Fabric Options for Couches Update 06/2022

My couch is beginning to show its age and a bit of wear and tear. It is in need of new covers. It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to choosing the right cloth. I’m at a loss as to which option to select. Is it okay to use any material for a couch cover? What kind of fabric should I choose? Which couch fabric options are there?

There is a wide variety of couch fabrics to choose from. Couch covers, also referred to as “upholstery fabric,” come in both natural and synthetic varieties. A mixture of the two is also possible. The fabric must be sturdy, resilient, and long-lasting in order to be a great upholstery material. Cotton, linen, jute, leather, velvet, and olefin are all suitable materials.

As a result, how do you know if a certain type of fabric is good for a couch? Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular options for couch covers. All of the advantages and disadvantages of each cloth will be discussed.

Different Couch Fabric Types

What Is Couch Fabric?

The padding of a couch or sofa is covered in couch fabric, which is also known as upholstery fabric. Other padded furniture can also benefit from this technique.

Cushioned couches and sofas are commonplace in most homes. A beloved chair with a squishy seat is another option. The cloth used to cover your couch, chair, or chaise lounge is responsible for keeping all of that filling contained. The term “chaise longue” is derived from the French word for “long chair.” You can simply call it a couch that you can use as a bed.

However, it’s not commonly referred to as sofa fabric. Known as upholstery fabric, it’s a tough and durable material that can stand up to the daily abuse and stress that our couches put it through.

Being a couch potato may be a difficult existence, as you probably don’t realize. Your couch takes a lot of abuse, whether it’s from being sat on all the time, getting jumped on by kids, or getting scratched by dogs. To keep your couch in one piece, the fabric that holds it together must be able to resist the wear and tear.

Thick and hefty upholstery fabric can seem stiff. Upholstery fabrics must have a certain amount of rigidity to be effective. When it comes to furniture, there is no need for it to flex its muscles or to move around. A fabric that can keep its shape and prevent the filling from escaping is all that is required.

The thread count of upholstery fabric is often high and densely woven. Both of which will make the fabric resilient and long-lasting. They also mean the fabric is not a good choice for clothing or bedding. It would be too harsh, stiff, and achy.

The thread count of upholstery fabric is usually high and the fabric is usually woven firmly. As a result, each of these factors will help to ensure that the cloth is durable and long-lasting. Using the fabric for clothing or bedding is likewise a no-no. In the end, it would be too harsh, stiff and inconvenient to wear.

Synthetic fibers have opened up a wide range of options for covers. A wide variety of fabrics, including strong denim, olefin, polyester, and even mixes of these fibers, are suitable for this project. There is no need to worry if the fabric you chose is suitable for upholstery.

Different Couch Fabric Types

We’ve compiled a list of the benefits and drawbacks of the many types of couch fabric. Despite the fact that all of these textiles may be used for both apparel and bedding, we’re primarily focusing on the higher thread count options here. Or, more especially, upholstery-grade weaves.

In terms of weight, weave, and texture, fabrics can be found in a wide variety of options. However, not all of them are suitable for use as couch covers. Which fiber is right for you can be found on this list. However, before making a purchase, make sure to ask the shop about the fabric’s suitability.

1. Acrylic

To mimic a natural substance, another synthetic fiber was inserted. Wool can be replaced with acrylic. Acrylic sofa coverings will give your living area a more laid-back vibe. It’s made of a soft material that’s simple to clean and quick to dry. This fabric can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it more versatile.

Acrylic upholstery fabric may meet your needs for a casual, low-maintenance setting option. However, there are some drawbacks to it. An acetate-like substance is the largest. Acrylic smudges are fairly obvious.


  • It can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • a pleasant feeling on the skin
  • As if made of wool, this hat appears to be
  • Perfect for creating a more relaxed atmosphere in a room
  • Simple to take care of
  • It dries fast.


  • Easy to get scratched
  • Affected by pilling
  • Thermally insensitive
  • Some people are allergic to it.

2. Acetate

Fibers derived from wood pulp, such as cellulose, are the raw material for synthetic fiber acetate. Acetate, in contrast to rayon, is hydrophobic and does not have a pore structure. It also has a low tolerance for heat.

This is a good option for folks who want a high-end couch but don’t want to spend a lot of money. As an inexpensive substitute for silk, it offers a rich feel and a lustrous, almost opulent appearance. In this way, you can have a luxurious-looking couch at a fraction of the price.


