There is so much ground to cover when it comes to fabrics. The dos, the don’ts, the maybes and everything in between. Luckily we know a thing or two when it comes to navigating this topic!
Fabric selection is a key part of any furniture related decision, and it is comprised of requirements that will vary from person to person depending on their needs. Colour, texture, and fabric durability are what most people focus primarily on.
In terms of colour, go bold or subdued? Colour is one of the most important reasons people select a fabric and there are many influences for it. Every season has its popular colours as trends come and go, with the winter on the way, outside is beginning to lack the lustre of summer without the blooming flowers and green grass. As a result we start to see a rise in floral designs and green hues that remind us of that greenery and nature. It adds depth and brings the colours of outdoors and the warmth of the seasons back into your home.
As enticing as these ideas may be, keep in mind trendy fabrics come in and out of season and it’s important to ensure your color choice is one you can live with for a long time. The colour of fabric can impact the size of your space visually, it might not be best to use bold colour on a large piece of furniture in a smaller room if you are unsure. Consider how well your fabric choice is for fade resistance if the furniture will be placed in an area that gets plenty of sunlight or next to a window. If you have young children, pets or a love of jeans, be weary of light coloured fabric or you’ll constantly be taking care of stains. Do you find your tastes changes often? Neutral base tones on the body cloth of your furniture gives you the flexibility to switch up your toss pillows and throws.
Silks and delicate fabrics are beautiful to look at and make for an gorgeous accent but they won’t work on your furniture. Be sure to look for higher rub count fabric, but consider the weave stability and the fibres that make up the fabric itself. The Martindale test is a measure of the durability of a fabric. The tests are undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses – i.e. decorative chairs, heavy-traffic areas or commercial furniture. The test is also known as the ‘rub test’, and tests for abrasion resistance. Furniture used in a high-tragic areas of the home need to be much stronger than for pieces such as an occasional chair that is used more for its looks than any functionality. These are pieces you can indulge on with those funky patterns you’ve been eyeing or get a little creative with a combination of texture and colour.
Start by thinking about what you like in terms of color, pattern and texture. Make sure to consider where you plan to put the piece, is there anything in that room already? For example if you have a neutral tone sofa already, you may want to do something more bold or patterned with your chair. Keep scale in mind as well. How big is your piece? Is it a small seat cushion? In that case, a broad pattern is probably not the best choice since you won’t see a lot of it. Picking something with a smaller pattern repeat will be better suited.
Most importantly, fabric is way to express yourself, it’s your home to make into whatever makes you happiest! Remember picking fabric for your piece is meant to be fun and exciting. Know we are here to lend our expertise you aren’t alone in this world of selection. We are by appointment only for fabric selection and this is so that we have the time set aside for a one on one consultation. We have a wide selection of fabric samples in our studio. We keep only sample books of fabric that are durable, current and that we know will last as long as our workmanship. If possible come in armed with magazine cut outs, inspiration pics from Pintrest, pictures of your room and any other items you are looking to match with. This is the best way to have a quick and efficient selection process with the best results. For those handy with a computer narrowing down fabric online can be a helpful tool as well. Email us for a list of appropriate websites to hunt through.