Breathing New Life into Old Furniture: Choosing the Perfect Fabric for Your Reupholstery Project

Whether you’ve inherited a treasured antique piece or simply want to refresh your living room seating, reupholstering old furniture is a budget-friendly way to update your home’s style. However, choosing the right fabric is crucial for achieving your desired look while ensuring your reupholstered pieces stand up to daily use. In this post, I’ll share my top tips for selecting the best upholstery fabric for your reupholstery project.

Fabric for Your Reupholstery

Consider Your Furniture’s Use and Location

The first step is assessing how and where your furniture will be used. High-traffic areas like sofas require durable, easy-to-clean fabrics. Look for solutions like performance velvets, performance linens, or microfiber. These fabrics are stain-resistant and hold up well to pets and kids.

Conversely, occasional chairs placed in less-used rooms have more fabric options. Delicate fabrics like silks and brocades can work well here since they won’t see as much wear and tear. Also, think about lighting—darker fabrics will show dirt faster than lighter shades. Windows that receive direct sunlight may cause fabrics to fade over time.

Match the Fabric to Your Style

Browsing fabric swatches is the fun part! Peruse patterns, textures, and colors that match your home’s aesthetic. Traditional styles pair nicely with tweeds, damasks and tapestries. Modern rooms call for sleek lines in linen, leather or performance velvet.

Coastal cottages suit breezy cottons, ginghams and nautical stripes. And eclectic interiors allow bolder mixes like velvet paired with a geometric print. Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing textures like velvet and linen on the same piece. Upholster small accent pillows in different fabrics to tie a room’s style together.

Consider Your Budget

Fabric price depends on fiber, weave, and details like patterns or textures. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool generally cost more than synthetic or blended materials. Hand-loomed or embroidered fabrics command higher prices than basic woven fabrics.

The best upholstery fabric for your budget may be a polyester blend that resembles linen or a faux leather. These synthetic options mimic the look of luxury fabrics at a fraction of the cost. You can also save by choosing a solid color over a print, which requires more yardage. With some hunting, you will find gorgeous fabrics at various price points.

Prioritize Durability

No matter the style or cost, the fabric you choose must withstand daily use. Look for these durability indicators:

  • Abrasions: Test the fabric by rubbing it between your fingers. Densely woven fabrics like performance velvet hold up best.
  • Stains: Check for stain resistance by dabbing water or rubbing alcohol on the swatch. It should wipe clean easily.
  • Fading: Expose samples to sunlight for a few days and check for color changes before committing.
  • Pilling: Inspect for tiny balls of fiber that can form over time with wear. Avoid loosely-woven fabrics prone to this.

The best upholstery fabric choice combines your desired look with durability for years of enjoyment. With the right fabric, your reupholstered furniture will feel like a new addition to your home.

Consider Professional Guidance

For the perfect results, consult an experienced upholsterer. They can help select a fabric suitable for the piece’s age, construction, and intended use. Upholsterers also have fabric books showcasing a wide range of options. Their expert advice ensures a smooth installation and that your reupholstered furniture stands the test of time.

With some research into fibers, patterns, durability, and professional guidance, you can find the ideal upholstery fabric for your unique reupholstery project. Breathing new life into your treasured antique or tired sofa has never been easier – or looked better! Let me know if you have any other questions as you embark on refreshing your home’s style.

I hope these tips help you select the perfect fabric to transform your old furniture into a stunning new focal point. With the right fabric choice, your reupholstered pieces will feel like a brand-new addition to your home.