as much as you love your furniture, it’s not what you want to take center stage in your home’s design. Tweed’s got you covered. Try a calming grass green, cotton white, silver gray, or oatmeal beige — all with the performance strength of Crypton, btw. Also, you can stay in an unimposing tone but bring in a classic pattern with something like an oasis blue chevron fabric.
Perhaps your home leans boho chic, maximalist, or some other style groove full of allure and interest for the senses.
Try adding tweed in a more robust way to a couple of accent pieces — or more. Stay solid but think mid-century with a classic spicy rust orange. Say it with stripes in a Newport indigo blue. Go your own way with a contemporary swirl pattern in sand and cream linen-tweed or a modern abstract numbers print tweed.
Feeling Flourish and Flair
Perhaps you’d simply like to just punch up your design style a bit, and the authentic, sophisticated richness of tweed lending its sense of style and character sounds appealing. Perfect. Aim for accents.
Or something as small as throw pillows in cobalt blue diamond chenille tweed or classic burgundy woven tweed. Or change the “frame” of your space with curtains in a toasty neutral country floral pattern or (proof that this ain’t your grandma’s tweed) an abstract patterned coral tweed or a cappuccino purple chenille tweed.
One of the great things about tweed — especially with all the colors and styles now available — is you can feel free to play and mix it in with your existing vibe without fear. All the better, thanks to its textures. So you can bring all the substance, performance, and timeless elegance of the British classic into your decidedly contemporary and busy life.
And that’s where we come in. Because here at the largest upholstery fabric store online, we have a passion for such things. And we’re even more passionate about helping you find the right and perfect fabrics to help your home look, feel, and last just as your heart desires. Because you’re kind of a modern classic yourself.