  • For a fraction of the price of silk
  • Elegant fabric with a costly appearance.
  • Resistance to pilferage
  • Mold and mildew can’t grow on it.
  • Has no effect on humidity
  • A deterrent to moths and other insects


  • Accurately scuffed
  • If you have children or pets, avoid using this cloth.
  • Only dry clean.
  • Can’t take a lot of abuse.
  • Ideal for occasional use on a couch

3. Chenille

chenille is a fascinating fabric that seems like it’s covered in caterpillars’ fuzzy hairs. Chenille gets its name from this. Its name is derived from the French phrase for little, hairy animals. –

This cloth is great for a child’s room because of its adorable appearance. The super-soft texture is a big hit with kids. However, this does not imply that it is a fabric that can only be appreciated by youngsters.

Chenille lends a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere to any living space. Embrace your inner child and go for chenille for the comforting and familiar sensation of home. ‘


  • Soft and cozy to the touch.
  • Durable
  • Scratch-resistance
  • Cleans up in a jiffy at home
  • A wide range of colors is available to match any style.


  • Chenille has the potential to lose its original shape when exposed to heat.
  • Pet-friendly properties should not be considered.
  • The fibers trap dust, which needs to be vacuumed on a regular basis.

4. Cotton

Cotton is an obvious choice for upholstery fabric because it is so widely used and has such a wide range of applications. As long as it is made of cotton, you’ll be able to locate the right upholstery fabric for your couch.

With a wide range of colors and woven patterns, cotton sofa fabric may be used in any room or décor style. As an added bonus, cotton is known for its durability and longevity.


  • Sensitive skin types will appreciate this.
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Comfortable, soft, and breathable
  • Piling and abrasion resistance
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Durable against fading
  • Easily dyes


  • Stains are easily absorbed by the fabric.
  • Vulnerable to wrinkles and folds
  • The fact that it absorbs water-based spills makes cleanup more difficult.
  • Dye from your clothes can also be absorbed by this fabric.

5. Jute

In terms of upholstery fabrics, lJute is a newcomer. Originally from India and Bangladesh, jute is more often used for making mats and rope. This fabric, despite its rather rope-like texture, is ideal for use as an accent. Particularly as a contrasting element in a leather couch.

lJute is a new fabric in the upholstery industry. Jute is a natural fiber that is commonly used to make mats and rope in the United States. Even though it has a texture that is reminiscent of rope, this fabric works well as an accent. Especially when used as a contrast to a leather couch.

  • Enhances furniture’s visual appeal
  • Can be a focal point on a leather sofa.
  • Durable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Friendly to the environment


  • It may turn yellow if exposed to direct sunlight.
  • It is not washable.
  • Wrinkles easily
  • When it comes into contact with water, it loses its strength.
  • Couches are more suited as footrests or ottomans.

6. Leather

Like bacon and eggs, leather and upholstery complement each other. It’s hard to go wrong with a leather sofa when it comes to classic style and luxurious comfort. When you think of couch fabric, chances are leather is one of the first things that come to mind. When it comes to faux leather, it conjures up ideas of traditional lounge furniture that exudes class and style.

It’s appropriate in a wide range of scenarios. Whether you’re designing a formal living room or a more relaxed family room, leather is a no-brainer. It’s little wonder that leather has been the preferred upholstery material for so many years.


  • Wipe-clean features make it simple to care for and maintain
  • Doesn’t hold or remove stains or water
  • No odors from smoke or pets will be absorbed by this product.
  • Real leather, on the other hand, is both long-lasting and durable.


  • Sharp items can damage it, especially if it’s imitation leather.
  • It may be pricey
  • Sitting on it can be uncomfortable at times since it tends to retain heat and cold.
  • Indirect sunlight, it can fade.

7. Linen

Linen is a low-cost couch fabric that also happens to be antimicrobial. Linen, a natural fiber derived from flax, is hardy against moths, pilling, and fading. Mold and mildew will not be able to grow on your linen-covered couch.

For additional benefits, consider using linen with a little amount of synthetic fiber content. Adding artificial component to linen will not only increase its benefits, but it will also provide an additional bonus. It will help to keep your linen covers wrinkle-free.


  • The texture that is silky and cuddly
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Affordable
  • Withstanding pilling
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Mothproof, moldproof, and mildewproof.


