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10 Terrific Textiles for Improving Home Décor

Updated on February 11, 2011
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ChintzChenilleBrocadeGinghamDamaskSilk DupioniMatelassePaisleyToileShantung
Silk Dupioni
Silk Dupioni

Fabric is a wonderful thing to pay attention to when you’re trying to improve the décor of your home. Oftentimes you can alter the entire mood of a room just by adding the right fabric in strategic places. Changing the fabric in a room is a great way to update your décor for the current season (with lighter fabrics working great in summer and heavy fabrics ideal in colder months). You can also use different textiles to make a room seem richer and more luxurious, treating yourself to a little indulgence without spending a lot of money.  

Check out these ten terrific textiles that are great for altering your personal space:

1.    Brocade. What is cool about this fabric is that it looks three-dimensional so it adds a lot of pop and pizzazz to the space that you use it in. Basically, it has a raised pattern on top of a lustrous background fabric. Typically two different colors are used for the two different parts of the fabric (such as black on white). This can create a very dramatic effect. Brocade may be used in a lot of spaces in the home but is currently popular as upholstery on unique furniture pieces.

2.    Chenille. This lovely fabric is a favorite among people who enjoy the touch of their textiles. That is because it has a very soft feel that is almost like velvet. Although it can be used for other home furnishings, it’s especially popular for upholstery and rugs because these are the items in the home that we touch most often. Of course, if you had chenille curtains then you’d probably start touching those a lot too! If you’re looking for a light, nice-to-the-touch fabric that works well in all seasons then this is a good way to go.

3.    Chintz. This is a lightweight printed cotton fabric that is decorated with a repeating design done in bright colors. For example, the design might be a bright floral design. The coloring and softness of this material make it a great choice for spring decorating. Get yourself a great set of chintz curtains to put up when you start opening the windows to warmer weather!

4.    Damask. This terrific textile is very similar to brocade (see above). However, it has a reversible design whereas brocade is only one sided. The raised pattern on damask is usually either geometric or floral. Damask is popular for decorative pillows as well as for drapery although it can be used for upholstery and other things as well. The reversible nature of it makes it a very versatile fabric.

5.    Gingham. This lovely medium weight fabric adds a country-inspired feel to any home décor. Most people only know the checked gingham (squares in two different colors) but there is actually vintage striped gingham available as well. Getting the latter would be a unique find but the former is a nice touch for the home as well. Tablecloths and upholstery are ideal choices for this textile.

6.    Matelasse. The name of this great fabric might not sound familiar to you but it’s a textile that you’ve probably seen before. It’s a heavyweight textile frequently used for bedding. It may also be used for curtains in some homes. It is woven in a manner that makes it look quilted, providing a very cozy and homey feel for your space. It is generally a cold weather fabric because of its weight. However, getting light colored matelasse allows you to use the fabric throughout much of the year because it lightens up the mood of the textile.

7.    Paisley. Everyone is fairly familiar with the paisley design because it is such a common design. It has become really popular in recent years and is used on everything from wallpaper to upholstery. However, the textile itself tends to have a Persian or Indian influence in terms of design and color choices. If you choose a more traditional type of paisley, then it works well as an exotic selection for the home.

8.    Shantung. This is a really interesting textile because it’s not quite light and it is not quite heavy. On the one hand, it looks a lot like silk fabric and for that reason it seems like a light textile. On the other hand, it tends to have a rough texture to its surface so it seems heavier. Technically it’s a medium-weight material. Because of its unique combination of soft and heavy features, this type of fabric is great to use year round. It is currently popular as a textile for decorative pillows.

9.    Silk dupioni. This is a type of silk fabric so it is very light and soft. What is unique about it compared to other types of silk is the way that it is woven. It is woven in such a manner so as to capture the light. The result is that the item made from this material may look like a different color in different types of light. This is a neat effect in the home. For example, you may get silk dupioni curtains that change slightly as the sun goes down. However, if you have a lot of different designs and colors in your space then working with a color changing material can be tough no matter how subtle the changes in color may be.

10. Toile. You have surely seen this lightweight designed fabric before because it is a highly popular choice for napkins and other table linens. It is a cotton fabric that has scenic designs printed on it. In most cases, the designs are either red or blue although this isn’t a necessity. Also, although it is most popular as a choice for table linen, it’s a versatile light fabric that can be used for pillows, upholstery and other décor in the home. It is a great choice for spring and summer.


Submit a Comment
  • Textile Viz profile image

    Textile Viz 

    8 years ago from UK

    Calling all TEXTILE DESIGNERS SHOWCASE your designs in situ, Upload your designs and we apply them into 3D space for more information visit us at

  • Silva Hayes profile image

    Silva Hayes 

    8 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

    Great hubpage! I love fabric and am in danger of becoming a fabric hoarder. Every 5 or 10 years, I force myself to give lots of it away; then I start over, collecting fabric again. I hardly ever do anything with it; I have visions of wonderful quilts or pillows . . . Anyway, enjoyed your article. Good information.

  • SteveoMc profile image


    8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    So many fabrics, so little time. I was just going to throw a sheet over that old chair, maybe I'll go to the fabric store.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Regarding followers you can click on peoples portaits and unerneath click on to be their followers. I am not saying she did it. Some followers she could have chosen and some click on yours and secide to be your followers.

    This is great hub with all those various textiles explained.

  • Malvin13 profile image


    8 years ago from New Jersey

    You are going a great with your article.

    I enjoy keep tract of what you are doing.

    How did you get so many followers?

    Keep up the good work


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