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Fabric, Fabric, Fabric! - Which is Best for Me and My Home?

Photo: Amara

Soft furnishings are an easy way to spruce up your home without spending the big bucks on a whole renovation. With a new lick of paint to a room, soft furnishings may need to be changed because the colour scheme is no longer suited, or the cushions are old and require a complete re-haul.

While you can buy cushions from many retailers, it is really nice to completely individualise your cushions and curtains, or even go as far as re-upholster your sofa. There are so many fabric designers out there, and places like Chelsea Harbour are home to so many of them so it can be a lot of fun going around all the showrooms and deciding which fabrics to go for. It can also be very overwhelming and that is why so many people get help from an interior designer.

Photo: Cole and Son

Every type of fabric has negatives and positives. It Is important to know or understand what fabrics are best for your living situation – do you have young messy kids? Dogs and cats that shed hair? A room that is in the sun all the time? Situations like these will give you an idea of what fabrics you should choose and what fabrics you shouldn’t.

Photo: House and Garden

Here are some hints and tips of what fabrics to go for and what fabrics to give a miss to.

Cotton – If you have pets, hair can easily be brushed off cotton due to its tight woven texture. However, if you have kids who spill a lot, cotton is not the best fabric to go for. Cotton is less durable and stains easily and although can be washed, it does wrinkle. However, if you have a young family and know that your home is going to go through some wear-and-tear for a few years, then nothing needs to be very pristine and perfect.

Tweed- Tweed is a classic British fabric choice. Thick, homely and warm, it is good for hiding pet hairs, and can be washed pretty easily. Due to its layered fibres, hair does get embedded in the fabric and can be difficult to get out. However, it is a beautiful fabric choice when creating that cottage, log fire vibe.

Chenille – Chenille is beautiful. It is soft, luxurious to the touch, but with that comes its disadvantages. Like silk, chenille stains really easily and is prone to snagging which is never good if you have cats who like to scratch material as a hobby.

Photo: homeinteriordesign

Velvet- Velvet is that fabric that will constantly come back into fashion. Its rich texture and iridescent nature make it a beautiful fabric. In terms of stains, darker colours are good in disguising these, but lighter shades will stain permanently. Because velvet does get crushed easily, imprint marks throughout the material do happen. However, velvets come in a crushed texture so if that is the look you are going for, then great! Also, because of the popularity of velvet, stain resistant velvet is now on offer from many designers realising the desire for such material.

In general, synthetic materials are a lot more durable than natural fabrics. Acryllic, microfibre, vinyl, polyster and rayon are worth considering if looking for longevity. Rough textured materials like canvas, leather, tweed and linen are more durable when it comes to kids. I know that sometimes the luxuriousness of velvets, lace, satin and sheers is too much to resist, just make this area kid restricted!

Photo: Grahamandersoninteriors

Microfibre is also a really good material to go for if you have allergies. Not only is it lint free, it doesn’t attract dust which is a great bonus.

Thinking more directly about curtains, your fabric choice is also very important here. If your room gets a lot of natural light, don’t go for bright colours, unless you know you’re going to change it up again in a couple of years. Sunlight has a huge effect on certain fabrics, fading them and making them patchy in areas.

Photo: Romo

It is also important with curtains to think about how the fabric will drop and hang. Linen, silk and velvets drop and drape beautifully.

If your home is a listed building, drafts from outside may be noticeable through the single glazing. Certain fabrics, due to their thickness will block out the cold from the outside as well as block out the sun. Suede velvet, tapestry and tweed are some examples.

Choosing fabric requires a lot more thought than what people think. It takes time not only to get the fabrics to all work together in colour, texture and feel, but to also get the fabrics that work for you and your living situation. That is why so many people will invest in an interior designer to help. Their speciality is knowing exactly what will work for you regarding your budget, style and requirements.

Contact nu:projects if you have any interior design queries. 020 7731 6841 #nu

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