Your Complete Guide To Home Decorating Using Fabric

Your Complete Guide To Home Decorating Using Fabric

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Anyone can spend on designer pieces but what makes a great interior designer is being able to do more with less. Home decorating with fabric is a great way to save money and show your individual flair.

Understanding fabric types and how to use them plays a big role in this.

Fabric doesn’t usually give any significant structure to a room’s decor, however it can be be thought of as the way a room is dressed.

It gives a room a significant portion of its texture, contrast and overall colour palette.

Choose your fabric

There are many fabrics to choose from. For that reason it may be a little difficult to decide which patterns and fabrics will work the best for you and your decorating needs.

You need to think of not only fabrics used on windows and pillows, but also those that are used on the furniture, as they work to bring the room together as one cohesive space.

You need to answer some questions about your space and your plans for design before you go about choosing which types of fabrics you want to use. Some important things to think of are:

  1. What is the space going to be used for?
  2. Is the space a high traffic area?
  3. Is it a space that will be regularly used or just for special occasions when guests are over?
  4. How is the lighting in the space?
  5. Do you have pets and/or children?

These are all important things to think about because you want to get fabric that will be durable if there is going to be a lot of activity in the room, such as people eating there or pets using that room and furniture.

You also want to be aware of the lighting because you don’t want to have a leather chair in a sun room or a brightly lit room because this would ruin the fabric.

Once you make the practical assessments then you can decide on the best fabrics for the look and feel you want to create.

There are lots of different fabrics and combinations of fabrics, but for practicality this article with focus solely on 100% pure fabric and not combination or blended fabrics.

home decorating using fabric

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Types of Fabrics

Silk

Can provide a rich element to a room, especially with curtains. The fibres are prism like and have a nice lustre to them.

It also reflects light effectively. The one problem with silk is that it is not very durable, because it stains and wrinkles easily.

So you should avoid using silk in high traffic areas and instead use in more formal settings.

Silk is also something you want to use sparingly in your decor.

It is such a dominant fabric that using too much will be overbearing.

This makes it ideal for any feature areas of the room you are designing.

Rayon

Semi-synthetic fabric, an alternative to silk.

It has a shiny texture and is very bright. It’s great for homes which require something more durable than silk.

Rayon does wrinkle, so avoid using it in high traffic areas where many people will be resting it on it or lounging on it.

Be aware that rayon also has the same rich, shiny quality of silk, so it is very to overuse in a room as well.

Olefin

A material that is both comfortable and functional especially for a DIY decor project.

It’s a synthetic fabric that is usually used on furniture because it’s very durable, holds its colour and is stain resistant.

Olefin is a good fabric to use in high traffic areas and also pairs well with other types of fabric for a great look for any room.

Olefin can be effective at creating a visually organic and natural feel. It can be manufactured to look quite ropy and bare.

This makes it one of the best options for a feature fabric in a high traffic area.

Usually aesthetic is sacrificed when making a fabric more durable (eg: cotton blends) however high quality olefin can even develop character as it wears.

Polyester

Synthetic fabric that is not usually used for room decoration, it is usually found in bed sheets and window coverings.

It is combines well with other fabrics. Polyester is also great to use on seating furniture as it is very durable and will not wrinkle.

However the look of polyester is unlikely to be a secret weapon when enhancing the aesthetics of your decor.

Most people can detect the look of cheap fabric, even if they aren’t actively conscious of it in the moment.

Cotton

Natural fabric that is breathable and comfortable and is used in lots of fabrics and blends.

It’s also resistant to fading and other wear and tear. Cotton is a comfort fabric so the type of cotton you use will depend on what its function is.

Quality pure Egyptian cotton is renowned for being the material used for the highest quality bedding.

The subtle texture that such quality fabric adds to a bedroom DIY decor project goes a long way.

However, the main problem with cotton is that it can easily become stained and soiled, which is why you should use a cotton blend instead of just pure cotton when decorating areas that need more durable material or features that will be cleaned less often.

Acrylic

Another synthetic fabric, an alternative to wool or cashmere in DIY decor. It’s soft, comfortable and durable, which makes it a great choice for home decor.

Acrylic holds colour very well and does not shrink. It is also wrinkle resistant, stain resistant and withhold wear and tear.

Nylon

A synthetic fabric that is very resilient and has a nice silky feel to it. It is a pretty strong fabric, but is rarely used on its own, it is more widely used in fabric blends.

However, because it is a strong fabric it can really be used wherever you want within your home.

Leather

Natural fabric made by tanning hides of an animal, which is usually cow.

In your DIY decor this adds a lot of richness to any space, but be mindful that leather requires a lot of work to maintain.

The colour can fade if it is placed in direct sunlight and it can scratch and stain easily.

It can be an excellent choice though if placed in the right area of the home.

Quality leather can be a real investment if properly cared for and is makes a real statement in a room’s decor as people know that it is an expensive material.

Similar to silk, leather is better used for statement pieces than all throughout your decor design.

Do not use leather if you are aiming for a cozy feel with your decor.

In closing…

When deciding on home decorating using fabric the most important thing to remember is to pick fabrics that work the best for your space and your lifestyle.

You want to pick fabrics which will be durable and practical for you home.

Make sure to also look at alternatives, such as fabric blends, if you don’t want to use 100% pure fabric.

If you take the time to think about all your DIY decor options, you will not be disappointed in your fabric choices later. You will also have fabrics that last a long time in your home.

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Alexander is a full-time freelance writer and digital designer. He is passionate about intelligent web design. You can read more of his writing here.

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