A distinction must be made between the art of upholstery and the upholstery craft. While the first refers to the making of tapestries, the second refers to the action of covering a piece of furniture (sofas, chairs, armchairs, stools, footrest) and walls. Upholstery is one of the techniques that more and better decorate our furniture. The method combined with a periodic upholstery cleaning usually creates a beautiful atmosphere in every home.
Well-Upholstered furniture brings style and comfort to a room. There are several factors that you must take into account when choosing the fabric and this is part of the fun facet of the upholstery. Whether you want to follow a traditional style or a more current one, you have a wide range of materials such as textile and trimmings.
Upholstery is not a fast or cheap trade. It is vital to invest time and care in choosing fabrics, as well as work in all the processes required. The result will be a piece of furniture that will not only be upholstered in a comfortable way but will have to fit perfectly in the predetermined place and add to the atmosphere of your home some future dreams. To achieve this, there are certain simple factors that you should take into account when choosing fabrics. One of the most fundamental will always be the upholstery cleaning.
The use of upholstery
Naturally, functionality comes first. If the fabric you have chosen is not suitable for the work you are doing, it will soon be reflected. For example, everyday dining chairs need a sturdy material that can withstand continuous use, and that is easy to clean in case of pouring drink or food. A sturdy, powdered cotton fabric with a fabric protector is a great choice.
As a general rule, furniture fabrics follow guidelines for appropriate use, and competent stores have the right to advise of the usefulness and conservation of different materials. However, it will always be your opinion that will prevail. If you decide to place a dining chair as a visual point in a room that is barely used, you can let your imagination run free using a less practical upholstery material.
The style of upholstery
After considering the practical aspects, carefully observe the style of the furniture you are upholstering. Its shape and form will serve as orientation. A rustic and straightforward poorly painted chair will lend itself to a modest cloth, rural air, like linen of fresh color. However, you can let yourself be carried away by the fact of going against the inherent character of the piece of furniture.
Throughout history, decorators gifted with great inspiration have fun playing with the design. The same chair painted merely, can have a style marked with pure striped cotton fabric or carpentry details that stand out among the gold. The seat can be covered with a stripe of silk regency style with splashes of delicate flowers.
The motifs in the carvings and moldings of the furniture can give us some idea in the design of the fabrics you choose. A chair with beehives, for example, upholstered in damask silk with a Napoleonic bees motif will look ingenious and sophisticated.
The overall shape of the furniture can also be a factor to be taken into account. Upholstering a sofa with a realistic appearance and straight lines in a dobby fabric (small geometric figures woven into the fabric) will emphasize its geometric and clean lines. However, if you want to distinguish its contemporary appearance from hard edges, you should upholster it in a sinuous and profuse textured fabric to transform the angles and add upholstered cushions of different shades and soft shapes.
The historical period of the furniture offers additional information when choosing the fabric. You can play safe and use the same type of damask silk as a Georgian chair, or be more daring and use the more modern material such as neoprene or synthetic suede.
The furniture’s location will also influence your final decision. You must decide whether you want to create harmony with the furniture that surrounds you or if, on the contrary, you prefer that it’ll stand out among all. If your furniture is different, because you have been acquiring it little by little, you can decide to cover it with the same fabric to create a link between them. Or if, perhaps, maybe you already have a sofa of one color and an armchair of another. By combining those colors in the printed fabric of a third armchair and placing some cushions covered with this fabric in the other two furniture, you will obtain an entirely harmonious and coordinated appearance.