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Velvet is tantamount to pure opulence. The extravagant sheen of the fabric is known to many. It is almost synonymous with luxury and grandeur. With its extraordinary grandiose and elegance, no wonder it is one of the highly coveted fabrics for upholstery.
What Is Upholstery?
Upholstery is the process of providing soft padding to chairs, sofas, headboards, poufs, or ottomans in order to bolster them to provide optimum comfort. There are a plethora of fabrics to choose from for your upholsteries. Velvet is one of the top choices among them. Given the endless choices of velvet fabric available, it is difficult to gauge one that would suit your specific needs.
Following is a list of 10 factors that might help you identify the best velvet fabric for upholstery:
1. Durability Rating
An important aspect one needs to consider while selecting the perfect velvet for upholstery is the ‘Velvet’s Rub Test.’ Tests like the Martindale and Wyzenbeek check the wear and tear of the fabric, thus determining its durability. The fabric with a durability rating of roughly 15000 rubs or more is the best velvet fabric for upholstery.
2. Fabric Weave
The most common weaving techniques for upholstery fabrics are flat and pile weave. Figuring the specific type of weave depending upon its usage helps in determining the best velvet fabric for upholstery. In general, tight weave fabrics outlive the loose weave ones. Additionally, woven fabrics last longer than printed fabrics.
3. Fibre Type
Velvet Fabric can either be made out of natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or a combination of both. The properties of each of these velvets vary depending upon their type. When choosing the best velvet fabric for upholstery, combining both of these fibers is usually a safe bet.
Your pet may be your best friend, but it’s definitely not a good friend with velvet fabrics. If your pet is the ‘pet peeve’ for your upholstery, low-pile fibers like microfiber or synthetic velvet will solve your problem. These fabrics prevent odors, are easy to clean, and are nearly claw-proof. The microfiber is also known to resist fabric tears and pulls. (Phew, no more tears!)
Fluffy fabrics, longer thread textiles, and natural blends tend to attract more dust and pollen. Cleaning them and their general maintenance is another pesky task. If you or a member of your family is allergic to dust or any other allergens, a short-pile, smooth, or synthetic fabric can be your best velvet fabric for upholstery.
6. Fabric Grade
Velvet is available in many grades. Velvet made from natural fibers is more expensive than synthetic ones.
Based on the material used in the manufacture of velvet, the following are the two certifications awarded to determine the best velvet fabric for upholstery:
- Silk Mark
- GRS (Global Recycled Standard)
7. Thread Count
The number of threads per square inch on a piece of fabric is its thread count. A piece of velvet fabric with a higher thread count offers more strength and durability. It also implies that the fabric is tightly woven and thus will offer excellent resistance to wear and tear. Hence, the fabric with a high thread count is usually the best velvet fabric for upholstery.
8. Resistant to Color Fading
Generally, the dark, bold, and natural velvet fabrics fade faster than any other fabric. When choosing the best velvet fabric for upholstery, you need to consider its placement and resistance to sunlight. If the relocation of your upholstery to another location or covering it up is not viable, it is advisable to opt for a synthetic or lighter colored velvet fabric.
9. Weight of the Fabric
The weight of your velvet fabric can determine the wear of the fabric and is the measure of its durability. A densely woven fabric with a high thread count lasts longer than any other run-of-the-mill fabric. In addition to this, a heavier-weight pile has a good durability rating, thus making it the best velvet fabric for upholstery.
10. Easy Cleaning
Cleaning your velvet upholstery, if not done regularly, can become quite a pesky task. Although the old adage goes that velvet ages gracefully, its good cleaning and maintenance still lie in our hands. A synthetic velvet enables comparatively easier cleaning, thus proving to be the best velvet fabric for upholstery.
Choosing your best velvet fabric for upholstery demands a careful understanding of your individual needs. The above list provides a little assistance in helping you select the velvet fabric that would address all your concerns.