Upgrading your furniture with a fresh upholstery fabric can be a great way to add color and texture to your home. It can be used to make a statement, or just to give your furniture an entirely new look.

Before settling on a fabric option, it is important to consider what kind of upholstery fabric will best suit your needs.

What Types of Upholstery Fabric Are Available?

When it comes to finding the right type of upholstery fabric, there are a few primary categories to consider. The most common types include natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and wool; synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester; velvet fabric; and leather.

Each of these types of upholstery fabrics has its unique features, benefits, and care instructions.

Natural Fabrics

Natural materials are skin friendly and generally easier to clean and maintain. Cotton is a lightweight, breathable fabric that is ideal for upholstering sofas, chairs, and ottomans.

Linen is a more durable option with a crisp texture, perfect for projects that require strength and durability. Wool is ideal for upholstery that needs warmth, such as armchairs and sofa covers.

Synthetic Fabrics

These fabrics are lightweight, durable, stain-resistant, and often more affordable. Nylon is the most common type of synthetic and strong fabric that resists wrinkles, fading, and shrinking.

Polyester is a strong and versatile fabric that can be used to create a variety of looks, from modern and contemporary to traditional and classic.

Velvet Fabric

This type of fabric is known for its soft texture and luxurious sheen. It is one of the most popular fabrics for upholstery because of its bright colors and intricate patterns.

The velvet collection from Linwood Fabrics demonstrates the beauty of this fabric with beautiful blooms and geometric shapes.


Leather upholstery is an excellent choice if you want the look of luxury with durability and easy maintenance. It also softens as you use it over time, making it an incredibly comfortable option.

What Items Are Best Upholstered with Fabric?

Most furniture pieces can be upholstered with fabric, including armchairs, ottomans, and sofas. Upholstery is also often used to add a unique touch to headboards, bed frames, and dining chairs.

Additionally, the fabric can be used to reupholster antique and vintage furniture that needs a fresh look.

Consider your purpose for the furniture in living rooms, and upholstery fabric can be used to bring together the look of different pieces, creating a cohesive and stylish atmosphere.

As a high-traffic area, living rooms or family rooms often benefit from upholstery fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. Synthetics and leather are great choices due to their resistant properties.

In bedrooms, velvet is a popular choice for upholstered furniture, as it adds a luxurious and inviting feel. Natural fabrics such as cotton and linen can also be used to create a lighter, airier atmosphere.

In addition, if you want to achieve a specific look or color palette, consider the pattern of your upholstery fabric. Neutral tones and solid, muted hues are often good choices for furniture that needs to complement a specific color scheme.

On the other hand, if your goal is to create a focal point, bolder colors and more intricate prints can be used to draw attention.

Care Tips for Upholstery Fabrics

For optimal durability of your upholstery fabric, it is important to take proper care of it. Each material requires different levels of maintenance to ensure its longevity.

For natural fabrics, it is important to vacuum regularly and spot-clean stains as soon as they occur. Never rub or scrub the fabric, as this can cause damage to the fibers.

Synthetic fabrics are known for their durability, but they should still be vacuumed or dusted regularly to keep them looking their best. These fabrics are also often easy to clean with warm water and mild soap, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Velvet fabric is delicate and requires gentle cleaning. Vacuuming is recommended, followed by spot-cleaning with baking soda and water solution.

Finally, leather upholstery needs to be maintained with a special cleaning product specifically designed for leather.

It is important to use a gentle cleanser and avoid harsh detergents or scrubbing. Regular conditioning will help maintain the softness of the material and protect its natural oils.


Upholstery fabrics bring comfort and style to furniture pieces, transforming them into inviting places for relaxation. The variety of fabrics available makes it easy to find the perfect one for any room in your home.

It is important to consider the purpose and atmosphere of space when selecting an upholstery fabric, as well as proper care instructions to maintain its longevity.

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