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Selecting Upholstered Furniture


When selecting upholstered furniture, you will often be able to select the upholstery (i.e. fabric) from a number of options that are available with the particular furniture line. You will want to select a fabric that has a texture, design, color and pattern that will harmonize with other items in the room being decorated and fits with the style of your client.

When you are selecting fabrics there are certain things to keep in mind. Just because a certain fabric costs more (particularly higher grade fabrics) doesn’t mean that the fabric is more durable or of a higher quality than a lower priced (lower grade) fabric. The pricing of higher grade fabrics is often based on how difficult it is to make the fabric and on the availability.

For example, fabrics made with silk are expensive because of the difficulty in making the fabric; however, silk itself is not a very durable fabric. Fabrics that are tightly woven (such as cotton and linens) are much more durable and can cost much less.

Cotton is a readily available fabric and is very durable and much less expensive than silk, but cotton certainly doesn’t have the same feel and look as silk.

TIP:  Fabrics used for upholstery are given durability ratings. Ask salespeople what those ratings are for the available fabric choices.


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