How To Choose Fabric For Home Decor

choosing- fabric is fun if you know what to choose fromIf you are choosing a fabric for your home decor, are you a velvet or damask person? Or do your tastes run to duck or denim? This article will help you choose!

Texture, color and style – These are just a few of the design resources brought into a room by fabric. And if you shop intelligently (think discount stores, clearance sales, and thrift shops!), you can get them all on a small budget! There are so many choices in fabrics that it is difficult to decide what will work best in your room – with your family. So here are the most popular fabric styles and ideas about how and where they can be used.

Brocade –. A thick heavy fabric of silk, cotton or wool (or a combination of each) into which raised patterns, usually floral, have been woven. It is used mostly for upholstery and draperies. Brocade gives the room a formal but lavish, elegant, warm and feminine feel.

Cambric – A fine, thin, and white fabric made of flax or linen which is tightly woven with a sheen on one side. Cambric can be used for curtain panels, pillows and light duty slipcovers. It can be dressed up or down, masculine or feminine depending on the amount of tailoring or ruffling.

Canvas – A plain cotton fabric with a coarse weave available in either heavy or light weights. Canvas is inexpensive and strong (think sails!) and will hold up to heavy use in upholstery and draperies. Great in a family room or in children’s rooms! Coarse fabrics like canvas tend to absorb light and make the room seem warmer.

Chintz – A cotton fabric with an all-over print with a sheen (achieved with a coating instead of a tight weave). Because of the coating, it can’t be washed, but must be dry-cleaned. Don’t use chintz in the family room, unless your kids are unnaturally well-behaved! (As in Stepford Children!) Chintz can be used for pillows, curtain and light duty upholstery in a bedroom or sitting room. As a general rule, men wouldn’t be caught dead in a chintz chair!

Crewel – A plain woven fabric, usually of cotton, which is enhanced with raised, wool embroidery. Crewel fabric is often seen with Jacobean themes and used for upholstery and draperies. Perfect for that dream Tutor house! Crewel will absorb light and make the room seem warmer.

Damask – Damask is a fabric for home decor made out of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or man-made fibers, with a reversible pattern formed by the weaving.
Damask is usually used for upholstery and draperies. A slightly less feminine feel than brocade, but still formal and elegant, especially when woven with gold or silver threads.

Gingham – Gingham is a cotton fabric woven in blocks or checks. It is reversible and can be used in casual designs for curtains, bedspreads, tablecloths and trim. Gingham is usually used in more feminine rooms, although a navy blue gingham can be very masculine.

Lace – Lace fabric is an open-work fabric with designs (usually floral) of cotton or cotton-polyester blends. Lace can be formal or casual depending on the design. Lace is seen as feminine and traditional.

Linen – Made of processed flax, linen is one of the strongest fabrics available. It is not suitable, however, for elaborate designs. (Just imagine ironing out all of those fancy pleats and that “fru-fru”!) Simple is best.

Moire – More a finish than a fabric, it is a watermark design on silk or acetate. It cannot be washed because the finish will be removed. Moire requires dry cleaning, but can be used for upholstery and draperies in a room that doesn’t receive heavy traffic. Moire reflects light in the room, making the room seem larger and brighter.

Muslin – Muslin a plain, inexpensive, woven, coarse cotton fabric in white or off-white. It is available in bleached and unbleached colors. It is usually more lightweight than canvas and is used for sheeting and light curtains. Muslin is a casual, unisex fabric which is probably unsuitable for high traffic uses. Coarse fabrics tend to absorb light and make the room seem warmer.

Satin – Satin is a silk, linen or cotton which is tightly woven with a glossy face. Satin is good for draperies and light duty upholstery or sheets (Just make sure when you hit the sheets, you don’t land on the floor on the other side of the bed. It’s best to grab something to keep you to from sliding!). Satin reflects light in the room, making the room seem larger and brighter.

Silk – Silk is a soft and shiny fabric of fibers produced by silkworms. Closely woven silk is durable and when given texture with a nubby weave, can be casual or formal. (And silk makes great sheets as well!)

Taffeta – Taffeta has a shiny finish similar to satin, but has a crisp feel. It isn’t suitable for upholstery because of its texture and durability, but its useful for draperies and trims. Taffeta reflects light in the room.

Tapestry – Tapestry fabric is woven and heavy. It is woven to imitate ancient hand-woven wall hangings. It can be used for upholstery, pillows and wall hangings in that castle you are planning! Tapestry absorbs light and sound – making the room darker, smaller, and more intimate

Toile – Toile is cotton or linen fabric printed with pastoral scenes. Toile can be used for curtains, upholstery and pillows and can be casual or formal depending on its use.

Velvet – Velvet is a fabric made of cotton, rayon, polyester, with a smooth pile. It can be bought in different pile depths.. Heavier piles are used for upholstery. Shorter piles may be used for draperies. Velvet has a great feel, color depth and is loved by both sexes. Tapestry absorbs light and sound.

Whatever fabric you finally choose for your own home, keep in mind your family’s needs and the room’s use. Don’t use high maintenance fabrics in a high-use room. You won’t be happy and your family will be cranky from your constant “Don’t sit on the sofa!” reprimands. And for your husband is a corduroy kind of guy, don’t put him in a room full of chintz or toile (Just a gentle suggestion. You never know – he may love chintz!).

Let your home decor be fun!

Good luck and when you finish that room with that gingham sofa – well, don’t blame ME!

Next article: Decorating For Real People

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home Decorating Ideas, Home Remodeling Projects and Gardening Tips – Everything for a Do It Yourself Home and Garden!