What Fabric Shall I Choose?

As a customer, this is usually where the process of restoring an item of furniture starts and is something I receive the most questions about, so here are a few handy tips to help you make that very important decision:

1. Who uses the item of furniture?

If it’s the kids or the pet, then go for a heavier weight upholstery fabric that will last. Don’t be tempted to cover it in that wonderful velvet designer print you’ve seen on Etsy! It won’t last and was probably designed for cushions and curtains not for jumping on!

You can get some fabulous fabrics now with all sorts of clever properties, from stain resistant to wipeable, without having to take out a second mortgage, I promise.

Something to look out for is ‘the rub count factor’ or ‘the Martindale test’. This is basically a measurement of the durability of the fabric according to the mount of times discs can oscillate sandpaper or wool across a fabric before it starts to show signs of distress. The higher the number the stronger and more durable the fabric. This information is normally shown on the back of the sample you receive from the supplier.

If the item of furniture is more of an accent item, then go for it, the world is your oyster, but always remember the bigger the pattern the more fabric you’ll need especially if it’s a large item as the pattern should be centred on all of the areas of the chair where possible.

2. Where will the furniture sit?

Is it going in a conservatory with bright sunlight? If so, probably best to stay away from dark coloured fabric that will bleach overtime. If it’s going in a kitchen think about what might get spilt on it, don’t go for a porous fabric or one with an open weave that will trap the stains and be hard to clean.

3. Colour Scheme

Is the item of furniture going to stay in the same place or if you’re like me are you going to move it from room to room? If so, go for a colour that’s easy on the eye and will blend with your decor. Instead of vibrant colours or patterns maybe add excitement with texture, wool blends and faux velvets can provide feelings of both luxury and comfort.

4. Pop of Colour

If you are feeling brave why not add interest with a contrasting piping or a vibrant colour cushion or even a flash of designer fabric to the outer sides and back of the chair, which are not in the high use areas. The cushion is always a great way to add colour and you can completely change the look and feel of a room with different coloured cushions and fabrics relatively inexpensively.

5. Take time with your samples!

Get loads of samples and try them on the chair in different lights; you’d be amazed how a colour can change when under an electric light source rather than daylight. If you have narrowed it down maybe invest in getting a jumbo sample before you invest. Also, velvets or fabrics with a sheen can look completely different if placed vertically or horizontally, so have a play and take your time to find the fabric you love, you’ll know when you’ve found it!

I’m always very happy to offer friendly advice and provide help where I can on the decision-making process, it’s the most exciting part after all!

Lara  x

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