BBM Team

1016 posts  19919 Followers  9 Following

Fabric 101: Choose Right to Enhance your Home

A look around the home and you’ll see how fabric has meshed with family life to become an intrinsic part of home décor. Upholstery, cushion covers, bed and table linen, and window treatments: The three-dimensional quality of fabrics and their tactile nature ensures that fabrics – solid, patterned or embroidered – add romance, color and style to any room.

The choice of fabric is extremely important as it could make the difference between colour and charm, and crinkles and stains!  It’s a good idea to figure out a few things before zeroing in on a particular fabric:

  • What is the room used for?

  • Is it a high traffic area?

  • Are children and their friends going to be regular users?

  • Will pets be allowed into the room?

  • What kind of lighting does the room have?

  • Will the fabric (be it on floor cushions or couches) be subjected to light or heavy usage?


Natural vs. man-made: Natural fibres, which have a tendency to “breathe” include cotton, linen, silk and wool. Resistant to dust and dirt, natural blends work well in homes. In comparison, man-made fibres, which include polyester, nylon and acrylics, may be wash, wrinkle- and shrink-resistant, and durable, but tend to attract dust and need regular cleaning. A mix often works best.


Silk: The ultimate in luxury, silk adds a rich element to any room. The soft lustre and shine make this fabric ideal in formal rooms. Prone to stains and not very durable in high traffic areas, silk is a high-maintenance fabric that looks super. Avoid using in lounges, dens and children’s bedrooms!


Velvet: Like silk, velvet adds a touch of supreme opulence to a home. The sumptuous fabric has been used in homes of the rich and the famous for centuries. Prone to trapping dust, it can be used for light upholstery, cushions, and window treatments. Synthetic and cotton velvet (velveteen) are other options.

Girls bedroom, bright cushions on bed, red round rug, green venetian blind, desk and chair, globe. Sim used IH 11/2007 Real home

Cotton: A natural fibre found in a range of blends and fabrics, cotton’s durability, comfort factor and maintenance-friendly nature make it a favourite for bed linen, curtains, upholstery and cushions. Pure cotton tends to wrinkle very easily, so opt instead for a blend with high cotton content.


Linen: This highly durable fabric is a good choice for use across the home. Resistant to fairly harsh cleaning practices, the only trouble is its tendency to crease and crinkle. Use blends with cotton (to alter quality of cloth) or synthetic yarns (viscose).


Lace: This delicate fabric can add a Victorian touch to a modern room. Be it hand-me-down lace or new fabric, use it in myriad ways to create a romantic ambience – sheer curtains, tablecloths, lace-trimmed pillows, lace-paneled cushions etc.


Corduroy: A material that’s well liked for its texture, corduroy is soft, durable and ideal for family rooms and children’s playrooms. Available in a range of colours and weaves, it can be used for upholstery, curtains, sofa slipcovers and cushions.


Leather: This rich natural material can transform the look of a living room – whether you use in big doses (sofa set upholstery) or small ones (cushion covers, placemats). A range of leathers, including Nubuck and Aniline, are available in a range of colours and textures. The material needs regular maintenance, or else can fade, scratch and stain easily.


Chenille: Available in plain or patterned designs, chenille – the French word for “caterpillar” – has a soft surface, a gentle sheen and good dyeing properties. The fabric looks different in one direction as compared to another as its fibres catch light differently.


Other fabrics: Green activists can also choose sustainable, and environment-friendly textiles made from bamboo, cotton, hemp, jute and natural silk. Synthetic blends, including olefin, polyester, rayon, acrylic, are also chosen on account of their resilience. Plaid, wool and brocade are other options.

Photos courtesy:  ////, ////, ////, ////, ////, ////, 
////,  ////, ////

Barkha Anand  loved this.