Top Fabric Blog: Apartment Therapy's Guide to Upholstery Fabric

Top Fabric Blog: Apartment Therapy's Guide to Upholstery Fabric

Welcome to! We love to help the community find the perfect upholstery fabric for any space! While browsing around Pinterest we came across an article that answers a question we get asked quite frequently, and that is "how do I know how pick the perfect upholstery fabric for my next job?"

Apartment Therapy did very informative post about picking the right fabrics and knowing the price range and care instructions for everyone.

Please let us know what you think about the article, also if you find this to be true for any projects you have done in the past. 

As always if you have any questions for us about our fabrics or about your next project please email us at or call us at (310) 818-2863.


Apartment Therapy's Guide to Upholstery Fabric 



Last week I wrote the guide to sofa shopping, and this week I am looking at the fabrics that upholster your sofa. If you are going high-end with a custom sofa and need the perfect fabric, are re-upholstering a vintage piece, or just want some insight into what all of those funny characters on the sofa tag mean when you are perusing IKEA next weekend, this is the guide for you.

Choosing upholstery fabric is undoubtedly the most fun part of the furniture buying process, as the options are endless, and having those little samples in your hand can make one feel oh so chic. Aside from the obvious options of color and style, there are a few other things to consider when looking for suitable upholstery fabric, including durability, intricacy of pattern or weave, and fade resistance.


How to decipher the back of a fabric swatch:


Double Rub Count: The durability of a fabric is best defined by the double rub count, which is tested by a machine that runs back and forth over the fabric until the fabric is worn down. 25,000 double rubs is a great place to start for residential upholstery, while commercial projects generally require fabrics to be over 100,000 double rubs.

Repeat: If you are looking at anything other than a plain fabric, you will want to pay attention to the fabric repeat. The repeat is the distance that an entire pattern will run in the fabric before it repeats again.

Fade Resistance: This is rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 equaling a high level of fading and 5 equaling no fading.

After Care Symbols: These are best explained in the diagram below.


Upholstery Fabric Sources:

Low Price Range (under $25 a yard): At this price point, some of the greatest sources are wholesale warehouse shops, often selling out of season or slightly off patterns from higher end brands at great prices. Warehouses selling one-offs can also be found in a city through word of mouth.


Mid Price Range ($25-75 a yard): This is a great price point to find a hearty, solid upholstery fabric, and you can always add some high end fabric as an accent.


High Price Range (Over $75 a yard)


(Images: Claire Bock and American Cleaning Institute)

We have a great relationship with our suppliers and can offer wholesale prices to the public. We carry only the finest upholstery fabrics and really care about the quality of the fabric. We hand select every fabric here at Top Fabric and want to share these unique styles and colors with the community!

Also, check us out on Etsy!


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