The best upholstery fabric swatches for chairs

Written by sarah clark
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The best upholstery fabric swatches for chairs
Leather is a popular choice among upholsterers. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Upholstery fabric swatches help you to determine what type of fabric will best suit your furniture before you have the furniture upholstered. Some types of fabric are excellent choices for chairs and other furniture because they are easy to clean and do not show wear. Other types of fabric are only appropriate for furniture that will not receive much use or be exposed to sunlight for extended periods. The best fabric holds up well while suiting the design needs of the owner.

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Leather

Leather upholstery fabric swatches are derived from cow hides. Leather is a good choice for upholstering chairs because it resists tearing, abrasions and stains. Leather furniture can be cleaned by simply wiping it down with a damp cloth. Leather retains its shape, resists wear and becomes softer and more supple as it ages. This natural material "breathes" easily, which causes upholstered furniture to feel warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. Leather material comes in different grains and textures. Choose from swatches that best fit your design and comfort needs.

Cotton Blends

Cotton is a natural fibre. It resists wear, pilling and fading. However, 100 per cent cotton fabric wrinkles and becomes dirty easily. Cotton blend fabrics compensate for these shortcomings. These fabrics are sturdier and appropriate for everyday use. Cotton blends with a high thread count are more tightly woven and resist wear better than those with a lower thread count. Thread count is determined by the number of threads per square inch.

Microfiber

Microfiber fabrics are a recent development within the textile world. This fabric type features extremely fine polyester fibres woven together. Chairs upholstered with this material have a feel similar to velvet or suede. Microfiber fabrics are highly durable and easy to clean. Choose microfiber fabric swatches touting a high thread count and excellent fade resistance for the best quality upholstery material.

Wool

Wool is a natural fibre that is strong, durable and highly resistant to wear. It also holds up well against wrinkling, pilling, fading and becoming soiled. Wool upholstery fabrics are often blended with other fibres so that they can be cleaned more easily. One special quality of wool blended fabric is that it can be spot-cleaned without problems when the need arises.

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