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Mission Possible - How To Choose The Right Upholstery And Drapery Fabrics

Nov 28, 2007
One of the most formidable chores involved with redecorating is trying to find the right fabric for upholstery or drapery. If two of you are involved in the decision making, it may seem like an impossible task. But don't worry, this article will provide several solutions to make your mission less impossible.

The first step is identifying all the factors you need to consider and come up with some guidelines to help you agree on the final decision. You'll find an endless assortment of weights, textures, and patterns to choose from, and you'll need a good idea of each fabric's qualities - ease of cleaning, resistance to dirt, and durability. Although the hurdles at the beginning of your journey may seem insurmountable, we'll focus on what's really important at this first step and make the initial decision a little clearer.

There are only two important factors to consider when beginning your search for a fabric: form and function. Form can be described as what the fabric will look like, and function is how the fabric will be used. The colors and patterns you want will influence the form. How much the fabric will actually be used will classify the function you'll need. Will it be in a room that's off-limits to children and pets, like a formal dining room, only used on holidays? Or will Fido and the kids be jumping all over it while playing? Take some time to reflect on the different ways it may be used and you'll be able to narrow down your search considerably right from the beginning.

Your answers will help you decide whether to focus on a durable, stain-resistant material in a color that hides stains well, or one that won't be kept clean as easily and may be much more delicate, but won't be subjected to much use. Function is critical: don't let yourself be fooled into thinking the prettier, daintier fabric that looks so nice will hold up to heavy wear. Find a fabric that balances practicality with the look you want.

There are many upholstery fabrics that can be found almost anywhere, so knowing their appropriate uses will aid in selecting the material that will be the best choice for you. Consult the following list before beginning our search for the best upholstery or drapery fabric for your needs.

Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that resists fading, soiling, wear, and wrinkling. It was developed as imitation wool.

Cotton is a natural fiber that resists fading, wear, and piling.

Nylon can be blended with many other fibers to create one of the longest wearing upholstery fabrics.

Polyester is blended to many other fibers to help reduce wrinkles, crushing, and fading.

Silk is a delicate fabric that should only be used in areas where there are no children or pets. Silk requires professional cleaning when soiled.

Vinyl, on the other hand, is ideal for any area where the kids play, such as family rooms and basements. It is an inexpensive alternative to leather and is very easy to clean.

Wool is another fabric that resists fading and wrinkling, as well as dirt and pilling.

You'll find shopping for fabric much simpler if you are aware of the type of fabric you need and the options that are available. Now you can begin the process of shopping for new drapes or upholstery without feeling so intimidated!
About the Author
To save money on household items, Vince suggests using a Joann Coupon and a Sharper Image Coupon from CouponKathy.com.
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