Scatter cushions are a fantastic and cheap way of improving your home decor. They're available in many different shapes, colours and sizes. A high quality rectangular cover with piping and a consistent pattern can really improve the aesthetics of a room and look great with matching curtains. However, with the many fabric types available, the question is, which fabric should I choose for my home?
At Selby Soft Furnishings, all of our cushions are meticulously created from our wide range of upholstery & curtain fabrics, most of which you can purchase from us should you wish to create your own here. If you are looking to create your own, check out our step by step tutorial on how to make for cushion covers for beginners. When selecting a fabric for your covers, bear in mind that upholstery fabrics as a rule are fairly thick and will feature a thick flame retardant backcoat too. These fabrics are designed for upholstered furniture such as sofas, a chaise lounge, a high back chair or even dining room chairs. For thick fabrics, You'll need to be certain that your sewing machine(s) will be capable of handling the fabric first. We offer a free sample service on all of our fabrics, so you'll be able to test this for yourself before comitting to purchasing.
Whether you're looking to create your own or simply looking to buy cushion covers, for your home, we hope you find all this information below useful!
Chenille is a great choice when it comes to scatter cushions, and even more so when it comes to upholstery based chenille fabrics. Upholstered based fabrics are designed to withstand much higher levels of wear and tear and are also commonly available with flame retardant backcoats.
Chenille has a rich looking finish and is available in many designs and finishes. If properly cared for, it can maintain its rich appearance for a long time. If you're looking to buy, look for reversible cushions. This is absolutely ideal when it comes to chenille as it's recommended to turn the cushions around from time to time to avoid fading from sunlight.
Exclusive, it's unlikely your neighbours will have the same design.
Thick Weight which oozes quality
Upholstery chenille will often feature a flame retardant backing.
Can be difficult to clean once dirty. Unlike cotton covers, chenille cannot be washed in a machine as easily.
Requires dry cleaning to remove stains, which is expensive.
Susceptible to fade from direct sunlight. Remember to turn the cushions around every so often to avoid fading.
Jacquard is a fantastic choice for scatter cushions and soft furnishings in general. It's an extremely versatile weave that features very intricate details that are tightly woven into the fabric. There are plenty of designs and to choose from, whether it has a floral pattern, stripe, retro vibe or even a high class regency design, the upholstery jacquards are an ever better as they are designed to last.
Jacquard is quite easy to care for but be aware of upholstery fabrics, which may feature a flame retardant backing. A slow spin at 30 degrees is recommended for most jacquard weaves and ironing whilst the fabric is still damp will reduce the creases.
Extremely High Durability.
Intricate Designs Available.
Upholstery jacquard will often feature a flame retardant backing.
Complex designs which can look very rich.
Easy to keep clean.
I love Velvet! Lovely feel to this fabric and nothing can touch it in my opinion for feel and appearance.
Velvet isn't easy to work with, but the end results are well worth the effort. As with all upholstery based fabrics, these fabrics are designed to withstand general wear and tear far better than your typical fabrics, but isn't as durable as chenille or jacquard.
Caring for velvet is the most difficult of all the fabrics. It does not like water and you will ruin the fabric if you try to wash it. Removing stains from velvet will require dry cleaning, which is expensive.
Unrivalled in terms of richness
Durable if a quality upholstery fabric is chosen.
Upholstery velvet will often feature a flame retardant backing.
Not as durable as chenille or jacquard
Often the most expensive
Requires dry cleaning to remove stains, which is expensive.
One of the least common materials and one I'm sure will suprise some of you. Faux leather upholstery fabric, however is none the less still a viable choice and may even match the seat cushions of your furniture.
Thankfully, faux leather has come a long way since those cheap, brightly coloured, nightmarish settees and chairs from 1970s.
The heavier and higher quality fabrics are designed for recovering furniture so covers made from the same fabric are going to withstand general wear and tear much better. These are the fabrics you're going to want as they're easier to work too.
Imitation leather is fairly easy to work with but when sewing but I recommend you use a nylon thread. I use size 60. Generally most domestic sewing machines will struggle with this, especially if your design has sewn piped edges.
Colours are often traditional, however bright colours are still available if you desire that 70s look.
Easy to care for, just requiring a wipe when dirty.
Inexpensive (Be cautious of the very cheap fabric, these do not wear well and are a nightmare to sew)
Can often be used to match leather furniture
Extremely easy to clean and maintain, great for use with outdoor furniture too.
Difficult to work with, especially on domestic machines
Cotton is the most common material when it comes to scatter cushions and other light soft furnishings. Cotton is a lightweight material and one of the easier fabrics to work with, should you wish to create your own.
The choice in cotton fabrics is huge, with a variety of colour schemes and patterns to choose from. Many of the large design houses have a wide variety of cotton fabrics available, as well many other cheaper fabrics being plentiful.
Cotton shrinks the most on its first wash, so you'll want to account for that when creating your own. After the initial wash the shrinkage settles down. More expensive cotton fabrics won't shrink quite as much.
A slow spin at 30 degrees is recommended. Ironing whilst the fabric is still damp will reduce the creases.
Polyester is a common blend with cotton, which reduces the shrinkage and colour fading issues with pure 100% cotton.
Linen is another common blend with cotton, which adds additional strength to the cotton fabric.
Designer Brands are much easier to source
High availability in both designs and colours
Easy to keep clean
Cheaper fabrics are highly susceptible to fading after a small number or washes.
Shrinkage after being washed. This is much more apparent with cheaper cotton fabrics.
Extremely easy fabric to work with and maintain. Polyester and Polycotton blends regularly feature strong and cheerful colour schemes. These easy care fabrics are amongst the cheapest available and are a fantastic option for home furnishings on a limited budget.
A typical 40 degree wash will be fine with these fabrics.
Vibrant Colours and Designs
Easy to maintain, no creases
Easy to work with
Long Lasting Colours
Synthetic feel and appearance