I have the unique opportunity of working with a lot of clients with a lot of different decorating styles. It’s a lot of fun! Everyone has their own taste in décor – patterns, colors, textures, etc. I see all sorts of fabrics as well and I am tasked with the duty of cleaning many of those fabrics. I thought it might be helpful if I gave you a short list of the different types of fabrics used in the home so that you can know what to watch for when you are selecting the right piece for you and your family.
Where Do I Start?
There are a lot of fabrics to choose from. Many are soft to the touch while others are rough. Some are easily cleaned while others will show dirt and wear over time. The first thing you should really ask yourself when selecting a fabric for your room or a piece of furniture that is covered in a particular fabric is, “What will I be using this fabric for?” or “How much daily wear will this fabric get?”
Our good friends at Better Homes and Gardens have provided an “Upholstery Fabric Guide” which is a wonderful starting point before buying any fabric. There are two types of fabrics: natural and synthetic.
The first types of fabrics we will look at are natural fiber fabrics. Linen and Silk are not meant for areas with heavy wear. They will soil easily. Leather cleans up nicely and has a wonderful feel to it. Vinyl cleans up as easily as leather and is less expensive. The other types of natural fabrics that Better Homes and Gardens discuss are all pretty sturdy, resist wear, and can be cleaned rather easily. They are: Cotton, Wool and a Cotton Blend.
Not So Natural!
Synthetic fabrics are the other types of fabrics we will discuss here. Acetate and Rayon were developed as imitation silks. Acrylic was designed to act as an imitation wool. Nylon and Polyester are almost always blended with other fibers to prevent wrinkling and soiling. Both blends do tend to pill easily when blended with certain fibers. And, finally, according to Better Homes and Gardens, Olefin is a wonderful choice for furniture because it stands up to heavy wear very well.
Do Your Research!
I hope my introduction to fabrics has given you a place to start when thinking of the types of fabrics you use and want to place in your home. As you think of the types of fabrics you need, use my tips and the Better Homes and Gardens guide to begin researching what type of fabric will best work in your space. Then, when you know what type of fabric you will use, you can begin the really fun part of picking colors and patterns. Those decisions are a matter of your own personal style and décor – so have fun!
Remember, we can keep all of your fabrics looking brand new. Please call us at (512) 202-3808 or click the link above and we will have one of our trained cleaning experts out to your home right away.