If you’re manufacturing custom upholstery or you want to redecorate the furniture in your home, caravan, or even the seats in the car, you’ll need to have an understanding of decorative fabrics and what material is best suited to what purpose. Upholstery can also include things like tablecloths, blinds and curtains, bean bags and more.
When it comes to upholstery fabric, Australia has many different options. One way to learn all about upholstery fabrics for different purposes is to study up on them online. Another is to speak with a textile and fabric expert where there is upholstery fabric for sale.
To get you started, let’s go through a quick guide on upholstery fabrics and how to choose the right materials for your needs.
Do You Want To Custom Print Designs?
Custom upholstery design could be as simple as changing the cloth on a dining room chair, or you might want to take things up a few levels and design your very own patterns on the materials you choose for your furniture, tablecloth, vehicle or other application.
One of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways of creating your own fabric designs or even pictures, is to have the designs printed directly onto the fabric itself rather than choosing something off the shelf. This way you’re guaranteed a totally unique cloth to work with.
With printing in mind, naturally, you’ll need to choose fabrics that can be printed on. One material that looks absolutely stunning is Aluminate, which has a woven aluminium face with a polyester backing. This material has been successfully used for roller blinds, banners and tablecloths. The polyester backing can be printed on with amazing results.
Whatever your goal and whatever look you desire, be sure the material you choose is printable before ordering it for your one of a kind masterpiece.
Being able to print your own designs really means your colour choices and options are pretty much endless, so let your imagination run wild.
Best Types of Fabrics for Furniture
When it comes to covering furniture, obviously aesthetics are important, but the way your furniture looks is far from being the only consideration when choosing materials.
Remember, furniture cops a lot of wear and tear. Things get dropped on it, like food and liquids, dirt and grime can build up from dust and sweat.
When choosing furniture fabrics, you’ll want the material to be as low-maintenance as possible. It needs to be stain-resistant, low on odours, easy to clean and hard-wearing.
Leather has always been a popular choice because of its rather low maintenance qualities, but it’s expensive. Bonded leather is a cheaper alternative that’s easy to keep clean and wears well. Synthetic fabrics can also be a good option, but some synthetics don’t breathe well and can cause sweating.
You also want to choose materials that are soft and flexible and comfortable to sit on.
The Pros and Cons of Natural Materials VS Synthetics
Like anything, when it comes to natural materials versus synthetic fabrics, there are pros and cons for each.
Natural materials have always been associated with a sense of luxury and anything organic is always a good thing. Materials like cotton, wool, silk and leather have always been favourites when it comes to upholstery, but materials made from cotton and wool can also be hard to keep clean and odourless. They’re also prone to staining. Silk is very delicate and not really suited for areas where kids are present. Leather is likely the natural upholstery material of choice, but as mentioned earlier, it is expensive.
While synthetic materials don’t have that same organic look and feel, they are often cheaper to produce, give you more options in colours and styles, can be hardy and long-wearing and also very resistant to staining and collecting grime. They also tend not to smell as much. Many synthetic materials are far easier to clean. Synthetics to look for include microfibre, acrylics, polyester, nylon, rayon and others.
Whether you’re in the upholstery business or simply want to freshen up your household furniture, it’s best to have a chat with an expert in the materials and textiles field to gain a better understanding of what materials are available and what fabrics will suit your purposes best.