Fabric for upholstery: five tips for choosing the right textiles

upholstery-fabrics-rita-konig interior design
When you fall down the fabric rabbit hole, it’s quite possible you’ll emerge – hands full of swatches – agonising over which to choose. The choices are endless – from textile, to print, to colour – and picking which ones will work for you and your space can be tricky. To make the whole process a little more relaxing, consider these five tips…

1. You needn’t go down the matchy-matchy route with fabrics and patterns. The best rooms are diverse yet everything works together. Take time with fabric and add soft furnishings gradually. An gently evolved look – mixing patterns, weights and materials – is always best in the long run.

2. Upholstering in leather? Add these names to your address book: Altfield, Adam Bray and Christopher Howe.

3. Natural fabrics can be incredibly durable, particularly horsehair and mohair. Also, while white lambswool chairs are fashionable at the moment, unbleached brown is a much better option.

4. For plain fabric that won’t blow your budget, Designer’s Guild’s cotton/linen “Manzoni” is reliably brilliant and joyfully comes in 76 colours.

5. An odd, small chair deserves a pretty print. Decors Babares by Nathalie Farman-Farma, stocked by Tissus d’Helene, is an excellent choice.

RITA SAYS… Three fabrics for upholstery

Mohair: Two wonderful mohairs, from top: “Ash”, £252 a metre, from Bruno Triplet; and “Greville” (in drab and brûlée), £218.40 a metre, from Adam Bray.

Pattern: Raoul Textiles is ideal for a pattern splurge. A particular favourite of mine is “Nigel” linen, shown here in tobacco, £180 a metre, from George Smith.

Corduroy: “Palinuro”, corduroy/velvet, by Etro, comes in fantastic colours. £82.80 a metre from Pierre Frey.

MORE: For an in-depth view, check out Rita’s House & Garden column on upholstery fabrics here.

ALSO: The picture above is from one of Rita’s design projects in New York – see the full gallery here.

1 Comment

  • I didn’t know upholstery with natural fabric was more durable than regular fabric. It is important to remember to compare several items in order to find the best and make sure it is comfortable and stylish. I would imagine that going online and learning about this can help you find what you are looking for at the best deals you can.

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