7 Types of Fabrics and Their Uses: A Guide to Textiles for Interior Design

7 Types of Fabrics and Their Uses: A Guide to Textiles for Interior Design

From wall-to-wall carpeting to floor-to-ceiling curtains, fabrics are used in many aspects of interior design. In fact, it is one thing that is most common across interior decoration. Whether it’s a simple tablecloth on a luxurious dining table or a throw blanket on the couch, fabrics are indispensable in the industry.

Usually, these materials are used to add a splash of texture or color to any room. However, you can also use them as the basis for your color palette or the entire design itself.

Since it is invaluable to interior design, you have to make sure that you choose the right kind of fabric for every aspect of the design. To help you make the best decision for your next project, here are the seven types of fabrics and their recommended uses:

1.   Silk for Classy Draperies and Coverings

2. Silk is the kind of material that embodies classic elegance and luxury.

It is an excellent choice for upholstery, window, or pillow coverings. Thanks to its flowy and lustrous texture, silk is also considered a classy option for bed linens.

However, be careful when using this type of fabric for pillowcases and sheets as it can easily get wrinkled and it requires extra care and attention. It is also very delicate and can get stained easily. This is the very reason why it is recommended that you avoid the use of this fabric in high-traffic areas, like family rooms.

3.   Rayon as an Alternative to Silk

Known as the “art silk” in interior design, rayon is a semi-synthetic material that is commonly used as an alternative to silk. It has a shiny texture and is considered an inexpensive and more durable option for achieving the same elegance that silk adds to any room.

However, one crucial disadvantage rayon has is that, like silk, it also tends to wrinkle easily. For this very reason, only use rayon on surfaces people won’t be lounging on.

4.   Cotton for Bed Linens

When it comes to talk about fabric, there’s no possible way to leave cotton out. After all, it is arguably the most popular fabric used not just in interior design, but in apparel and other industries as well.

Made from a natural fiber, cotton is a comfortable and breathable fabric that often comes in various blends. Plus, it is inexpensive, easy to obtain, and can be used for a variety of elements in interior design, including curtains and upholstery, among others. Versatility aside, it is so durable that it can be used as bed linen as well.

The only downside is that using cotton in its pure form is not very practical since it is prone to staining like silk.

5.   Olefin for Furniture Upholstery

If you’re after functionality and comfort, then olefin is one fabric you should consider adding into your interior design. Commonly used for furniture upholstery, this synthetic fabric is highly resistant to staining and can hold color better than any other material. It is also a popular choice to put in high -traffic areas and projects that require smaller pieces of fabrics.

6.   Polyester for Drapes and Bed Sheets

Aside from cotton, another fabric commonly used for bed sheets and drapery is polyester. This fabric is very strong and virtually wrinkle-free, which makes it useful in many different parts of the house, including couches, beds, and other areas for sitting and lounging around.

However, many designers are not keen on using pure polyester to decorate the room since it has a very similar texture to plastic. What they do use are blends of this material because these can be made stretchy, sturdy, and comfortable, all at the same time.

7.   Nylon for Curtains and Upholstery

Nylon is a very sturdy fabric commonly used for upholstery and curtain work. Like other synthetic fabrics on this list, nylon is a resilient material that has a similar sheen like silk. It is known to hold color well and can resist stains almost as well as olefin can.

But while it is strong in its pure form, nylon is often used in blends in interior decorating. This is probably because, on its own, nylon is not as stretchy or as comfortable as others on this list.

8.   Wool for Elegant Rugs and Carpets

The inherent properties of wool make it an ideal choice for both the home and the office. Like cotton, wool is a natural fiber. The only difference between the two is that wool is protein-based while cotton is derived from plants.

Like silk, wool is a material that can offer elegance and class to any room. In fact, the softness of woolen rugs can make your interiors look expensive.

For carpeting, natural wool is probably the softest option. However, the upfront costs are quite high that it can be considered as an investment. Of course, the best of this natural fabric can be so sturdy that you’ll get a significant ROI through superior appearance and, potentially, higher property valuation.

Each wool fiber is relatively weak on its own. But when put together, this type of fabric can be quite resilient and elastic. It also cleans quite effortlessly and can last as long as 10 years with proper care.

Choosing the Right Fabrics

When selecting fabric for interior design, you must remember three things: color, texture, and quality. Combining the right colors and texture should give you a beautiful interior design, while the quality is all about functionality and durability. Let this article guide you in using fabrics correctly for your next interior design project.

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