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How to Choose Upholstery Fabric for Your Sofa

It’s time to change the look of your sofa. You’ve made the decision to reupholster your couch, but what should you consider when selecting a fabric?

Here are a few things to consider:


When choosing a fabric, it is beneficial to consider how much use your sofa gets. Will the sofa be used everyday? Will your kids practice wrestling moves on your sofa? Will Fido try do dig a hole to the center of the cushion? If the answer is “yes,” then you need a durable fabric. A few things to check for to ensure durability:

  • Look for the number of rubs competed on the abrasion test. A fabric should be 15,000 or higher for residential use.

  • Woven fabrics last longer than prints.

  • Look for fabrics with tight weaves

  • Fabrics made of olefin (like Revolution is!) are generally very durable


Bold colors are exciting. Trendy colors are fashionable. But should you upholster your couch in either of these colors? You are free to do as you wish, but consider a neutral fabric instead. You can quickly change a look of a room with splashes of color on curtains, rugs, and pillows. It is much more difficult to change the color of your entire sofa if that trending color starts to look dated.

Colors can also create a mood or solve a problem. A solid lighter color of fabric seem inviting and airy. A darker color may hide dirt.


Consider the style of your sofa frame before selecting a fabric. For example, a traditional sofa frame will automatically look good with a traditional fabric.

Textiles come in thousands of styles. Fabrics can look casual, ornate, formal, or fun. Consider whether your choice will fit into your current decor.

If you choose a fabric with a pattern, pay attention to the scale. A large scale pattern may be overpowering in a small room or may not center on your sofa in a pleasing manner. The opposite may be true with a small pattern in a large room.

Other factors to consider when choosing an upholstery fabric

  • Fade resistance: This would be important if your couch is in a room that gets a lot of sun.

  •  Mildew: Look for mildew resistant fabric in areas that have high humidity.

  •  Allergies: Microfiber is beneficial for some allergies because it is lint free and doesn’t attract dust.

These are just things to think about. In the end, your home is an expression of you. Relax and trust yourself. You will make the best decision for you and your family.

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