Monday, July 4, 2011

How To Choose An Upholstery Fabric Part I

So you are thinking of reupholstering. Good. You are on the right track, but now you need to choose a fabric. I have three pieces of advice for you and they are fairly simple to follow: Research, research ,and research. That's how you can be sure that you are investing in a good choice for your furniture. What questions should you be asking yourself? Here are some of the basic questions to get you started.

How long will this fabric hold up?
Does the fabric protect itself from igniting ?
How resistant to staining is it?

If you have one, call your decorator to find out how the fabric you are thinking about is expected to hold up to the rigors of life in your home. If you are shopping online for fabrics or in local shops, note the company and the pattern number and you can visit the manufacturer's website for more info. Kravet.United Fabrics ,Waverly and Duralee are some popular companies that have informative websites you may be able to find information you are looking for at. Some websites will only tell you what what the textile is made from and then you will need to call them and ask for 'care for' instructions.

Here are some common terms you will find when researching fabrics that will help you answer the questions above:
  • Cleaning Code Textile manufacturers have adopted a uniform standard for determining how cleanable a fabric is. Each fabric is marked with a code which indicates the appropriate cleaning method or methods. These may be:  W - for water-based cleaning agents, S - for solvent-based cleaning agents, W/S - where either may be used, and X - for vacuum or light brushing only
  • Abrasion Resistance Typically measured in "double rubs", the degree by which a fabric is able to   withstand loss of appearance through surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other friction.
  • UFAC Class 1 -This is the test method designed to determine the flammability performance level of upholstery fabric in contact with polyurethane foam, usually with respect to cigarette ignition.If the fabric does not pass this test it will be considered UFAC class II.
  • Flame Resistant Fabrics treated with special chemical agents or finishes to make them resistant to burning. Today many fabrics achieve this property by using fibers that have this property built directly into the polymer.
 We will explore some more fabric related terms in our next post. so be sure to follow our blog for more information on how to choose a fabric.