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Upholstery : A brief look into its History and Significance

Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers. Upholstery may be of different types like traditional, modern, commercial, automobile, and marine. What makes upholstery fabrics more special is that they need to be both eye-catching and durable. The texture of upholstery fabrics provides class and elegance. Upholstery fabric can be made from any yarn or thread that is woven or knitted into a textile. Suitable fabrics are woven, or knitted, into the upholstery fabric. Upholstery fabric, once woven, is then backed with latex, glue, or other textiles to add stability to the fabric. This helps with durability and abrasion resistance in the long term. Backed fabrics are immune to stretching and slouching.

upholstery fabric

The History of Upholstery

The process began in the Middle Ages and grew in popularity during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The word Upholstery is derived from the medieval word Upholder which means upholsterer. The original meaning of this archaic word was repairing the furniture. While comfort was the prime associate of upholstery, when standards of living began to improve during the renaissance, thoughts turned to both comfort and style. Tapestry and fabric factories began to spring up in London and Paris, and the upholstery business began to bloom after 1705. Silk damask, wool moreen, elaborate embroidery were used more and more in upholstery.

Various Upholstery items

Sofa, cushions, draperies, bench seatings, leather seats, couches, mattress, blinds, curtains, etc.

Why is Upholstery required?

Upholstery is required for padding and draping and veiling purposes, most of which are done with the objective of comfort and protection. Upholstery adds durability and strength to the furniture. Beyond such physical needs, in modern times especially, upholstery is responsible for creating a suitable atmosphere that almost complements the personality of the user. More and more people have shifted to customized interior decoration because they want their home decor to reflect themselves. 

Suitable Fabrics for Upholstery

  • Cotton 
  • Silk
  • Jute
  • Leather
  • Organza
  • Velvet
  • Linen 
  • Wool 
  • Hemp 
  • Polyester 
  • Polypropylene 
  • Nylon 
  • Acrylic 
  • Rayon
upholstery fabric

Smart Upholstery

Smart Upholstery is a modern phrase used to describe smart textiles in upholstery and interior fabrics that aim not only at increased durability and easy maintenance but also decor and odour resistance. Smart upholstery simply lights up the space. Besides providing the basic requirements like stain resistance, anti-bacterial, and durability, today’s smart fabrics can help retain appearance, provide fire resistance, and possess self-cleaning, waterproofing, and ultraviolet proofing features. Many companies build up such high-performing upholstery through sustainable methods. One example of this is the olefin yarns which are made of recycled material from post-consumer waste. 

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