Woman sewing upholstery from curtain fabric

Can I Use Curtain Fabric for Upholstery? [Answered]

With so many fabulous fabrics available such as Weaves, Tweed, Tartan, Tapestry, Linen, Damask, Chenille, Brocatelle, and Brocade, sometimes it becomes challenging to choose the right one. While there are practical considerations that you can have when choosing a fabric, you should select the right one.

Because upholstery is considered a hard craft, all the effort turns fruitful when working with the best top fabric. Most people wonder: Can I use curtain fabric for upholstery? The simple answer to this question is no. And, it has good reasons for that as well.

When you use a fabric that isn’t specifically designed for upholstery, the results won’t be great. Moreover, the material could stretch and distort when pulled over chair seats or sofas. Besides, they age and wear faster when used regularly. It is wise to use fabric suitable for upholstery. 

What are the differences between curtain and upholstery fabric? 

When you visit a fabric store, noticing piles of new fabric can be overwhelming. And, it will surely make you confused. You get to see a variety of fabrics when visiting a store. However, you can categorize them depending on several factors such as color, patterns, texture, and quality. 

But when it comes to differentiating between curtain fabric, which is considered regular fabric, and upholstery fabric, what do you see? The find out the main difference between curtain fabric and upholstery fabric, you need to take a look at the composition of the material. Also, the difference will depend on how it was made.

Curtain fabrics are usually found on drapery. Because curtain fabrics are medium weight, they are usually treated as multipurpose fabric. Most of the curtain fabric that you find around have patterns all over them. Moreover, some of them can be embroidered as well. 

Regular fabrics are used in a variety of projects such as curtains, duvet covers, pillow covers, and many more. Upholstery fabric, on the other hand, is stiffer, thicker, and heavier. The weaving process creates amazing patterns intended for upholstery fabric. Besides, there are two methods used for weaving upholstery fabric.

The two basic methods are flat and pile. In short, these weaves are nothing but the beginning of different kinds of furniture fabric that you find around. Different types of colored warn are used. So, it means that everything goes through it. Also, it won’t wear away compared to printed patterns.

One good way of finding out whether or not the pattern is woven is to observe deep at the rear part of the fabric. If you find the design to be inverted, it indicates that the pattern is woven. Vinyl, chenille, and velvet are perfect examples of upholstery. They have backings that ascertain durability.

Because of that, they provide lots of strength and support to the material. Another remarkable feature of upholstery fabric is that it is made of synthetic fiber, natural fiber, or a combination of both. The natural fibers constitute silk, wool, rayon, linen, and cotton. When it is about synthetic fibers, polyester, olefin, acrylic, and acetate are great compositions. 

When it comes to offering the best of two worlds, a combination of synthetic and natural fibers becomes necessary. Besides, how you choose the fabric will have an impact on the fabric’s feel and appearance. Upholstery fabric is abrasion-resistant, aesthetic, and easy to maintain. Moreover, they go through several tests to evaluate their properties.

A popular method used by many is the ‘double rub count’. What happens is that a piece of cotton is rubbed over the fabric to be tested by using a mechanized arm. In addition, upholstery fabrics provide comfort to homeowners because they are softer and more comfortable. However, if you are allergic to pet dander, dust mites, or other kinds of allergens, the leather fabric should be the right choice.

In a nutshell, when it comes to using fabric in any kind of furniture, upholstery fabric is the right choice compared to curtain fabric. Besides, investing money for something that you would use for a long time is always better than spending on something with low price and low durability. 

What kind of fabric is suitable for upholstery? 

When it is about upholstery fabrics, you have got two main options to choose from: natural and synthetic fabrics. Because every upholstery fabric has a unique appeal, you have to choose according to your needs. 

Natural fabrics:

1. Cotton

It is a plant-based fabric that is commonly used in making clothes. Also, cotton is a material that you can use in upholstery. There is no question that cotton makes a breathable and warm cover for furniture. Cotton is one of the most preferred choices for a homey couch.

2. Wool

It is another interesting fabric that has an amazing insulating capability. It tends to warm the seats when the weather is cold and cools it when it is hot. Wool allows lounging right in your living room. Moreover, wool is fire and water-resistant.

3. Linen

Mildew and fading-resistant, linen is considered a hard-wearing fabric. Linen is a strong material that has antibacterial properties and lasts for a long time. Hence, linen is commonly used in heavy-used furniture.

4. Leather 

It is luxurious and gives an elegant vibe. Moreover, it ages perfectly and resists certain types of damage such as scratches and stains. Besides, leather is a long-term investment as well. Apart from that, the more you use leather, the comfort level will be higher. 

Synthetic fabric

1. Acrylic 

When it is about imitating wool, acrylic fiber comes first. However, it is admired for its comfortable finish. Besides, it is a low-cost, maintenance-free, and strong material. So, it’s the best material for outdoor upholstery.

2. Olefin

It comes from plastic pellets and is widely used to make carpets. Besides, it is resistant to mildew, abrasions, and moisture. But olefin is not a good material because it is open to damage. Oils and heat can ruin the fabric to great extents. 

3. Acetate

Acetate imitates silk and has a complex appearance and texture. But silk is more expensive compared to acetate. So, if you are looking for a silk-looking alternative at affordable costs, choose acetate. The material is durable and resistant to mildew and wrinkles.

4. Nylon

Of all the other materials, nylon is the most preferred in upholstery. It is a long-lasting and resilient fabric. Nylon can withstand wrinkles, mildews, scrapes, and stains. Besides, it is flexible and stretchable. 

What to know when using curtain fabric for upholstery?

The quality of the fabric that you use for your furniture will either break or make its aesthetic. Here is what you need to know when using curtain fabric upholstery. 

1. Durability

When it comes to curtain fabric durability, it means how many rubs it will take to show signs of wear. Hence, you must consider what type of curtain fabric to use. Also, you should take into account the presence of pets and kids. 

They will help you determine how tough the fabric should be. Certain furniture like sofas has the highest rub count. So, choose the fabric accordingly.

2. Aesthetic

There is no denying that different types of curtain fabric associate themselves with a variety of feelings. It means, they will accent your furniture or blend themselves into the surroundings. Hence, you should lookout for a cohesive fabric and fall in line with the surrounding décor. 

3. Maintenance

Certain fabrics like leather don’t attach themselves to odor, debris, or other things and you can wipe down most parts. On the contrary, fabric like velvet attracts pests and pets. Also, they get stained easily. One level forward, fabric like silk needs to be cleaned by professionals to prevent them from getting damaged. 

So, a considerable amount of effort is needed for different types of fabrics. With that in mind, make sure that the quality of curtain fabric can withstand heavy cleaning, especially when it comes to big pieces. Also, the fabric should be machine washable. Never forget that because it will save many hours of effort down the line.

4. Price

Curtain fabrics intended for use in upholstery comes in a variety of price range. Typically, the pricing depends on the quality of the material. However, that doesn’t mean that a good curtain fabric with desired qualities has to be expensive. 

With the advancements in modern technology, it is now possible to get comfortable and high-performing curtain fabric at reasonable rates. Make sure that you don’t rush into things and calculate how much fabric you will need for the object to upholster. Lastly, evaluate the costs.

5. Coatings and treatments

Certain types of curtain fabrics are treated to change their natural properties. As such, it gives them resistance to stains, fading, fire, and so on. Besides, you can find the fabric looking a bit different from the original one. On furniture, the fabric has to be resilient enough to bear hot and humid during the summers and cold during the winters. 

However, not all kinds of curtain fabrics need specialized treatments. But it turns out that a few coatings or treatments done to the fabric are incredibly useful.

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