Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Choosing the right upholstery fabric for your home: Other considerations 

When selecting Fabric for your home’s upholstered furniture, in addition to durability, you will also want to consider other factors. 

Many styles and types of fabric made out of very different fibers can have the same durability rating. You might want to select the easiest to clean, the most historically appropriate for your home and decor, or limit your choices to natural, eco-friendly choices. You can learn more about natural and manufactured fibers by clicking here. (Page will open in a new window.)

Fabrics suitable for all types of upholstery come in a wide range of prices, so if you have a budget, you will want to consider cost as well. However, with fabrics as with many other things, buying the cheapest is not always the least costly in the long run. Look for quality brand names you know and trust. There really is a difference between designer exclusive fabrics available only to the trade and most fabrics you might find in your local fabric store or upholsterer’s showroom. 

Make sure to purchase enough fabric at the same time so it is from the same dye lot or bolt. Also, patterns and colors are frequently discontinued by manufacturers and you may not be able to purchase more in the future. If you want matching or coordinating upholstery and window treatments, the same advice goes. 

If you are decorating a period home or in a historic decorating style, you will want to consider fabrics suitable to that era. For example, if you are lucky enough to live in an old New England Saltbox, you would want to use fabrics made from the natural materials available then, such as wool, linen, and cotton. 

As long as you preserve the look and feel of natural fabrics, you might also want to consider natural fibers blended with manufactured fibers to add durability. Fabrics should be in colors and simple patterns that were available at the time. 

 After the Revolutionary War, Federal Style was the fashion in the Newly United States (the American version of what is known as Georgian Style across the pond), with fine fabrics in the Neoclassical Style often featuring patriotic motifs and personages.

Victorian lovers can indulge in luxurious fabrics like damasks and velvets, with elaborate trimmings as well as florals, stripes and embroidered fabrics. These would also be in natural fibers but would be more finely woven and include silks. 

Revival styles (Gothic revival, Egyptian revival, Colonial revival, and similar looks) that harken back to patterns reminiscent of the motifs and designs of the original period they strive to emulate are also appropriate. 

For early 20th century Craftsman (Bungalow, Prairie, or Mission) style home, there is a return to simplicity and, in reaction to the industrial revolution, an emphasis on organic patterns from nature and evidence of hand-craftsmanship. Art Nouveau style often overlaps with late Victorian and Craftsman styles and has an organic curvilinear look that was popular from the early 1900s until World War I.

If your style is more mid-century modern, look for retro designs with a futuristic look. These include what are often called "atomic" motifs, as well as shapes like boomerangs and overlapping geometrics. 

For more detailed information on historic period styles of decorating, 
including which fabrics and colors are historically appropriate to use, 
please click on the Squidoo tab or the links in this article. 

And Be Sure to Visit Restoration Fabrics & Trims
For the Finest Selection of Upholstery & Drapery Fabrics

 Specialists in Period Sensitive Decorating at Budget Sensitive Prices

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