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Teach me how to choose upholstery fabric please!

Posted by OrangeCamera (My Page) on
Thu, May 3, 12 at 23:08

My first post on GardenWeb, so please be gentle with me!

I recently purchased a chair and ottoman that are probably from the 50's or 60's. I love the style, and they seem to be very well made. The frames are solid as can be. The fabric and padding are...well, let's just say they need to be replaced! (I think I got a pretty good deal at $20 for both pieces). I know they'll be comfortable once the padding is replaced.

I need some serious advice on how to choose the right type of fabric. For now the pieces are being used in a bedroom "reading corner", but I would like them to work with my living room also. I want this to be a "statement" piece that is very usable.

I don't have small children, but I do have a cat (no claws). I want fabric that will last a LONG time. I have a sofa and chair that are both in a neutral "tan" fabric, and I have a red (not bright red) leather recliner. All of the furniture has clean lines and exposed wooden legs, including the pieces I need to reupholster.

I know I don't want anything fussy like silk. I know I want something along the lines of a "mod" design. I'm not afraid of color - my favorites being red and orange. What I really do *not* know is...what type of fabric should I be looking for? What should it be made of..cotton, synthetic, texture..? The fabric on the ottoman obviously needs to be pretty durable. What do I need to be aware of when looking for the new fabric?

My first instinct is to have both pieces done in the same fabric, but what do you think of having them done in coordinating fabrics instead - one a solid and the other a cool pattern? And which one would you do in which fabric if *you* we doing it?

Also, any education you can give me about choosing the right density of padding would be helpful.

I'll have the pieces professionally reupholstered, but I don't want to start talking to professionals with absolutely no idea what I'm talking about or what I want.

I know that's a ton of questions for one post! All (polite) suggestions, opinions and comments are welcome. Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Teach me how to choose upholstery fabric please!

A reputable upholstery shop thats been in the business for 15 years and longer and has a good following can help you with this. They run into people like you everyday. Usually they will have a large assortment and will guide down the right path.
Basically a heavy tight woven blend of natural and synthetics should last many years if maintained properly.

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