Finding the right textures for your home is as important as finding the perfect paint colour or style of furniture. The look of a chair or sofa can change dramatically with different upholstery fabrics so it’s best to determine the kind of look you want to achieve and then choose a fabric texture based on that. Do you want your room to look luxe and glamorous? Laid back and comfy? How about sophisticated and masculine? Here are some of the most commonly used upholstery fabrics and how their textures can shape the character of a room.
Linen and Cotton
These fabrics are made from natural fibers and have an organic, tactile quality. Linen in particular will have slight knobs or raised threads on its surface, which is called a slub, and tends to wrinkle over time. These “imperfections” are what make linen and cotton so desirable for interiors. They give a soft, airy look that is casual and unfussy. Those who like a comfortable laid back style will love these natural fabrics. For added durability and cleanability look for a blend that contains polyester.
Soft and luxurious, velvet is a classic fabric that never goes out of style. Velvet’s lush texture evokes a sense of richness and is historically associated with wealth and royalty. You can make velvet look even more luxe by choosing a dramatic jewel tone or adding tufting. Or use a crushed velvet with a slight sheen for an extra dose of glam.
Leather is another natural textile that requires special care, and if you treat it well its texture only gets better with age. Leather will stretch and wrinkle the more you use it and scratches, stretch marks, and bug bites will appear on its surface. Like linen and cotton the distressed look of leather is what gives it its timeless quality. It is soft and smooth but also has variations in colour and texture which give it a rustic feel. No matter the colour or finish leather is a texture that cannot be imitated.
Wool upholstery is a good choice for those looking for comfort and style in one. Many people think wool is itchy and uncomfortable when in fact a good quality wool is extremely soft and cozy. This fabric is warm and comforting (think wool socks and sweaters) and also gives a look of luxury and sophistication (think menswear). We love it on a sleek contemporary style like the Manhattan sofa.
Woven textures vary greatly depending on thickness of the weave and colour of the yarn. A medium weave in a neutral colour gives a casual, comfortable look that is perfect for sofas and chairs. This texture can act as a contrast to smooth, shiny leather. A thicker, more colourful texture is less practical on large pieces but great for accessories like poufs and ottomans. These fabrics are great for adding a burst of colour and texture to a neutral space.
The key to achieving the right amount of texture in a space is layering, and what layers better than faux fur? A faux fur throw or accent pillow is an easy way to add variety to a room that may be filled with similar fabrics. It adds dimension and luxury like nothing else can, plus it is super soft and very practical when temperatures drop.