Walker Fabrics, like most other fabric stores, carries a wide variety of fabrics. Literally thousands of different colors, patterns, contents, prints and more. With so many choices, where is one to start? Well a few pointers from a someone in the field every day may help.
1st, Consider Your Needs.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Do you have children and/or pets who will be on this furniture or is it just used by you and a few others? How much will you use this furniture? Will it be for curling up to read a good book and stretching out to watch a great movie or will this be in a formal living room only getting used a few times a year? What is the possibility of staining this project?
Here are a few pointer. When it comes to upholstery fabric, polyester is the most durable and cleanable. Seek a fabric with more polyester for those pieces where children and pets are involved, or the sofa that your husband likes to eat on. Micro fiber and velvet are prime examples, with 100% polyester.
For pieces that are high use, those which you will use for long periods of time, seek something with a high rub factor. This can be labeled as "double rub" or "abrasion rating" or something of the sort. you want something with 25,000 or more. Here are Walker Fabrics we don't recommend anything with less than 15,000 double rubs for upholstery projects that will get even regular use.
For those whose projects will rarely be used, I have a rule for that too, use what you want. Any fabric can be upholstered with, the question 'is how long it will last'. I have had customers use burlap, rugs, full fur cow hides, silk... none of which are durable, but they did accomplished the look of the room.
2nd, Consider Your Taste
With so many choices another good idea is to consider the things that you like. One way to start is by eliminating the things you don't like. Is there a texture that bothers you or a pattern that you don't want? Do you just hate floral patterns? Do stripes look too formal and tailored? Do you despise the use of linen on upholstery? none of these are actually wrong, but they might be the things that you don't like. Once you know the things your don't like, it will reduce the amount of choices you see.
Also think of the things that you love. What colors do you like? What patterns do you find attractive? Do you like floral? do you like herringbone? Do you lean toward wild and fun or calm and plain? Here's an example, I love orange, and my wife loves floral, so we compromised on a cool orange fabric with a white leaf pattern called atomic. We placed it in front of our painted brick fireplace with a brilliant white mantle and brushed nickle accents. The results were stunning.
3rd, Consider Your Decor
another way to siphon through the choices is to consider what you are working with. Think about the wall color, the accent colors, the flooring and even the ceiling and fixtures. All of these together work to make a finished room. Do you have a room with brass fixtures and wood paneling for walls? Do you have a modern sleek dinning room with deep red walls, large white trim and black lighting fixtures? Do you have a conservative theme, maybe think solids. Do you have a wild side? Then maybe try an animal print or something really bright.
This is where samples are helpful. Here at Walker Fabrics we send fabric samples to you for free. This way you can see the piece in your decor and decide which is right for you.
4th, Consider the Project Piece
The last tip that I have for you about weeding through all the fabric choices is to think about the particular piece that you are working with. Is it small or large? then consider the scale of the pattern which would be best. Is it a mid century modern, then maybe a white leather (or Faux leather) or a velvet. Is your piece an early Victorian or showing a lot of carved wood? Then look to traditional fabrics like tapestries and jacquard tone on tones.
Don't let this article scare you. the main point is just to stop and think about what you need, what you want, and what your working with. a little preparatory thought about your project can go a long way to ensure that you have a piece you'll love. Now hop on over to our online store and get some samples!