Fabric Guide: What Fabric Type Should I Use?
April 27, 2017
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Fabric Guide: What Fabric Type Should I Use?

because there's more to life than polyester

If you are thinking of redeocrating or amidst it, it’s really important to think about where the fabrics you choose are going and what they are going to be used for. Do you want to end up with a sofa that’s got really bad colour fading? Or a chair thats been stained by red wine? These things are easily preventable! In this post, we’re going to make it really simple for you to read our guide to fabric types to give you the down low on what fabrics to use where and why.  

VISCOSE,

RAYON, VISCOSE, POLYESTER, COTTON, LINEN… WHICH ONE DO I USE?

fabric type

ROOMS WHICH GET A LOT OF SUNLIGHT SHOULD USE…

If you’ve got a lot of natural sunlight in your home or perhaps a conservatory to furnish, try staying away from fabrics with a high natural fibre content – by this we mean cotton, linen etc. Why? Artificial fabrics like Polyester, Viscose or Rayon keep their colour longer. You’re also much more like to experience batch differences with more natural fabrics. If purchasing furniture which will be exposed to a lot of daylight, buy a UV spray for protection. 

fabric type

I HAVE PETS, WHAT FABRIC SHOULD I USE?

Don’t opt for leather, as it’s prone to scratching – if you are adament on having leather, make sure you choose a leather that is Aniline dyed – these leathers are dyed all the way through which means if they are scratched then a white mark will not be left over like traditional leather. If choosing fabric, find something with a tight weave, as there’s a much less chance of having some claws getting stuck in! 

 

TOP TIP: purchase UV protection film to place on your windows to prevent fabric fading

 

fabric type

WHAT TO ASK A RETAILER

Ask any furniture retailer about their fabric types, say:  ‘How Many Rubs Do Your Fabrics Withstand?’. Rubs are what materials are measured by in terms of durability. For example, some tests are called The Martindale Rub Test or Novatex Abrasion Test. Ideally anything from 30,000 rubs upwards is suitable for heavy domestic use and should be good for furniture upholstery. 
Fabric type

TOP TIP: Put on a rubber glove and wipe your furniture down to remove animal fur!  

 

SYNTHETIC FABRICS VS. NATURAL FABRICS

  • Natural fabrics ‘breathe’ so they keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
  • Natural fibres are pliable, so they drape well – think curtains and sofas.
  • Natural fabrics fade quicker than synthetic materials
  • Natural fibres also stain and wrinkle easier. They are generally less durable and will not resist the life time of a sofa.
fabric type
  • Synthetic fibres have resistance to moisture so great for kids and pets!
  • Synthetic fibres are less likely to stain and fade and are generally more durable
  • Synthetic fabrics don’t ‘breathe’ as well as natural fabrics so can make you feel hot and can produce static electricity

TOP TIP: Try to place leather furniture away from radiators as the heat can cause damage over time

 

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