Handy Tips for Home Decor Fabric

Home decor fabrics in the market run the gamut, including fine silks, linens, cottons, polyesters and more. Most pragmatic home owners often choose polyesters as they resist wrinkling, can be hand or machine-washed and do not shrink. Many polyester fabrics have a luxurious sheen and feel that resembles silk but at cheaper prices – a boon for budget-conscious homeowners.

For those with deeper pockets, there are unusual high-end fabrics to pick. For example, horse hair intertwined with cotton – a heavy upholstery fabric. There are also 100 percent silk fabrics shot through with gold threads.

With a dizzying array of home decor fabrics available, where does one start? Here’re three easy steps:

  • Mood pick – first determine the mood and look of your room. Are you going for the minimal zen look or classical?

  • Fabric choices – pick a suitable fabric type that best evokes the look you want; For a classical feel, choose curtains in silk with embroidery and elaborate patterns. For a Zen-inspired theme, linen blinds will carry off Japanese rice paper textures.

  • Colors – Different colors carry different emotions that set a desired mood. For example, red makes you feel warm or passionate, while blue greens give a casual, cool look.

Curtain Call

When choosing a suitable fabric for curtains, consider these factors:

  • Weight and drape – Choose a fabric to suit your curtain treatment. Do not use a stiff, heavy fabric if you want pleated curtains, it will not gather nicely. For sheerer fabrics, ask the shop to add a leadband to the hem so the curtains hang better.

  • Trend or tradition – In the past, windows have two layers or curtains – a sheer one of the day, and a heavier, dressier fabric for the night. However, the trend today is to have just one curtain in a textured or patterned sheer that doubles up as both a day and night curtain

Designer vs Generic Home Decor Fabrics

Just as in fashion, a designer label home decor fabric naturally comes with a price to match. Generally, you get what you pay for – that is, higher quality, a more luscious feel and a distinctive look. Of course, you can also combine both generic and designer brands in your decor. For instance, get a cheaper made-in-Asia upholstery fabric and unique textured designer home decor fabrics for curtains.

Take a look also at my page on upholstery for additional insights on upholstery basics such as fabric selection tips and what's in vogue.

Home Decor Fabric Care and Maintenance

Here’re some tips from those in the know:

  • Vacuum sofas daily and curtains once a week.

  • The label may say “machine washable”, but dry cleaning is always safer. Dry clean once every six months to a year.

  • Scotch guard the upholstery to protect again stains and spills. However, once the fabric is washed this chemical spray protection will be lost and the sofa or curtain would have to be re-sprayed.

  • Extra durability can be had when you use outdoor fabric for an indoor sofa. There are water-resistant fabrics where the yarn has been treated so that the protective properties will last forever.

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