How to Select the Right Material for Cushion Covers

Posted by Mark 18/02/2017 2 Comment(s) Guides,

At Selby Soft Furnishings, many of our cushion covers are meticulously created from our wide range of upholstery & furnishing fabrics, which you can purchase from us should you wish to create your own.

 

If you are looking to create your own cushion covers, do bear in mind that upholstery fabrics as a rule are fairly thick and will feature a thick flame retardant backcoat. 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 the right cushion covers for your home, we hope you find all this information useful!

 

Chenille Upholstery Fabric

Chenille is a great choice when it comes to cushion covers and even more so when it comes to upholstery based chenille fabrics. Upholstery based fabrics are designed to withstand much higher levels of wear and tear. Upholstery fabrics 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.

 

All of our cushion covers are reversible, which is absolutely ideal when it comes to chenille. It's recommended to turn the cushions around from time to time to avoid fading from sunlight.

 

Retro Red & Green Geometric Chenille Cushion CoverPros:

Rich looking.

Exclusive, it's unlikely your neighbours will have the same design.

High Durability.

Thick Weight which oozes quality

Upholstery chenille will often feature a flame retardant backing.

 

Cons:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Jacquard Upholstery Fabric

Jacquard is a fantastic choice for cushion covers 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's a floral, abstract, retro or even a high class regency design.

 

The upholstery jacquards are a great choice for cushion covers as they are designed to last.

 

Jacquard is quite easy to care for. A slow spin at 30 degrees is recommended. Ironing whilst the fabric is still damp will reduce the creases.

 

 Andrea Vintage Green Floral Brocade Jacquard Cushion CoverPros:

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.

 

Cons:

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Velvet Upholstery Fabric

I love Velvet! Lovely feel to this fabric and nothing can touch it in my opinion.

 

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 fabric.

 

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.

 

Gold & Black Floral Cut Velvet Cushion CoverPros

Unrivalled in terms of richness

Plush finish

Durable if a quality upholstery fabric is chosen.

Upholstery velvet will often feature a flame retardant backing.

 

Cons

Not as durable as chenille or jacquard

Often the most expensive

Requires dry cleaning to remove stains, which is expensive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faux Leather Upholstery Fabric

One of the least common materials used when creating cushion covers and one I'm sure will suprise some of you. However faux leather upholstery fabric is none the less still a viable choice when it comes to cushion covers.

 

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 cushions made from the same fabric are going to withstand general wear and tear much better.

 

Imitation leather is 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 you pipe the 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.

 

Rich Dark Brown Faux Leather Cushion CoverPros

Durable

Inexpensive (Be cautious of the very cheap fabric, these do not wear well)

Can often be used to match leather furniture

Extremely easy to clean and maintain

 

Cons

Plain colours

Difficult to work with, especially on domestic machines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cotton Fabrics

Cotton is the most common material when it comes to cushion covers 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 cushions. 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.

 

Schumacher Chocolate Brown Floral Burst Linen Blend Cushion CoverPros

Price

Designer Brands are much easier to source

High availability in both designs and colours

Easy to keep clean

 

Cons

Limited durability

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polycotton/Polyester 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 Blue & Green Striped Polycotton Cushion CoverPros

Low price

Vibrant Colours and Designs

Easy to maintain, no creases

Easy to work with

Machine Washable

Long Lasting Colours

 

Cons

Synthetic feel and appearance

2 Comment(s)

Alena:
07/03/2017, 01:04:21 PM
Reply

What a wonderful guide! Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

Rachael Mills:
17/03/2017, 12:55:28 PM
Reply

This is an enlightening guide, I have been undecided on what to use for the cushion cover I am planning to make but going through this post has helped me decide, I will opt for Jacquard.

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