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Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Project

When people select fabric for a home decorating project, they often base it on color. And while color is important since it will affect the look of the room, there are many other factors to consider, regardless of whether your project is new window treatments, reupholstering a piece of furniture, or updating accessories.

Location, Location, Location

Where the fabric is going to be used should play a key role in your decision. UV rays from the sun will fade certain types of fabric faster than others. If you will be using it in a room with a lot of natural light, select a fabric that is more fade-resistant, like a solid color that is dyed throughout rather than a print. Draperies can be lined to help prevent fading as well.

High-traffic areas demand durable materials that will withstand daily use. A fabric that would work on a rarely-sat-on living room chair may not be the best choice for the great room couch where the family congregates. Opt instead for a durable fabric with a stain-repellant finish, especially if you have young children. And if the pets frequently join you on the furniture, select something that won’t be easily snagged by nails or claws.

Draperies and Curtains

Custom draperies and curtains are a beautiful addition to any room, and the fabric is the most important component. Choices range from formal velvets to casual linens and everything in between. The style of window treatments you want will help you determine the type of fabric as well, since some may be too light to hang in dramatic folds and others are too heavy for small pleats.

Unless they are combined with shades or blinds, your draperies and curtains may also need to serve as your light control, window insulation and privacy provider. If this is the case, the material either needs to be heavy enough to handle these tasks or be lined to provide an extra layer of protection.

As wonderful as it would be to have a limitless decorating budget, this normally is not the case and cost is a factor. Keep this in mind when considering fabrics with patterns. The larger the pattern, the larger the repeat, which means more fabric will be required to ensure the patterns match at every seam.

Upholstered Furniture

Whether you are creating a new upholstered chair or reupholstering a well-loved couch, you want to find the right fabric for the job. Because furniture is used for sitting, the material needs to be durable. Look at the thread count – the higher the count the denser and more durable it will be.

Unless you have a very eclectic style, stick with fabrics that match the style of the furniture, and make sure the size of the print or pattern, if any, fits the scale of the furniture and the size of the room. If you’re planning on keeping the piece for a while, don’t pick a bright color or loud pattern that you may get tired of. Instead, go with something a bit more neutral and save the adventurous fabric for decorative pillows that are easier to replace.

Fabric Approval Plan

To find the perfect fabric for your project, stop into one of our Calico Corners showrooms in Naples or Sarasota, Florida. With our Fabric Approval Plan, you can take a fabric sample home for two days to see if it works with your décor.

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