Understanding the Different Types of Fabric Used in Upholstery and Which One is Right for Your Sofa

Understanding the Different Types of Fabric Used in Upholstery and Which One is Right for Your Sofa

You might be wondering the difference between the types of upholstery fabric. After all, it is just fabric used to cover furniture, right? While you’d be partially correct, there are some significant differences between fabrics often not well known.

Many people think some are less durable than others or more likely to fade. And because people don’t know how to properly clean and take care of fabrics, many stain their upholstery with improper cleaning techniques.

Understanding the different fabrics will help you choose the best one for your particular furniture. With different types of fabrics, it can get confusing when you go shopping for your new couch. After reading this article you’ll have a better understanding of which fabric is right for your new piece of furniture and you can visit this site and confidently buy a new couch.

  1. Cotton

Cotton is the most popular natural fiber used in upholstery. Cotton is breathable and comfortable to sit on because it absorbs moisture and releases it into the air. It means that even if the temperature rises, it won’t trap you underneath an uncomfortable layer of heat.

Cotton has a natural tendency to shrink over time therefore it is vital to allow a few millimeters from your fabric allowance when measuring for your sofa or chair covers. The shrinkage process will leave you with a smaller area to cover, so ensure that your new cushion covers or sofa covers are a little larger than the actual dimensions of your sectional’s cushions or pillows for less strain once you put them on.

  1. Polyester

Polyester has a place in the fabric world. It’s a synthetic fiber, which means it’s artificial, and it’s usually blended with other fibers to add color and texture and keep costs down. It’s less expensive than natural fabrics, is easy to clean, and doesn’t require much maintenance.

Because polyester can be more prone to wrinkling than many other fabrics, you may need to iron your upholstery more often than you would if you selected another fabric (although some companies offer extra-wrinkle-resistant polyester). But polyester is still a popular option for upholstery because of its durability and low cost.

  1. Denim

Denim is one of the most versatile upholstery fabrics around. It’s durable, resistant to stains, and designed to feel like genuine leather. It comes in a range of weaves and textures, which gives you lots of options for creating a custom look.

Commonly used in sofas and other furniture, denim is also ideal for pillows and cushions because it can be dyed using a wide range of colors.

  1. Leather

Leather is one of the most popular upholstery materials. It’s durable, easy to clean, and comes in various colors, textures, and finishes. When cared for properly, it ages beautifully and can last for years. Leather comes from the hides of animals such as cows and sheep.

The finished product can comprised of leather, wood, or plastic. Its durability makes it ideal for households with children, pets, and active adults. And because leather is easy to maintain, it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.

Some leathers are stain-resistant and easy to clean with soap and water — even crayons will wipe off easily! Leather is also available in various styles, including luxury leathers that are soft yet durable. Leather can be dressed up or down depending on your decorating style — from traditional to contemporary.

  1. Wool

Wool is one of the most versatile and popular fabrics used in upholstery today. Wool is a fiber taken from sheep, alpacas, and some other animals. It comes in many varieties, colors, and grades.

The most common type of wool used in upholstery is wool felt or woolen yarn, which means it is spun into a thread and then woven or knitted into the fabric you see at the furniture store. Wool is a great material for furniture because it is naturally fire-resistant, anti-static, and durable.

These characteristics make it ideal for use on sofas and other pieces of furniture that get regular use.


Chenille is another popular choice for upholstery material because it’s soft and comfortable for relaxing on. Chenille fabrics feature a looped pile that resembles chenille fabric in its appearance. The fibers are usually synthetic, making this material more durable than fabric upholstery.


The process of matching fabric to an individual sofa can feel like the most overwhelming part of buying a new sofa. If you have taken a look around the furniture stores, you may be overwhelmed by options and a little confused about what to choose.

It is crucial to have a good understanding of the different types of fabrics used in upholstery so that you will be able to identify the suitable fabric for your needs.

Written by Enaa Mari

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