Perfect fabric - here is the best guide on how to find it for your dream project

Perfect fabric - here is the best guide on how to find it for your dream project

When you have a project in mind it is not unusual that in the end, it looks nothing like the one you had imagined. With practice it gets easier to see the end before it is done but when you are just starting there might be some things to keep in mind when choosing the fabric as it often has a mind of its own and will not let you do the thing you wanted to. Here are some guidelines on how to know what will be the best option for your dream project.

  1. Understand the Fabric's Purpose: Fabrics are made for different uses. A plush throw would typically require a different fabric than a cafe couch. Understand what you want to use the fabric for before choosing it.
  2. Read the Label: Always read the label to understand the fabric's material and care instructions. The label will also typically include information on whether the fabric can be machine washed or dry cleaned, and how to properly iron it.
  3. Touch and Feel: Don't just rely on the look of the fabric. Touch it, feel it, and even drape it to understand its texture, weight, and flow. We provide Free Sample Shipping across the US – to allow you the all-important opportunity to touch and feel the fabrics before you decide.  
  4. Test Colorfastness: If the fabric is to be used for clothing, test a small piece to see if it fades or bleeds before washing the entire garment.
  5. Consider the Season: Choose the fabric based on the season. Linen and cotton are great for summer, while wool and heavier fabrics are good for winter.
  6. Examine the Weave: Look closely at the weave of the fabric. A tight weave generally means the fabric is stronger and more durable, whereas a loose weave may mean the fabric is softer and more breathable, but also more fragile.
  7. Think About Allergies: If you or the intended user of the item has allergies, consider choosing hypoallergenic fabrics such as cotton and silk, and avoid fabrics like wool which can sometimes trigger allergic reactions.


Remember, there is no "one-size-fits-all" fabric. What might be the best fabric for one project could be the worst for another, so it's important to take your specific needs into account:

  • For instance, polyester, though durable and versatile, lacks breathability, making it unsuitable for baby clothing, particularly in warm weather.
  • Silk is the epitome of luxury, yet it requires careful handling and cool water washing, making it less suitable for high-traffic solutions or items needing frequent washes.
  • Cotton is soft, breathable, and natural but can shrink or wrinkle and isn't as durable as synthetic fabrics.
  • Linen, while excellent for warm climates due to its moisture absorption, tends to wrinkle and requires regular ironing.
  • For upholstery, fabrics like Herculon (Olefin), Chenille, and Boucle are chosen for their durability, though they lack the softness of other fabrics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the most durable sofa fabrics? 

  1. When it comes to the most durable sofa fabric, choices like Herculon fabric, Chenille, and Boucle are popular. Their upholstery fabric durability ratings and rub counts make them well-suited for high-traffic use.

Q2. What are some popular fabric patterns? 

  1. Fabric patterns are many and varied, including classic fabric patterns, French fabric patterns, and trendy patterns. Specific fabric pattern names include diamond pattern, raspberry fabric, plaid pattern, and other fancy styles fabric.

Q3. Are all fabric textures the same? 

  1. No, different types of fabric textures offer different tactile experiences. For instance, cotton fabric texture differs greatly from polyester fabric texture or fabric like wool. We suggest feeling the fabric before you purchase it.

Q4. What's a good fabric for outdoor use? 

  1. Phifertex and Sunbrella are excellent choices for outdoor applications, due to their high upholstery fabric durability ratings and resistance to environmental conditions. However, it's important to note that there are many other brands available in the market that also offer durable and weather-resistant fabrics for outdoor use. 

Q5. What is a fabric's rub count? 

  1. A fabric's rub count refers to the number of rubs a fabric can withstand before it shows noticeable wear. The higher the rub count, the more durable the fabric is considered.

Bottom Line

We hope this guide has been useful and will help you select the appropriate fabric for your project. Should you need more guidance or information, The Fabric Mill is here to help. Our knowledgeable staff, backed by years of experience in handling a variety of fabrics, are at your service. 

Happy creating!