With so many fabric options on the market, we know picking the right one can be overwhelming. Questions like, “What will this look like in 5 years?” and “Can this withstand sticky toddler fingers?” fill our minds. The good news is that with a little help, you CAN confidently choose the fabric that is right for your living room!
Consider this your a-z guide of fabric types: what to choose and what to avoid. Let’s explore!
When choosing the best fabric for your living room, the first place to start is asking yourself a few reflective questions such as:
“Who will be using this piece?”
If you have a lively household full of young kiddos, high maintenance silk may not be your go to. If you have a furry friend running around, you may be interested in easy-to-vacuum fabrics!
“What is the purpose of this piece?”
Think: “Am I serving afternoon tea time here or hosting game day parties?” The purpose will make a difference.
“Where will this piece be going?”
If this piece will find its home in your cozy movie room, you may look at fabrics that are warm, soft, and durable. If this piece is going in a formal sitting room, you could explore more delicate options.
Once you have identified who this piece is for, what purpose it will be serving, and where it will be placed, you can confidently begin taking action steps towards choosing a fabric that is right for you.
Fabric Types A-Z:
Acrylic- Wool’s alter ego. Developed to be a more affordable and accessible version of wool, it shares its same abilities to resist wear, fading, staining, and wrinkling.
Cotton- Cotton is the most widely used and affordable fabric on the market. It has many pro’s including its power to withstand wear, fading, and pilling. It’s con’s include susceptibility to stains and wrinkling. Therefore, avoid choosing a 100% cotton fabric for your piece if you expect it to be highly trafficked by your family or pets.
Leather- A kid-friendly favorite! Leather is one of the most durable materials on the market. It is extremely easy to clean and gets better with age. If this piece is going to be placed where juice boxes and pets are welcomed, consider a hearty leather sofa. Pro Tip: Don’t forget to condition your leather at least once a year.
Linen- Elegant, natural, and flowing, linen is a beautiful fabric. It is however, easily wrinkled and stained. If you expect this piece to see a lot of use, it may be best to leave the linen on your beach pants instead of your sofa.
Nylon- The strongest upholstery fabric. When added to other fabrics it can produce a softer, more desired blend to resist pilling, crushing, or fading. If you are looking for something that will hold up against pressure- add nylon.
Olefin- If you foresee this fabric receiving ample every day use consider olefin. It is extremely resistant to stains, fading via sunlight, chemical cleaners, and much more. This piece will last and last.
Polyester- An extremely common fabric blending into other more rare fibers in order to create blends that are more resilient to common everyday wear.
Silk- What it lacks in practicality, it makes up for in beauty. Silk is the essence of a sophisticated fabric. It is delicate and beautiful, making it perfect for a high end formal room. It is not however, meant for places where it will be frequently exposed to dirt and wear. If dirtied (think sticky popsicle hands), it must be professionally cleaned.
Suede/Velvet- A pet lover’s secret favorite. Easy to clean, and hard to snag- this fabric is an incredible way to add a pop of fun to a pet-trafficked room. It may be your cat’s new favorite nap spot.
Vinyl- A most affordable alternative to real-grain leather. While it may not last as long as a true leather couch, it is comparable in toughness and ease of care.
Wool- Coziness overload. Wool is known for being warm, inviting, and long-standing. Wool is exceptional at resisting staining, wrinkling, pilling, and fading. More suited for colder climates than your summer beach home.
Feeling ready to take on your living room re-do, yet?
When thinking through your next furniture investment, remember your key questions. “Who is this for?” “What purpose will it serve?” and “Where will I put it?” Choose your fabric accordingly and you will be able to enjoy your piece for years to come!