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How do I choose my furnishing fabrics?

Here is a step by step guide to help you choose your furnishing fabric whether you are looking for curtain fabric or upholstery fabric.

Step 1: Decide what the fabric is going to be used for

To help narrow down your search and to choose furnishing fabrics that are suitable for the purpose you want to use it for think about whether you are using the fabric for curtains, cushions, blinds or as an upholstery fabric.

Not all fabrics are suitable for all uses. For example, if you are using a fabric for upholstery it needs to be hardwearing. It also needs to comply with current regulations for upholstery, this may mean that the fabric is inherently fire retardant, has already been treated or can be treated. If in doubt check with us or with your upholsterer. Curtain fabrics need to drape beautifully so needs to be of a suitable texture and not too stiff and rigid. Some fabrics, for example, silk fabric, drapes better when interlined as well. See this article on the Martindale rub test for information on upholstery fabrics.

Curtain fabrics are usually also suitable for making into cushions and roman blinds.

The Just Fabrics website allows you to filter your results so you can choose curtain fabrics or upholstery fabrics.

Step 2: Choose your colour palette

Step 2: Choose your colour palette

Next step is to think about what colour you want your furnishing fabric to be.  Will it be going into an existing room scheme where you already have specific colours or are you starting a room scheme from scratch.  It is always useful to start gathering together some fabric samples so you can see what they look like with any existing soft furnishings, wall colour and carpets.

Do you prefer pastels or bold colours?  Pastel shades tend to me more relaxing but introducing a bold colour, perhaps as an accent for a cushion, is great for introducing a 'pop' of colour and add interest to a pale scheme.

 

Step 3: Plain or patterned fabric?

Do you prefer plain or patterned fabric?  What existing fabrics does it have to co-ordinate with? These are important questions to consider.  If you are looking for a plain fabric there are many different shades and textures available in both curtain fabric and upholstery fabric.

If patterned fabric is your choice then there are many styles available from bright, bold curtain fabric, tartan upholstery fabric and striped fabric.  Whether your style is traditional or contemporary there will be something for you.

Step 4: Enjoy choosing your furnishing fabric!

Step 4: Enjoy choosing your furnishing fabric!

There are literally thousands of fabrics to choose from and sometimes the choice can seem daunting however if you bear the above points in mind when starting your search it will help you narrow down the suitable fabrics and will stop you buying a furnishing fabric that is not suitable for purpose.

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