Suggestions for very durable/dirt-resistant white fabric

wi-sailorgirlNovember 6, 2012

I'm having a chair and ottoman recovered in a printed navy and white fabric and I'd like to do a contrast welt in a white or off-white color (I'd have to hold it up to the main fabric to see exactly what white it needs) but I only really want to go that direction if I can find a fabric that is very durable. I'm not so much worried about stains, but rather just dirt (you know, the dingy type of dirt that just gets on fabric). I was thinking maybe a Sunbrella type of fabric? I thought perhaps someone here might have an idea of whether that's the direction to go or if there's something that would be better that I should be looking for.

I've attached a photo of a pillow made from the fabric I'm considering. It's a Calico Corners fabric, but this pillow shows the texture far better than the photo on CC's website.

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Would a canvas drop cloth work~~it's white, but white enough? It would certainly be scrubable.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Are you sold on the contrasting piping? I think the chair would look more elegant with piping to match the fabric.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Difficult as there are 2 kinds of dirt in this world....dark dirt that is attracted to light things, and light dirt that is attracted to dark things....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Patty_cakes ... the color would probably be about right, I'm guessing. I'm up for whatever isn't going to be a dirt magnet.

Dee ... No, I'm not totally set on the contrast welt. I sort of have this love affair with the idea but have never done it on a piece of furniture because I'm too much of a chicken.

I have sort of an interesting dilemma with this chair and ottoman. I plan to put it on (well touching, not totally ON) a navy area rug and I sort of thought that the contrast welt would help make that all work better. I'm working towards a neutral + navy color scheme (the sofa will be in a sort of light greige tweedy type fabric) so I'd like the chair to be a pattern. But any kind of light-colored area rug is not a realistic option for us. We also like a cozier rug because we do spend some time sitting down there playing with the dogs, etc. Complicating the matter is that we have very light floors (bleached oak) so the traditional seagrass-type rugs generally don't play well with them.

That's all a really long way to say I'm not sure what's best with the welting! :)

I'm attaching a wonky photo of the living room that shows some of hte fixed colors, etc. The floor appears far more yellow than it is in real life and the fireplace is looking more pink than it really is. It's a long, skinny room so it's broken up into multiple seating areas. The area where the rug, chair, etc. would go is at the far end of the room. The gold chair down there is the one I'll be recovering.

Yikes ... I think I just highjacked my own post!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rug

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:45PM
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Sorry .... here's the photo of the room mentioned above.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:47PM
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I'm with dee. I'd skip the white welting altogether and either do in the same fabric or not at all. I"m seeing lots of white lines in the fabric and rug and adding another with the welting might be too much. But I've never been a fan of contrast welting, so might just be my bias.

Wonderful room, btw. Is the rug that's there now worn out? In the pic it looks great in the room, but kind of far away to tell. I'd wait on the new rug until you have everything else in.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Welting will be the first part to show dirt. With white, I'd probably skip it. Look at a good quality outdoor fabric. I saw an episode Candice Olson did for a family with the sofa in outdoor fabric. It looked great. I was looking for bright colors, but shopping for outdoor fabric and saw some that were really nice solids and textures that would look great indoors.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I'm a little horrified that I took my own thread in such a totally different direction, but I wanted to say thanks to Daisy and lasactx for weighing in (and everyone else if I missed anyone!). I love getting a lot of helpful opinions. Daisy I think you make a good point about the white in the rug and more white on the chair and lascatx, you're so right about welting showing dirt.

Daisy, the rug that's there is in great shape (it's a nice wool tufted rug and I think those might never wear out) but it's very French Country-ish, which, having lived with for almost 15 years, I'm oh so tired of.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:39PM
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My second-hand sofa is oatmeal colored linen with white piping. The light colored piping really "pops" off the background fabric, and your eye doesn't go to any areas that are less than perfect (since reading your thread, I've looked it over carefully). Light colors pop, dark recede. Navy and white is a crisp, classic look you will never regret, lots of contrast. I'd go with the white piping. Even if it did get a spot here or there, it would still look good.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:11PM
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I thought I'd just circle back and show you guys how this ended up. I did go with an off-white welt for the chair, but I Scotch-guarded it like crazy before I gave it to the upholsterer. I'm thrilled with the job he did on the chair. He did a nice job of lining up the pattern and made the back tighter than it was originally, which is a good thing because the creases bothered me from day one.

