Today's textiles offer an endless spectrum of colors, rich textures and come in
every pattern imaginable. With so many choices, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when
seeking upholstery or drapery fabric. In order to pare down your selections, consider
* How much and what kind of use will it receive? Will it need to stand up to daily
* Is the setting relaxed or formal?
* Will the area be exposed to direct and consistent sunlight? What about humidity?
* Will the area be used by pets and or children? If so, how much?
* How much care does it need and how much are you willing to give for its upkeep?
* How long do you want it to last?
Furnishings subject to daily use and heavy wear require durable, tightly woven fabrics.
Generally, fabrics that have their pattern “woven in” will wear better than printed
The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric and the better the
wear. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric.
Consider the style and character of a piece when choosing fabrics. Traditional frames
typically call for traditional fabrics such as toiles and tapestries. Likewise,
modern frames look ideal in fabrics that reflect their modern, clean edge. When
working with patterns, always consider scale. As a general rule, large repeating
patterns are best suited to larger rooms that can accommodate oversize prints.
Rooms exposed to direct or consistent sunlight place extra demands on fabrics. To
reduce the chance of fading, consider fade resistant textiles. For outdoor use it
is wise to contain your search to outdoor textiles. These fabrics have been treated
for protection against the elements and are designed to resist fading.
Certain colors and textures may not be the best choice for pieces requiring durability
and stain resistance. When choosing textiles for households with pets and or animals,
consider options that won't readily show dirt and wear.
To learn more about maintenance and long-term durability of various options, review
our overview of fabric types.
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