Deadstock fabrics for upholstery: the step-by-step guide to (re)upholstering


In the world of interior design and upholstery, the significance of fabric selection cannot be overstated. Each fabric possesses its own unique characteristics, influencing not only the design but also the durability and sustainability of the final product. However, from all the options available, there exists a hidden gem often overlooked: upholstery deadstock fabrics.

In this article, we delve into the realm of upholstery deadstock fabrics, exploring their environmental implications and distinctive qualities, uncovering the compelling reasons why utilizing specific fabrics, rather than any generic alternative, is essential.

Characteristics of Upholstery fabric

Upholstery fabrics are distinct from other types of fabrics due to several key characteristics that make them uniquely suited for their intended purpose such as sofas or dining room chairs:

  • Abrasion Resistance: unlike many other fabrics, upholstery fabrics are specifically designed to resist abrasion and friction. This quality is crucial as it prevents premature wear and maintains the appearance of the piece over time.
  • Stain Resistance: upholstery fabrics often feature treatments or finishes that repel stains and spills, making them easier to clean and maintain. This characteristic is essential for preserving the furniture and ensuring its longevity.
  • Fire retardant: many upholstery fabrics are treated to meet fire safety standards, making them suitable for use in public spaces and commercial environments where fire safety regulations must be met.
  • Colorfastness: Upholstery fabrics are typically colorfast or fade resistant, meaning they retain their color even after prolonged exposure to sunlight or cleaning. This quality is essential for preserving the visual impact of upholstered furniture and preventing fading or discoloration over time.
  • Moisture Resistance: Some upholstery fabrics are engineered to repel moisture, making them suitable for use in environments prone to spills or high humidity. Moisture-resistant fabrics help prevent water damage, mold, and mildew growth.

Types of upholstery fabrics

Let’s explore now the different types of upholstery fabrics, including natural fibers (such as cotton, linen, wool), synthetic fibers (such as polyester, nylon, acrylic), and blended fabrics, and discuss the characteristics, pros, and cons of each type.

Natural upholstery fabric type

  • Cotton

Most widely used natural fiber, it brings softness and comfortable feel to the object you design. Popular for its durability, choosing a cotton fabric will ensure that upholstered furniture retains its quality and appearance over time. Highly breathable, it makes it ideal for warmer climate and outdoor furnitures as well as indoor furnitures such as sofas, armchairs or dining room chairs.
    • Wool

      As a water-repellent and naturally fire-retardant fabric, wool doesn’t need to be treated chemically. It provides good resistance to pilling and crease, is unbeatable from a comfort perspective and it offers a beautiful covering. Wool fabric such as our Felted Wool & Angora Drap proves to be an excellent choice for crafting curtains, cushions, sofas, and armchairs.
    • Leather

      Resilient to time and use, this premium material age gracefully as it develops a unique patina overtime. If you are seeking for an elegant and authentic material to enhance your furnishing project, leather will add a timeless allure and luxurious texture to it. Perfect for headboards, couches, chairs, and ottomans, you can then choose from lambskin to calfskin; full-grain, top-grain, or bonded leather, depending on the design desired. Discover our guide to explore the various types of leather available.
    • Linen

      Highly durable thanks to it strength and natural resilience, linen fabrics are perfectly suited for upholstery projects. As a sustainable resource, fabric made of linen are impressively absorbent and breathable, and will bring hypo-allergenic qualities to your design. Linen fabrics will offer an elegant look to your sofas, armchairs, chairs, cushions, and curtains.
    • Silk

      Strong fiber, able to resist warping and tearing. Silk upholstery adds a touch of luxury and elegance to living or bedroom spaces with its natural sheen and smooth texture. However, it's important to note that pure silk in particular silk fabrics normally used for fashion, may not be the most durable option for heavy everyday use.Therefore, we usually make decorative cushions with silk upholstery fabrics.


    Synthetic upholstery fabric type

    • Polyester

    Known as a fade-resistant and durable material, polyester does not require much specific cleaning care and is highly resistant to wear and tear, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. One reason to opt for polyester in your upholstery project is its ability to resist stain. Therefore, polyester is a perfect choice for outdoor patio furniture, couches, living room furniture.

    • Nylon

    Usually blended with other fibers to make very strong upholstery fabrics, Nylon fabrics combine elasticity with the look and feel reminiscent of silk. Easy-clean and wrinkle-free, nylon is a great option for pet owners. However, nylon fabrics can pill and fade in high sunlight.

    • Acrylic

    Used for furniture subject to wear and tear, acrylic is both crease and sunlight resistant, thus it's also suitable for outdoor furnishing projects. However, this material is susceptible to pilling and is highly flammable due to the chemicals used for its production.


    Gaining access to affordable high-end deadstock fabrics for upholstery

    By opting for high-quality deadstock materials, we not only contribute to reducing textile waste but also embrace a more environmentally friendly approach to interior design. It also means there is no need to start a new production run. Let’s get started to your upholstery project now by exploring our wide range of upholstery fabrics.