Choosing Upholstery Fabrics in Atlanta Ga to Suit Your Decor - and Your Family

Upholstery fabrics are an important component of your home decor. When you purchase upholstered furniture from Patterson Furniture you will usually be allowed to select you own fabrics and designs from the options available to you, so how do you make your choice?

There are several aspects of the upholstery fabric that you should consider, one being the general design, color and shade, and also the type of fabric:  leather, synthetic or natural fibers. Here are some tips to help you come to the correct decision.

Selecting Upholstery Fabrics

The fiber itself and the way it is woven affect both its wear and lightfastness. Delicate fabrics are fine for furniture expected to have little use, such as a lounge used only for visitors. If you want a natural fiber and have two kids and a dog, then wool or cotton would be better than silk!

Synthetic fibers have better lightfastness than naturals, with polyester and acrylic coming out top. However, the dyes also have a big say in the color fastness of your fabric to sunlight, so ask about resistance to light when you buy, particularly if your furniture is in direct sunlight for a period during the day.

A tightly woven fabric will generally be harder wearing that one that is looser - damask, for example, is woven tightly, while some hand woven fabrics are relatively loose. Synthetic fibers are more resistant to staining than natural fibers, as anybody who spills curry sauce onto a wool carpet can testify! Synthetics are also stronger, although they can wear faster than good woolen fabrics. 

Colour and Shade

When discussing color and shade it's important to understand the difference: color refers to the general color:  red, blue, yellow, green, for example, while shade refers to the variation of that color - light, dark, pastel, etc. It is important that you and your furniture supplier are using the same language.

When selecting the color of upholstery fabrics, it is also important to be practical: don't be misled by the glossy magazines where a beautiful gold velour or velvet sofa looks wonderful in the photograph - or even in the showroom! Think of how it would coexist with two young kids and a dog! Consider the practicality of your choice, and determine whether or not your choice of colour is practical for your home.

Sure, such a sofa would look wonderful in a lounge that is used only for visitors, but it would not be practical if you have children with muddy or chocolate-covered hands and a dog that loves a comfortable seat after a run in the backyard! You could get away with dark blue, which can look equally gracious - in fact more so on many occasions, but only if that fitted in with your room dΘcor.  Dark colors show stains less than lighter shades, Much depends on your color scheme, so when you choose your primary color - red, yellow/gold or blue, be practical.

You can find beautiful upholstery fabrics to suit any major home decor  color scheme, so it is not necessary to select a self-colored fabric that will show up every mark and stain. Many of the older and even more modern patterned fabric designs will fit in with most color schemes,  so be sensible in what you choose and you will save yourself a great deal of work, or heartbreak, in the years to come.

Wool and cotton are excellent upholstery fabrics for wear, and are often used for contract and hospitality seating. However, be careful with natural fibers, since the dyes use on them might not be as lightfast as those often used on synthetic fibers.

The Fabric Design

Consider carefully the dΘcor in the room before choosing the fabric design. You can use bold designs with large repeats in a large room - but make sure they also suit the size of the furniture.  What looks good on a 3-4 seat sofa might not suit a single armchair. Some people use a single color on their drapes, with a small-patterned upholstery fabric in a basic matching shade - or vice versa. 

Make sure that you can live with your choice of fabric.  A pattern that seems good now can be very tiring after a year or so. Psychologically, busy patterns with lots of colors can be very difficult for relaxation.

Ultimately, you should choose a color you like, but one that suits your current dΘcor - unless you intend to redecorate. Select a patterned hard-wearing fabric if your furniture will have heavy use, because stains will tend to be hidden.  Get a washable fabric, and also check out the lightfastness if your furniture is by a window. Otherwise, enjoy shopping for your upholstery fabrics, and we have a great deal of choice to offer you here at Patterson Furniture. 

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