What is Considered Upholstery?

Many times, a word can mean different things to different people. This can’t be truer than when it comes to the term “upholstery”. The dictionary definition refers to the soft padded fabric that is used to cover upholstery furniture, particularly armchairs and sofas. But some people have used the term upholstery to refer to the outer fabric that covers sofas. Some even erroneously believe that the term covers all soft furnishings. So, what is considered upholstery? Keep reading for more information on upholstery materials.

What is Considered Upholstery?
What is Considered Upholstery?

What Is Considered Upholstery?

Upholstery is all the materials that are used to make a soft cover for furniture (such as chairs, sofas, headboards, etc.). Such as springs, padding, webbing, and fabric. Carpenters have been using upholstery to adorn furniture ever since the middle ages. But the practice really gained popularity between the 17th to the 19th Century.  In the previous centuries, hay, horsehair, and wool were used as the soft padding. Modern furniture makers use foam with metal springs as it is softer, more durable, and more versatile.

It is extremely important to choose the right inner materials. These are what will determine how soft and comfortable your furniture is. Choosing high-quality inner padding will ensure your furniture lasts for many years. The outer fabric can always be restored or replaced, depending on the levels of wear or tear or to suit changing tastes.

How To Choose Upholstery

Trying to choose the best fabric for sofa sets and armchairs can be nerve-wracking. The color and pattern of the material have to be in harmony with your home. This will ensure that your family and visitors enjoy the complete ambiance created. The fabric should also be comfortable to touch and sit on. Additionally, you must choose a durable fabric that won’t fade, tear, or stain. The wrong decision cannot be easily reversed as sofa upholstery is quite expensive.

Do not limit yourself to the fabric you see at a furniture store. You may create a more authentic feel in your home by choosing materials such as African print, vintage blankets, or even kilim rugs.

Considerations When Looking For Upholstery

When choosing upholstery, your first consideration should be how the furniture will be used. For a sofa that will go into a busy living room of a family with small children and pets, stain-resistant and easy to clean upholstery would be best. If you live alone and your furniture gets minimum wear and tear, you can use softer upholstery with more luxurious fabrics such as leather or velvet.

Also, take into account how the upholstery material will age and how easy it is to maintain. Perhaps you may hate how some fabrics look with age. If this is the case, then consider choosing a more durable fabric that ages well. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to cleaning and maintenance, choose a fabric that resists dirt and is quick to clean.

What is Considered Upholstery?
What is Considered Upholstery?

Another important consideration you must make when choosing fabric for upholstering is the type of furniture you are upholstering. Solid colored fabrics are best for curvaceous furniture. This is because the fabric will need to be cut several times to fit properly cover the furniture. Large pieces of furniture also look best with solid colored fabric and you won’t tire of the upholstery. You can use fun and colorful patterns on smaller pieces of furniture or on your cushions.

Finally, you should also think about your existing décor when choosing upholstery. Get fabric that won’t clash with the existing furniture, walls, carpet, or blinds. All the colors, textures, and patterns or your present home should create a harmonious feel when blended together with the new upholstery. Do your due diligence by asking your fabric dealer for a swatch of your chose fabric to take home with you and try for size. Drape the fabric on its intended piece of furniture so that you can envision how it will feel and fit in with the rest of the home.

Most Durable Fabric for Upholstery

What is the most durable fabric you can get for upholstery? Well, if your home has pets and kids then the best upholstery fabric to buy is faux suede, or sunbrella, which works great for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Distressed leather is also a great choice of material as it doesn’t look bad with the occasional scratch mark or scuff. The worst fabrics to choose are delicate natural ones like silk, wool, and linen as they will tear easily. They also stain easily as they absorb any liquid that spills on them.

If you want to get a luxurious feel despite having pets and young children, you can get pillows and cushions to be made from luxurious fabrics while the main piece of furniture is made from the durable fabric.

Key Takeaway

So in conclusion what is considered upholstery? It is composed of all the material used to create a soft covering for furniture such as sofas, chairs, and headboards. This includes the outer fabric as well as the foam and metal springs inside. When choosing fabric, make sure that you consider the purpose of the furniture as well as how the new upholstery will fit in with your existing décor. For more tips on how to maintain leather upholstery, read the rest of our site.