Upholstery Fabric: What To Know Before You Buy

Upholstery fabric can be a great option for your next upholstery project, but there are some things to know before you make your purchase. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of upholstery fabrics, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to choose the right one for your needs. So read on to learn everything you need to know about upholstery fabric before making a purchase.

Types of Upholstery Fabric

When you are looking to purchase upholstery fabric, you have a few options to choose from. You can either choose a fabric that is designed specifically for upholstery, or you can use a fabric that is also used for other purposes such as drapery or bedding.

The first thing to consider when choosing upholstery fabric is the type of furniture that the fabric will be used on. There are three main types of upholstery: traditional, transitional, and modern. Traditional upholstery is made from materials such as wool and cotton, while transitional upholstery uses materials like cotton and velvet. Modern upholstery is made from materials like leather and synthetic fabrics.

The next thing to consider when choosing upholstery fabric is the color. There are a variety of colors available, including black, brown, blue, gray, green, ivory, light blue, lime green, magenta, orange, pink, purple, red, tan, and white.

The last thing to consider when choosing upholstery fabric is the weight. Upholstery fabric can range in weight from light to heavy. Lightweight fabrics are ideal for use on chairs and sofas where maximal comfort is desired, while heavier fabrics are better suited for use on beds and couches.

What To Look For In Upholstery Fabric

When shopping for upholstery fabric, it’s important to be aware of the different types and qualities of material available. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a fabric for your project:

Fabric weight: Upholstery fabrics come in a range of weights, from lightest gauze to heavyweight brocade. Choosing the right weight will impact the overall feel and drape of the fabric. Lighter fabrics are more likely to be see-through, while heavier fabrics will provide more padding and protection.

Durability: Upholstery fabric is often treated with chemicals and other treatments to make it resistant to stains, wear and tear, and weathering. Look for materials that have been specifically designed for upholstery applications.

Thread count: The higher the thread count, the finer the fabric will be. Lace and chiffon materials can have a very high thread count, while cotton twill typically has a lower thread count. Higher thread counts mean less visible stitching lines and a softer feel.

Dyeing and finishing: Fabric may be pre-treated or self-colored, but it will also require special care.

How to Test the Quality of Upholstery Fabric

When you’re considering purchasing upholstery fabric, the first thing you need to do is determine what level of quality you’re looking for. There are a few things you can do to test the quality of the fabric before you buy:

  • Take a piece of the fabric and stretch it between your hands. If it feels like it’s going to tear, the fabric probably isn’t high quality.
  • Look for seams that are well-sewn and don’t show any signs of fraying or unraveling.
  • Check the color density and brightness of the fabric. High-quality fabrics will be densely printed with bright colors, while low-quality fabrics may be less colorful or have faded colors.

Ways to Care for Upholstery Fabric

When it comes to upholstery fabric, it is important to take care of it in order to keep it looking its best. Here are a few tips for taking care of your upholstery fabric:

  • Wash the fabric regularly in hot water with a delicate detergent. Don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach.
  • Do not use fabric softeners on upholstery fabrics; these will only make them stiffer.
  • Avoid exposing upholstery fabric to direct sunlight or excessive heat, both of which can damage the fabric.
  • If you notice any tears or rips in the fabric, take care to patch them as soon as possible so that the fabric doesn’t start to fray.


When it comes to upholstery fabric, there are a few things you should know before you make your purchase. For starters, be sure to consider the type of upholstery you are looking to create: furniture, curtains, or something else entirely. Secondly, pay attention to the weight and texture of the fabric. Do you want a lightweight fabric that will require frequent cleaning or do you want a heavyweight fabric that will hold its shape and require less care? And lastly, be aware of the warranty that is offered with the purchase of any upholstery fabric. With these tips in mind, hopefully shopping for upholstery fabric will become much easier for you.