  • It’s easy to get dirty.
  • Incurable wrinkles.
  • Has a propensity to contract
  • He does not enjoy being in humid conditions.
  • It is recommended that you hire a cleaning service.
  • Only appropriate for light use on an irregular basis.

8. Olefin

Melted plastic is the raw material for olefin, a synthetic fiber. It’s resistant to water, fire, and bleach cleaning. This is the excellent material for covering couches that are subjected to a lot of wear and tear.

Olefin has a resemblance to wool in appearance. Wool is sensitive to moisture, whereas olefin is not. As a result, it is an excellent choice for outdoor couches.


  • Water-resistant
  • Resilient against the effects of fire
  • Stains that are caused by water are easily cleaned.
  • Bleach is a viable cleaning option.
  • While manufacturing, plastic is dyed to ensure that colors do not fade over time.


  • The fabric might become fragile if it is exposed to too much sunlight.
  • Oil-based stains are difficult to remove.
  • There may be an issue with heat as it’s melting plastic.
  • For outside furniture only, please.

9. Polyester

Polyester, like cotton, can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Many of the upholstery qualities of leather may be found in polyester, a synthetic textile. It’s an excellent choice for a couch because of its durability and resistance to odors and stains.

Polyester may give your couch a leather-like appearance and feel for a fraction of the cost of genuine leather. Polyethylene (PE) is used to make a number of fake leathers.


  • Durable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comfortable and supple
  • Stain- and rip-proof
  • Water-resistant
  • The hues of a painting will not deteriorate over time.
  • Smells don’t bother her.


  • Intolerance to high temperatures
  • Not able to withstand the heat of a fire
  • Extreme heat or cold can cause cracking.
  • is well-known for its tendency to elongate
  • Abrasion injury is a possibility.

10. Rayon

This list’s upholstery materials, including rayon, may be the least long-lasting. Because it is made from wood pulp cellulose, it is a semi-synthetic fiber similar to acetate. The woody base of rayon, which is also known as viscose, gives it some of the characteristics of a natural fibre. Other advantages include a high capacity for water absorption.

Despite the fact that it appears to be soft and cozy, it is not as durable as a cotton sofa cloth. The fabric will wear down over time if it is repeatedly abused. Additionally, the material may be stretched out of shape as a result. For families with children or pets, rayon is not a good choice.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Comfortable and supple
  • Anti-mold and mildew resistant
  • Exceptional style


  • Is prone to fast losing its luster
  • Easy to get scratched
  • Wrinkles easily
  • Water- and liquid-based stains are absorbed by this product.
  • When wet, it is easily damaged.

11. Silk

Silk, one of the most expensive fabrics available, is prized for its opulent feel and silky sheen. Consequently, this is a fabric that is best suited for formal upholstery. Even if the area doesn’t get a lot of traffic, it might use a bit more elegance. In a family living room, this would be a bad idea. Five seconds and it would be over.

At the appropriate place, silk’s delicate nature can create an air of romance. It’s a lot of work, though. This one needs to be dry cleaned and stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. One for the grown-ups only.


  • Luxurious and sultry
  • Suitable for more formal occasions
  • In a variety of shades and patterns.
  • Maintains its form
  • Is a beacon of snobbery


  • Unreasonably pricey
  • Delicate to the core.
  • Only dry clean.
  • Children and dogs should avoid this area.
  • Sofas that get a lot of use should be avoided.
  • Stains are easy to remove.
  • In sunshine, colors fade.

12. Velvet

Velvet was once a luxury item exclusively afforded to the most affluent people. Even today, it is a fabric connected with wealth and elegance. In terms of cost, it’s one of the priciest upholstery alternatives available.

Nevertheless, you must acknowledge that the cost is worth it. Velvet’s sheer beauty is enough to transform a place from drab to dazzling. This fabric exudes sophistication and elegance. Transform your spartan couch into a royal throne.


  • a feeling of opulence
  • Atmosphere of formality
  • Suitable for more formal occasions
  • Infrastructural characteristics
  • Durable
  • Rich hues to match any decor are available.
  • Reflects light, enhancing the fabric’s plushness.


  • Expensive to get your hands on
  • Hard to get rid of
  • a more affordable velvet may not be as long-lasting
  • Inappropriate for daily use
  • In certain cases, it’s obnoxious.

13. Wool

Wool is one of the greatest materials for making upholstered furniture. Additionally, it is waterproof, fireproof, and exceptionally effective as an insulator. Your couch will be warm and inviting to relax in after a long day at the office if it has a wool cover.

