A finely upholstered chair is like a great pair of shoes: comfortable and show-worthy. With great upholstery fabric, your chair can become a centerpiece and warm space to retreat to after a long day. Different types of chairs will require unique fabric types, while the overall color and design will be influenced by your choice of decor scheme.

What to Look for in Upholstery Fabric for Chairs

When considering a huge range of upholstery fabrics, it can become overwhelming. Stay clear-headed with these pointers:

  • Choose a fabric you like to touch, as your hands will be resting on the chair arms and your body will be in contact with the chair.
  • Non-slip fabric is a great choice for high-traffic areas, while highly textured fabrics are better kept for occasional chairs that don't get used daily.
  • Choose an upholstery fabric that has resilience and enough core strength to withstand piling and pulling.
  • Aim for a rub resistance of at least 25,000 to 45,000 rubs to ensure the fabric doesn't wear through.
  • Choose upholstery fabric colors that are suitable to your lifestyle.
  • Consider the width of different types of upholstery as a budget saver tactic.

Different Types of Chair Upholstery Fabrics

With many different types of upholstery fabric out there, not all fabrics are made to upholster chairs.

Natural Woven Fabrics: Different natural textiles such as cotton, linen, and wool are used to make natural textiles that can serve as upholstery fabric for chairs. Other natural fabrics include silk and leather. Any of these can be used to make upholstered chairs.

Mold-resistant fabrics are ideal, and stain-proof fabrics that won't stretch out of shape are best for chair upholstery.

Synthetic Fabrics for Upholstery: The top synthetic choices for upholstery on chairs are olefin and microfiber. Both these fabrics are made using synthetic fibers that are spun into yarn and woven into textiles. The real benefit of these fibers is that they are durable and stain resistant, won't wrinkle, and don't pill.

Rayon has also become quite a popular choice, though there is some wrinkling if a thinner quality rayon fabric is used. Still, rayon is durable, breathes well, and is stain resistant too.

Uses for Chair Upholstery Fabrics

There are many different instances when you can and should use upholstery fabric designed for chairs. The qualities that make this kind of upholstery fabric ideal for chairs where there is high abrasion and regular movement are also what make these upholstery fabrics ideal for other uses.

Consider using chair upholstery fabric for the following projects:

  • TV room sofas
  • Child's room furniture
  • Headboards
  • Ottomans
  • Movable seat cushions
  • Bean-bag seats
  • Seat covers for your car
  • Dog beds
  • Occasional cushions  

How to Use Chair Fabric in Your Decor

Chair fabric comes in a range of colors, patterns, and textures. The choice of what fabric you prefer is personal, but there are a few key points to keep in mind.

  • Dark colors will fade in strong light
  • Light colors will stain more easily
  • Medium tones will remain unaltered for longer
  • Highly textured fabrics tend to rub more than smoother textured fabrics
  • Some areas of your chair will wear more than others, so having an armrest protector or back protector can help prolong the life of your upholstery fabric
  • Large-scale patterns won't show as well on a smaller chair
  • When using a definite pattern, your fabric requirement is more complicated to calculate as your panels need to match the pattern repeat
  • Thinner fabrics like silk require a backing fabric to reinforce the material and prevent wrinkling
  • Choose a chair fabric that will complement your decor and color scheme
  • Chairs can be upholstered in sections, allowing for the use of plain fabric for the inside chair panels, while a patterned fabric can be chosen for a statement on the outside panels.

Cleaning and Care Recommendations

The type of chair fabric you've chosen will determine the particular care and cleaning instructions for your furniture. Most new furniture comes with a care guide, but when reupholstering, ensure you ask the upholsterer for their care recommendations.

Essentially, you should keep a microfiber cloth handy to blot any spills as soon as these happen. Treat the spill by dabbing with a cloth and soapy water at the area before a stain forms.

Use a stain-proofing spray to prolong the life of your chair fabric upholstery items. Reapply any stain-proof sprays when you have deep cleaned your upholstery.

As always, the experts at Kovi Fabrics are on hand to give you the very best advice on what chair fabric to choose, how to measure for your project, and how to clean your new upholstery fabric.

Most Popular Upholstery Fabric for Chairs



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