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Decorating your home with fabric

Updated on August 29, 2014

Fabric can be used in a variety of different ways to decorate your room, may it be used for cushions, throws, upholstery and even wall coverings – all of which bring colour and personality into the room, so for me, fabric is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when redecorating or refurnishing your home.

Style And Colour

You need to be sure you have the right fabric style and colour, once you have painted or wall papered the walls and fitted the flooring, it time to decide what design you are going for. If you have used basic neutral colours on the walls then you can add colour in via the fabric decoration. Be sure that the fabric of your choice works well with the surrounding decor, if you have chosen bold, statement wallpaper, use simple fabric so the room is not overpowered with textures and colours.


You also need to take the durability into consideration when buying your fabric.You need to think about what type of people you will be catering for, it may be your family, with small children and pets or it may be for just yourself and occasional guests - all of this needs to be taken into consideration.

If your sofa and cushions are going to have a high intake of traffic, a harder wearing, more durable fabric will be ideal for you. For example if you have children which will be climbing up upon the sofa, it is ideal to pick a fabric which can deal with the amount of rubbing it will encounter, you will also need to look into a fabric which is easy to maintain, accidents happen and spills may become more frequent if the sofa is in a lot of use.

You may be in the opposite end of the spectrum and will only be using the sofa for special occasions, this means you can pick a softer, thinner material if that's what you prefer. It gives you the opportunity to look into all aspects of fabric.

Linen Fabric

Linen is a very popular material when upholstering furniture, it is more of a premium fabric than others and creates a soft finish. Linen has strong fibres and can therefore is ideal for upholstery, although the fabric can wrinkle and isn't recommended for a high volume of traffic and guests. Linen is weakened by the sun but is durable and the fabric will not fade or lose colour.

Velvet Fabric

Velvet should be used for those who will not have a high volume of traffic using their sofas, staining velvet can be a nightmare so when researching your fabric bear in mind who will be using your sofa on a daily basis.

Polyester Fabric

Polyester fabric is much more common in clothing than in upholstery and fabric accessories. Polyester is 100% man made and is highly flammable, you will need to take this into consideration if you are looking to decorate your home in polyester fabric.

Wool Fabric

Wool is a very popular fabric, may if be for upholstering, cushions and throws. It is very durable fabric making it a great fabric to use but it can also be very expensive. Wool isn't prone to fade with direct contact with the sunlight, making this a perfect fabric to use to decorate furniture for a conservatory.

Upholstered Vintage Chesterfield
Upholstered Vintage Chesterfield | Source


You need to ensure that you are picking the correct style of fabric if you are looking to upholster a sofa. Many furniture manufacturers will suggest not using heavily patterned material for upholstering chesterfield sofas due to losing the detailing around the buttoning area but on a cushioned sofa any fabric pattern will be fine.


Cushions are a great way to bring in colour and personality into the the room, may they be bright and simple, neutral yet textural or patterned. I am personally crazy over cushions, I like to layer up different colour cushions, different texture, sizes and patterns, this way it brings in a huge boom of colour and also brings in a lot of comfort in your home.

Teaming up simple cushions with bold, patterned cushions is a great way to create a theme for the room, if you are wanting a regal look, go for neutral colours like cream, golds, browns or if you are like me and like a more feminine touch, patterned cushions are great, throwing some colours such as a simple pastel colours.


Curtains again are a great way to use fabric in your home, like cushions they are a fantastic way to bring in the design of the room. If you are creating your own curtains by searching and buying your own fabric then you can match your curtains and your cushions to create a repetitive design for the room. I personally like when different aspects of the room match, throws having the same design as the cushions, the rug being the same colour wallpaper, again its all personal preference, but the beauty of finding your own fabric means you can create any atmosphere you want.

Wall Coverings

Although wall coverings are the least conventional way to use fabric, its quite a fun way to bring in texture and pattern into the room. Patterned fabrics are the best for this as it can be used instead of a statement wall paper. Wall coverings are always a fun way to bring in individuality to a room, its not done as often so it will be a great way to bring something different to your home.

Upholstering Lamps

Upholstered lamps are a gorgeous way to bring in fabric to the room, as lamps come in many different sizes and styles its lets you decide how much more fabric you want to bring to the room. Upholstering lamps gives you the perfect way to bring in the colour scheme to hidden corners of the room.

Throws And Blankets

When buying throws, hard wearing fabrics don't really come to mind, you want soft, luxurious fabrics which you can wrap around yourself on a colds night and fall asleep. Wool is a great choice when picking out blankets and throws, thick, soft material is always the best for snuggling up on the sofa or in bed.

Again if you have purchased a plain linen set for your bed, or a simple fabric or leather sofa, throws are a great way to bring in colour, contrasting colours can make the bed or sofa pop and bring in a feel for the room. I really like this union jack throw, it has a strong British feel and can be teams with simple cushions and curtains.

Martindale Test

The Martindale test is a great way for you to see how hard wearing your fabric is, most fabric suppliers will have already of tested their goods with this technique.

The most hard wearing fabrics will range from 40,000 + rubs, meaning that, that certain fabric can endure 40,000+ rubs before it starts loosing its texture, colour and durability. When you buy your fabric, check with the seller to see how durable it is and if it is suitable for your lifestyle.

What is the most important factor for you when choosing the right fabric?

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Overall fabric can make a huge impact to the rooms design, it brings in the colour, personality and texture to the room. May is be wall coverings, cushions, upholstery, curtains or throws and blankets - fabric is a fab way to bring character to a room. When looking for fabric, you need to look into durability, style colour, pattern and texture, you need to ensure the fabric suits your lifestyle.


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