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Leather Gallery: The Top 5 Fabric Used In Upholstery

Upholstery is used in various pieces of furniture. It can soften a design, add texture, depth, colour and so much more to a room! Understand the different types of upholstery fabric and make an informed decision about what works best in your interior.

As you shop for upholstery fabric, let your practical needs lead. First, determine where the furniture will be used and how many people will be using utilising the furniture. Pieces in high-traffic areas such as the living room, will need durable fabric, while furniture that doesn’t experience a lot of wear and tear such as a bedroom sofa or headboard can support any type of textile.


Commonly used in upholstery, leather is not only comfortable but it looks luxurious, feels grand and has an expensive smell to it. Upholstered furniture made in leather is therefore ideal for the living room.


  • Leather upholstery is easy to maintain.
  • It does not absorb liquid or stains.
  • Leather is a very durable material. This makes the lifespan of leather upholstered furniture longer than most other fabrics.
  • It is resistant to certain products and chemicals which may damage the furniture.
  • Leather is well-suited to heavy use while maintaining its style and elegance.


  • It is harder as compared to other fabrics. This means it is not as comfortable as other upholstery fabrics.
  • It can split or crack or get damaged easily with sharp objects.
  • Leather upholstered furniture is quite expensive.


Polyester is a microfiber that is commonly used as an upholstery fabric. This means it is also available in various colours. Subsequently, this makes it more customisable to your needs. Furthermore, polyester upholstery has an ‘expensive feel’ and it is similar to leather in this regard.


  • Polyester is a very soft and comfortable fabric.
  • It is extremely easy to clean polyester upholstered furniture.
  • Polyester upholstery fabric dries very quickly.
  • It is stain-resistant and abrasion-resistant.
  • Polyester fabric will not absorb smells like other breathable fabric.


  • Upholstery in polyester may crack if it is exposed to harsh temperatures.
  • It will stretch over time.
  • The polyester material is flammable. Therefore, you can’t smoke near it, as that can be a safety hazard.


Cotton is a natural fibre. Subsequently, this makes it a common and popular upholstery fabric choice. It is the most durable upholstery fabric and can therefore be easily dyed to suit your style and colour choice. Cotton is a popular upholstery fabric for all the right reasons.


  • Cotton is 100% natural.
  • This fabric can be dyed in almost any colour.
  • Cotton is soft and comfortable.
  • It is breathable.
  • Cotton is one of the most durable fabrics.
  • It resists abrasion.
  • Cotton is hypoallergenic.


  • Cotton wrinkles easily.
  • It is super easy to dye. This subsequently means that it also has a high colour transfer level. Colour from clothing can therefore easily stain a couch.
  • It can soak in spills quickly. As a result, your furniture may end up having an odour.


Beautiful, elegant and attractive, velvet upholstered furniture exudes sophistication. Consequently, it can transform any space instantly. However beautiful it may be, there are obvious good and bad features about this fabric. It is therefore important to consider the pros and cons.


  • Velvet is luxuriously soft and regal.
  • It can be dyed in rich colours.
  • Furthermore, velvet has excellent insulation properties.


  • It is difficult to clean and maintain velvet.
  • Velvet is a very expensive fabric.
  • The durability of velvet depends on the density of the woven fibres.
  • It is only suitable for lush furniture that is meant for formal use.


Rayon is a semi-synthetic fibre. This, therefore, means that it is versatile but also similar to the comfort level as other upholstery fabrics. Rayon is not a very durable fabric however it is a cheaper option than that leather, cotton and velvet.


  • Rayon is a very cheap form of upholstery fabric.
  • It is very soft and comfortable.
  • It is resistant to moths and mildew.


  • Rayon does not retain its original appearance for long and can get easily damaged.
  • It is not water-resistant.
  • Rayon has an extremely low elastic recovery. Subsequently, it will not retain its initial shape.

Now that you have a better understanding of upholstery and your choices, be sure to check out the wide selection of furniture on offer from Leather Gallery. Here you are sure to find a beautifully upholstered piece for your next interior project.


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