a picture of a beautiful chair that was newly reupholstered

How Can You Choose the Perfect Upholstery Fabric for Chairs?

If you have an otherwise perfect statement chair suffering from hopelessly worn fabric, or a set of dining chairs in need of an update or upgrade, reupholstering can be the answer to your prayers. There are a lot of reasons why you might need to find upholstery fabric for chairs, from designing custom-built furniture to transforming an old piece into something beautiful again.

Reupholstering Versus Slip Covers: Bringing New Life to Old Chairs

There are two different ways your chairs can be covered in new upholstery fabric: one is by using new fabric slip covers over the existing upholstery, and the other is by stripping the chairs and reupholstering them with the new fabric.

Upholstering is the method used for creating new chairs, and very often for giving new life to older furniture. One of the best aspects of designing and custom-building chairs is choosing the fabric that will be used for the upholstery, and you can also often get the same custom effect by reupholstering existing chairs. Designers often use upholstering as a way to transform furniture so that it matches perfectly with the design of the room it will be used in. Chairs that are to be stripped down and upholstered with new fabric should be of good quality and in solid condition. High-quality chairs of prized styles or antique vintage are popular candidates for reupholstery.

Slip covers are custom-made to fit over the “real” upholstery of the chairs. Slip covers tend to be less expensive than upholstering an entire piece, and are very often used on chairs with “high risk” locations. Whether used as a decorating tool or to protect the upholstery underneath, slip covers should be custom measured and made by professionals for the most attractive and lasting results.

Choosing Chair Upholstery Fabric for Function

Whether you’re choosing upholstery fabric for chairs that will be used to create custom slip covers or to completely upholster your chairs, it’s important to choose fabric that will be practical for the chairs in question.

Where will the chairs be used? The location of the chairs should be a major factor for the appearance of the fabric, but even more importantly for the type and durability of the fabric. You know that chairs used as outdoor furniture for your patio or balcony will need weatherproof fabrics, but you might want to consider an outdoor fabric designed to withstand moisture for entryways or other areas subject to the elements or high-traffic areas.

What risks will the upholstery face? Chairs that serve more of a decorative purpose probably won’t see too much wear and tear, while you favorite spot might need a more durable fabric that won’t show wear, and kitchen chairs might be best off with a stain-resistant fabric.

How can the upholstery fabric be cleaned? Again, it’s probably less of an issue for decorative seating, but it’s still important to know how easily the fabric can be cleaned, and definitely a factor for chairs that will be subjected to everyday dining, children, or pets.

Colors & Patterns: All Part of Your Design

If you haven’t already, it’s important to know what style of interior decorating will be used and what color scheme you’ll have in the room or area where you’ll be placing the chairs. Once you have an idea of what you’d like your chairs to look like, it will help you narrow down the number of upholstery fabric you need to choose from. If you have trouble finding what you want, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a fabric specialist, and show them photos of what you’re looking for. Solid colors and subtle patterns are most commonly used as upholstery fabric for chairs, but if a bold pattern or lively print is what you want, a reputable fabric and design store should be able to help you find it. Upholstery fabric for chairs is available in an enormous variety of colors, patterns, and prints, so don’t be afraid to describe the fabric you want- you might even find there are several choices that meet your requirements.

Texture for Visual & Tactile Perfection

It may sound obvious, but chairs are made for sitting. It may be for your formal dining room or your favorite chair in front of the TV, but no matter what, you’ll see and feel the fabric for at least some duration of time. Take a close look at the texture: it should both flow with the design of the room and feel comfortable to the touch. If you can’t stand the feeling of velvet or you get hives from even the slightest blend of wool, don’t use it! Design isn’t just about looks- good design is about function. Don’t be afraid to keep looking until you find a fabric with the looks and the feel you love.

If you have a chair that needs reupholstering or a beautiful custom slipcover, get in touch with us. And don’t forget, we also offer custom furniture services, allowing you to design your upholstered furniture from scratch!

212-366-5142

info@beckensteinfabrics.com

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