With this couch fabric, it’s okay to be a little rough with it. It can withstand the abuse of both youngsters and pets without losing its appearance or functionality. Even so, it has the potential to elevate the look of your living space. So it’s a surprise to learn that wool isn’t utilized as a couch fabric on a regular basis. In any case, not on its own. Almost always, you’ll find it in a mixture with another substance.


  • Unbelievable ease and comfort
  • Resistant to both water and fire
  • Stain-resistant and long-lasting
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Friendly to the environment
  • Suitable for both hot and cold climes, it is both breathable and insulating.
  • Doesn’t wear off
  • Unfazed by wrinkles


  • Expensive
  • It’s a favorite of moths.

How to Identify Couch Material

Because there are so many fabric variations, it might be hard to identify a couch material from curtains. Couch coverings made of a drapery fabric may be a disaster because draperies need drape and don’t necessarily need to be hefty.

Upholstery fabric can also be used to make lightweight curtains. It is possible that they are excessively hefty and could bend the curtain poles. It’s critical to be able to tell what kind of fabric a couch is made of just by looking at it.

The question is, however, what exactly should you be keeping an eye out for? Fabric for a couch should be sturdy and long-lasting by definition. The fibers need to be tough and resilient, but the weaving of the fabric also needs to be quite sturdy.

Make sure the fabric has a high thread count. Thread count per inch is high because there are many threads. They should be tightly braided together as well. Thickness and stiffness are the desired characteristics of the finished product.

Because of its thickness, it’s a good choice for use as couch fabric. Lightweight or low-thread-count fabrics like cotton voile or organza won’t be able to resist the daily abuse a couch is expected to get.

Upholstery fabric is graded by the double rub method, which is a simple approach that makes life easier for everyone. A machine that rubs the fabric back and forth until bare patches appear is used to test the fabric.

In order to give the system its name, it has to be able to pass in both directions. Quite literally, the fabric is being rubbed in two directions. Between 10,000 and 25,000 double rubs is the best number for couch fabric’s double rub rating.

If you’re unsure, ask the merchant where you purchased the fabric. For upholstery, they should have the ability to detect whether or not the cloth you’ve selected is appropriate.

What Upholstery Fabric Is Most Durable?

This depends on what you’re looking for in a couch material. There are two options available to you. Other than that, it’s a natural one. Other than that, it’s all artificial.

Leather is the most durable couch fabric if you like a more natural look. As a result, for many years, it has been used as a cover for sofas, chairs, and even footstools. The greater the leather’s thickness, the more long-lasting it will be.

It has a reputation for withstanding abuse. Your soggy dog with the zoomies is no match for leather, which can take it all in its stride. Leather, on the other hand, is both waterproof and stain-resistant, making it a breeze to keep clean and maintain.

There’s no need to be concerned about cake splatters either. Even if it’s been rotting away in the back of your mind. Unlike other materials, leather does not hold on to odors.

Microfiber fabric is the most long-lasting synthetic material available. In microfiber, polyester and nylon are combined to create ultra-fine, tightly woven fibers. Besides being extremely resistant, these fibers help protect the fabric from liquid spills and dust.

Kid-Friendly Sofa Fabric

Kids may be harsh on sofas, so you’ll need a fabric that can take whatever they can dish out. In some cases, from books or toys to a carton full of yogurt, quite literally.

Leather is your best bet when it comes to water resistance, stain resistance, and the ability to tolerate a hyperactive toddler. It will outlast their tween years and last them through their college years if you use high-quality leather for your couch.

The most kid-friendly fabric, chenille, is the obvious choice if you ask your child. It’s a no-brainer for the kids, thanks to its caterpillar-like softness. As for them, I can’t blame them either. Chenille’s teddy bear soft surface is irresistible to anybody.

How to Choose the Best Couch Fabric

What Upholstery Fabric Is Most Durable

Even though this article might help you pick the best couch textiles, the one you choose is ultimately yours. It’s not only a matter of what kind of material you use. There are a lot of other things to take into account as well. ‘

The location of your couch is the first and arguably the most significant consideration. If so, what kind of upholstery material are you searching for? It would be a waste of time and money to use a rayon fabric for a patio couch. Rayon is readily harmed by water since it does not react well to it.