The rug finally came and it was far lighter in color than I expected, which threw me for a loop (it's called wrought iron but looked in every image I saw of it like a very, very dark navy). Turns out the stripes aren't really white either, more of a grayed oatmeal, which actually match the sofa perfectly. I was hesitant about the whole look for a couple days, but it has grown on me and even though it's "a lot of look" it's one I quite like.

There's more to be done in this room, of couse. A small side table for by the chair (I'm thinking something marble-topped, but the right thing will come along sometime), some art for the corner behind the lamp. I need to sew the second pillow for the couch (I have all the fabric cut, I just need to drag out the sewing machine) and a throw pillow for the chair that is simple but helps carry a color across the room (maybe the burnt orange). The reddish rug you see in the corner of the photo is about to be replaced (lovely rug, just doesn't work in the room now) in a sort of serendipitous swap with my sister-in-law. Maybe a floor lamp or a side table on the other end of the couch ... we'll see where it goes.

Anyway, I hate when you never find out how threads end, so I wanted to finish this one up in case anyone ever comes across it in a search.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:38PM
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That chair looks awesome!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:17PM
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That chair looks fantastic with the rug. I have couch envy, you mind sharing with us where you got the couch? It is just what I�ve been looking for!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Very nice!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Nanny, it's from Lee Industries. We just got it in fall and so far I'm very, very happy with it. I hope it outlasts its predecessors! We've not had great luck with sofas in the past. It has a scalloped back that I never thought I'd ever want but I fell in love with it in the showroom.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Elraes Miller

Love your results. I would never have considered the rug with your chair print. Shows you what I know. It really looks great.

I bought a recliner with the same style as your couch, about 4 years ago. More than comfortable. This style seems to be really popular as I am seeing it in many of the decor rooms and furniture sites.. Be aware of the arms near the back. People set their elbows there and it tends to sink the padding down. I had to add extra to even out again.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:58AM
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From someone who is addicted to fabric, and dabbles in upholstery a tiny bit, that chair and ottoman and simply stunning!

Thanks so much for coming back with the update!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:22AM
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I just want to say this came out beautifully. Wish I could pull things together like this :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:59PM
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It turned out great! I love that chair. It's very thoughtful of you to post the photo(s) so we can all see how it worked out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:12PM
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That is absolutely beautiful. I was in the no-contrast camp, but you definitely made the right decision.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Thanks for the nice comments everyone. I've wanted to change up the color scheme of the room for some time and now it feels much more like "us." Although I wish I could say that I had confidence all along it would turn out ok, there's definitely some luck involved. I'm so happy I didn't listen to the furniture store designer who insisted the chair and ottoman should be covered in a bright orange fabric. I ended up choosing everything on my own (well with input from family and friends) and I'm happy I did.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:18AM
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wi-, it looks fabulous! And good for you for not listening to the designer. Bright orange is for pillows not an investment piece like the sofa.

Not sure if you remember, but we were ordering sofas from Lee at about the same time. Mine is very similar to yours, without the the scalloped back. I'm also thrilled with mine. I just wish I had more time to lounge on it :-)

I've been wanting to slipcover my living room chairs and I'm taking inspiration from your navy and white and might go in that direction.

But enough about me - thank you so much for posting pics. It turned out wonderfully.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:01AM
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The room looks fantastic!

And, thank you for taking the time to follow up on your earlier discussion. That is very thoughtful of you, and very useful to see what was eventually decided upon and how everything came out.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Looks good, and I agree that for most folks orange is best as an accessory rather than a major piece of furniture. If you want orange as a major piece, I think you know that. Thanks for coming back with a finished picture.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:41PM
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I love it! It helps that I'm in a major blue phase -- but, seriously, looks great. Love, love what you did with the chair. And I love the shape of the sofa, too. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:37PM
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