Pros and Cons of Certain Fabrics: Which One is Right For You?

Woman choosing different types of fabrics

Fabric is an integral part of every room—especially the living room. The right furniture fabrics can go a long way towards creating a living room that is beautiful, comfortable, and practical. When shopping for upholstery fabrics, you’ll often find a myriad of different choices. For most living rooms, fabrics that are durable and stain-resistant are the most highly recommended. Here is information on some of the most popular fabrics to consider next time you are looking to upholster a room in your home.


Leather is a durable material choice for more furniture—it easily wipes clean and can withstand vacuuming. To keep leather upholstery supple, it is recommended that you use a conditioning product regularly. Leather furniture should not be exposed to sunlight, as this can cause fading and cracking.

If you love the look of leather but prefer a synthetic material at a lower cost, consider vinyl. This material offers the same stylish appearance with less maintenance — simply remove spills and dust away with a lightly dampened cloth. Enhance your leather or vinyl furniture with a coordinating throw or blanket to increase comfort and add a layer of protection.


The cozy texture and appearance of cotton makes it a top choice for living room furniture. On its own, cotton lacks both stain and fire resistance. Choose a cotton blend infused with other materials for maximum performance and durability. Cotton fabrics are available in different weaves and patterns to suit your individual style needs or requirements. Canvas weaves offer a more casual look, whereas damask is great for a more elegant and formal living room décor scheme. When deciding on what fabric is right for your living room, the most important thing to consider is how you are planning on using it.


Nylon is often blended with other fabrics in an effort to increase its durability and stain resistance. For example, you’ll find nylon incorporated into velvet fabrics to improve the quality of the fabric and prevent crushing. Nylon is a great choice for frequently used living rooms, offering unmatched wear. The only downsides of this fabric are fading and pilling. Nylon blends are easy to clean, allowing you to simply blot spills with a damp cloth or use an upholstery cleaning spray for tough stains.


One of the leading fabrics for living room furniture is rayon, especially when it is blended with other fabrics. Rayon was originally developed to serve as an alternative to silk, because it offers a similar look and feel. Some rayon is prone to wrinkling, so be sure to select a high-quality rayon fabric for best results. Thanks to technological advances, today’s rayon fabrics are delicate yet durable. Rayon makes an ideal covering for accent chairs, but may prove too light as a sofa covering. Always make sure to remember any special considerations you may have when choosing the right fabric for your living room.

Selecting Fabric Colors

Once you’ve decided on a fabric, it is time to choose the color of your upholstery. Although it can be tempting to select a trendy color, neutral shades ensure your furniture will serve you for years to come. There are many choices in the neutral color family, such as beige, brown, and black, just to name a few. With neutral-toned furniture as your foundation, it is easy to change the color scheme of your living room with elements like window treatments, throw pillows, area rugs, and wall art as often as you desire.

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