What’s the weather like where you live? If you ask me, sitting on a leather couch in 100°F heat is torture. Zero-degree weather isn’t much fun, either. Polyester, on the other hand, isn’t. For hot or cold climates, cotton might be a preferable option.

It’s also a good idea to have a look at the current design of the room. If you don’t want to start from scratch, make sure the sofa fabric matches the rest of your decor. For a contemporary living room, a heavy leather couch with a huge wooden frame isn’t the best choice.

Consider your lifestyle and the people you share it with as well. Couch fabrics that can withstand the abuse of children and pets are in high demand. Instead of having to change your sofa covers every six months, invest in some that will stand up to the demands of family life instead.

For more formal settings, there are many kinds of upholstery textiles available. Instead of a high-traffic area such as the living room of a household. Before choosing a couch fabric, think about how frequently your sofa will be used.

To begin with, make sure that the fabric you choose is both long-lasting and snag-resistant. It’s also important that it’s easy to get in and out of. If you’re going to be sitting for an extended amount of time, stay away from abrasive textures like jute.

Before choosing upholstery fabric, always verify the fabric’s double rub figure. A double rub count of 10,000–25,000 is what you’re looking for. You should check with your local merchant or call the internet business to ensure that the material you chose is suitable for your couch.

Best Material for Outdoor Couches

Kid Friendly Sofa Fabric

An outdoor couch needs to be weather-resistant and waterproof. An external fabric’s ability to repel bugs and mold is also critical.

UV resistance is also an important consideration if you want to keep your couch’s fabric from fading. Direct sunlight can quickly degrade the fabric on your couch.

Olefin is an excellent choice for outdoor applications. Despite its resemblance to wool, olefin is a plastic that has been melted down to a fine powder. In addition to being able to handle everyday or severe use, it is totally water-resistant.

olefin doesn’t tarnish It is also resistant to color fading, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture because of its durability.

Polyester and duck fabric are good substitutes for olefin. As long as you apply a UV-resistant product to polyester, it can withstand the elements outside.

Duck cloth is a heavy woven material made from cotton. It can also be found in the more traditional linen. It’s a type of canvas named after the Dutch word for linen canvas, doek. Incredibly hard-wearing and slightly burn resistant, Duck cloth won’t snag or tear.

Where Can I Buy Upholstery Fabric?

Duck cloth is a heavy woven material made from cotton. It can also be found in the more traditional linen. It’s a type of canvas named after the Dutch word for linen canvas, doek. Incredibly hard-wearing and slightly burn resistant, Duck cloth won’t snag or tear.

Heavy cotton twill weave is used to make duck fabric. Even in the more conventional linen, you’ll find this design element! Dutch linen canvas (doek) is the name of this canvas kind. Duck cloth is extremely durable and resistant to snags and tears, making it ideal for upholstery.

Upholstery fabric can be found in many home decor and retail stores. At the very least, you should be able to peruse some sample books.

Alternatively, you can buy upholstery fabric from an online store like Fabric.com. The process is the same. You look at the images on the screen and make a choice. However, with an online store, you only have pictures and a written description of the material.

Best Material for Outdoor Couches

Upholstery Fabric by the Yard

Fabric.com, for example, has upholstery fabric for purchase online. The steps are the same for everyone. It’s up to you to make a decision based on the images on the screen. In contrast, with an online retailer, you are limited to images and descriptions of the products.

Per yard, canvas or duck material can cost anything from $7 to $15 per square foot. The cost of a yard of polyester is likely to be between $6 and $13. Based on your location and where you’re shopping for a fabric, the amount you pay will vary. There is a price difference between a bargain internet merchant and a high-end cloth store.

A notable exception is genuine leather. Real leather can be difficult to find in your area. In fact, it’s unlikely that your neighborhood store will stock any. You may have to travel to a store in a different area to get what you need. You can also buy it on the internet. Leather is an expensive option no matter where you acquire it from because of its scarcity.

The beginning price for leather might be as high as $25 per yard. Starting at $45 per yard, some high-quality leathers are available.


There are a wide variety of sofa fabrics to choose from. Organic materials like cotton and wool can be used. Polyester and olefin are examples of synthetic materials. Regardless of the cloth you choose, it must be long-lasting and durable. Make sure it’s soft and comfy to sit on, but more crucial.

I sincerely hope that this post has assisted you in your quest for the ideal couch cloth. Which one is the best for you? If so, what kind of leather will you choose? Alternatively, chenille can provide a soft texture. Let me know in the comments section.

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