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How to Choose the Perfect Upholstery Fabric

Upholstery fabricYou’ve decided to buy upholstered furniture, or you’re reupholstering a favorite piece, but you’re not sure how to choose the upholstery fabric that would be perfect for your item? While color is inevitably the thing you first think of when choosing upholstery fabric, there are many other factors to consider. At Aaron’s Touch Up, we work with Greenhouse Fabrics, a local, family-owned fabric business to provide our clients with beautiful designs that will last for many years, but there are many other choices when it comes to upholstery fabrics. Where to begin?

Here are some tips from us on choosing the perfect upholstery fabric for your new piece or for reupholstering.

Consider Durability

Whether you’re purchasing from Greenhouse Fabrics or another provider, durability is important. Consider your home habits and how often the furniture will be used when choosing upholstery fabric. Fabric sustainability is measured in double rubs, a count that uses a machine to measure how many “rubs” until the fabric is worn out. A typical residential double-rub is 10,000-25,000 double-rubs, while commercial-grade fabrics range from 100,000-250,000 double-rubs. You’ll want a heavier use fabric if you have kids or pets with an active lifestyle. Your fabric will usually contain a blend of materials, including rayon, polyester, cotton, linen, and even silk. The former three are more durable, while the latter two would be designated for lighter use.

Color or Pattern

Make sure you’re picking a color or pattern that goes with the style of your home—and you can live with and work around for many years. It’s easier to change out pillows, throws, and smaller pieces than reupholstering a sofa. Some fabrics will be more formal, while others will be more casual. Depending on the feel of your room, choose a fabric that works for you.

When choosing a color for upholstery fabric, a neutral is safest. A bold color, especially on a large sofa or in a smaller room can overtake the space. Choosing something that’s trendy right now can wrong in just a few years. Avoid complex patterns on sectionals or sofas with rounded corners, as stretching the fabric may look odd.


When you’re choosing your fabric, besides color and pattern, different fabrics will have different textures—based on thread count, material, and more. There’s an unlimited amount of textures out there. Make sure to consider durability and texture together, and how the fabric will compress over time. Getting fabric samples can help you determine what will work best for your home and space.

Here at Aaron’s Touch Up, we can help you with choosing the right upholstery fabric from Greenhouse Fabrics, or we can use the fabric you select for your piece. Learn more about our fabric process here. We’re committed to helping you choose the right fabric for your furniture.