Upholstery Fabrics – Looking Into The Common Types & Considerations

Upholstery Fabrics – Looking Into The Common Types & Considerations

The type of upholstery fabric can have a significant impact on the overall look of the furniture. But these fabrics can sometimes be mistaken with other furnishing fabrics. Generally, the upholstery fabric for the furniture should be fairly heavyweight and robust. It comes in a myriad of finishes. The most common upholstery fabrics are hemp, linen, polyester, viscose, cotton, and wool. In this guide, we’ll discuss these fabric types in detail.

The Most Types Of Upholstery Fabrics

Linen and Hemp

When it comes to choosing the upholstery fabric, hemp, and linen turn out to be the best upholstery fabrics. Both of these fabrics are woven and are ideal for furniture upholstery.


Another great option for furniture upholstery is cotton. As it is incredibly durable and strong, cotton upholstery fabric is the most popular option these days.


Created from the cellulose of wood pulp, viscose is also considered a good upholstery fabric. Compared to purely natural fibers, viscose upholstery fabric is a little bit more affordable.


Polyester is also a good choice for upholstery. Two types of polyester upholstery fabric are available in the market: pure polyester and recycled polyester. The latter option is ideal for commercial upholstery because of its incredible durability.


Many homeowners prefer wool for their furniture upholstery because of its durability and versatility. It is fairly sustainable and naturally fire-resistant.


If you want to give your interior a luxurious look, velvet upholstery fabric is what you can go for! If you’re considering velvet, opt for one with a viscose mix as it is of lower maintenance.

So, these are just a few of the many upholstery fabric types you can go for. Now, let’s discuss how the durability and fire-resistance ability of the upholstery fabrics can be measured.

How To Determine The Fire Resistance Ability & Durability Of Upholstery Fabric?

The Martindale Rub Test

This test is one of the best ways to determine the durability of the upholstery fabric. For domestic use, we would recommend the upholstery fabric with a minimum of 10,000 rubs. For general use, upholstery fabric between 15,000 – 25,000 is needed. If you are looking for a fabric that is highly robust or that children can play on, consider an upholstery fabric between 25,000 – 30,000. A fabric with more than 30,000 rubs is considered ideal for commercial grade.

Fire Resistance

The upholstery fabric you choose must meet the fire resistance requirements. It should be made of at least 75% natural fibers with an FR interliner under the covering. One of the best interliner is wool as it is naturally fire-resistant. Some upholstery fabrics are not fire-resistant. So always make sure the fabric you choose is FR treated.

So, this is a little bit about the types of upholstery fabrics and key considerations while purchasing them. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of choosing the right upholstery fabric for your furniture.