Upholstering is an art. It is a task in which you face a blank canvas, a surface to cover and discover, whether it be a chair, a wall, a headboard, or a sofa, with a fabric that will bring color, design, warmth, and comfort – life – to the object and to the space. Hence the importance of a good connection between the element to be upholstered and the chosen fabric.
When choosing the elements of this combination, basic factors must be taken into account, such as whether the surface to be covered is straight or curved, for example. In the case of a curved object, very thick or rigid fabrics will give rise to complications and possibly wrinkles on the surface of the piece. Straight and more angled surfaces are, in general, much easier to upholster since the fabric can be cut and adapted to the structure with less difficulty.
Another factor to take into account when choosing upholstery fabrics is whether the future upholstered surface is going to be for daily or decorative use; since most upholstered pieces are for sitting on (sofas, armchairs, dining chairs), this greatly influences the selection of the fabric.
Anecdotally, one of the best-known “secrets” of the textile sector is that there is a test to measure the resistance of a given fabric to abrasion, use, and friction – the so-called Martindale test. In this test, the fabric is rubbed in a machine to determine at what level of friction the first fiber will break. Of course, it must be taken into account that this is a mechanical test; it is never 100% real since the strength or resistance of an upholstery fabric is never exactly the same. This is due to the impossibility of the same person – with the same weight and always at the same moment – actually sitting on a given upholstered surface. However, the Martindale test is still a useful metric.
The fact is that companies specializing in chairs and seating are increasingly concerned about the upholstery fabrics to choose from. This is because the dialogue between the upholstery and the piece is increasingly important, as is the dialogue of the finished piece with the environment in which it is going to be located. The sofa, for example, is usually the main element of a living room, and, in a way, of the entire home. It is all about dialogues between textiles, a topic that has always been an integral part of our daily work.
Equipo DRT: fabrics that speak, listen, decorate, inspire, and remember.
The feel of a fabric, how pleasant and resistant it is, is the main factor to take into account when choosing fabrics to upholster armchairs. This is a piece in which maximum design and style is required without losing one iota of the comfort we seek in an armchair or sofa.
It is a surface on which, unlike a curtain, the fabric is in continuous friction, rubbing against the body. As the fabric is in constant contact with the user, the manufacturing quality is of the utmost importance.
In addition, an armchair is a key piece in a room, so color and texture are even more important when selecting the upholstery fabric.
Allow us to make some suggestions about some of the wonderful upholstery fabrics that Equipo DRT offers from our ample catalog: the Altair upholstery fabric collection and the San Carlo, Perseo and Scala velvet collections.
Altair is a plain, solid color, textured upholstery fabric with a luxuriously refined, soft, and resistant feel, all thanks to its fine chenille yarns. Altair provides a natural, bright look, and works well for sofas, armchairs, chairs, and upholstered walls. The range of 19 colors stands out, ranging all the way from neutrals to blacks, with lilac, Klein blue, forest green, and oranges in between. Utility, elegance, and luxury, all united in one fabric.
San Carlo is a high quality, plain cotton velvet. A heavy, opaque fabric, designed for upholstering sofas, armchairs, chairs, and cushions, as well as for making drapes. The Naples opera house, known as San Carlo, served as the inspiration for this velvet collection by Equipo DRT, as it is a place where velvet fabric displays all its splendor, luxury, and delicacy.
Perseo is a 100% Trevira CS washable and fire-retardant velvet upholstery fabric. It is machine washable at 30º and has a very soft feel. It is also very resistant, with a Martindale number of 100,000 cycles. Perseo is ideal for chairs and sofas both in homes and in hotels and contract facilities. Available in 26 colors.
Scala is a rich, elegant 100% linen velvet for upholstering sophisticated decorative pieces. Its pure lines combine texture and structure in a range of 26 colors.
Upholstery fabrics for dining chairs are essential elements of decoration, and not just nowadays; if we look back at previous decades, we find both upholstered cushions for dining chairs as well as dining chairs with upholstered backs. In other words, upholstered surfaces could be found either on the cushions or on the structure itself. This fashion continues – also in retro mode – with fabrics that transport us back to those times.
For dining chairs, either plain fabrics or those with very small designs are desireable since normally the surface is not overly large; if we use fabrics with large patterns, these may not fit properly in the allotted space and must usually be cut, ruining the sense of the design.
When choosing a fabric for upholstery, a balance must be found between comfort and usability. In other words, you have to be doubly practical: the fabric must be both removable from the structure and washable.
Among the collections of washable fabrics from Equipo DRT, the Perseo velvet line stands out. Made from 100% Trevira CS, it is a washable and fire-retardant velvet with a soft and very resistant feel that is machine washable with water at 30º.
In addition, we also have fabrics with Teflon finishes that repel liquid and, in case a stain develops, can even be washed with bleach. This is the case of our Elba collection, a plain outdoor fabric to upholster cushions and sofas for patio and garden furnishings, as well as deck and pool area furniture. In addition, these are color-fast textiles, resistant to color loss from exposure to sunlight.
Much more than stain resistant fabrics!