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What to consider when choosing upholstery fabric

Choosing an upholstery fabric for a chair or couch allows you to customise and transform the look of the piece. It’s an exciting part of the process and also an important one, as you’ll be living with the result for a long time. To make sure your fabric ticks all the right boxes, here are three questions to ask yourself when making your selection.


1. How durable do I need it to be?
If you’re covering a piece that won’t be used very often, you can get away with a more delicate fabric. However, if it’s a couch or chair that’s going to be regularly used by guests, kids and pets, your best bet is to go with a hard wearing option. Of course, if you’re choosing fabric for a restaurant or hotel installation, you’ll want to select a very durable material that can stand a lot of wear and tear.

2. Does it suit my style?
It’s important to choose a fabric that fits your design choices. “Be mindful of the overall look and feel you want for the space and use your fabric and chair design to complement this,” says Hertex sales consultant Kasandra Cronje. When choosing fabric for a large piece of furniture, you may want to opt for neutrals or solid colours that you know you’ll still enjoy in years to come – and that won’t dominate the space. “Neutrals are great for blending into a space and creating harmony,” says Kasandra. And if you want to change the look over time, you can add patterns and colours through cushions and throws. When covering a small piece, you can look at having more fun with your fabric choice, as it’s unlikely to overwhelm the rest of the room. “If your chair is the focal point of your space, go bold!” suggests Kasandra. “Have fun with your selection and choose something you love,” she adds.

3. Will the colour work for me in the long term?
Think about how the colour will work in the space. If you’re planning on placing the piece in a sunny spot, is the colour likely to fade noticeably over time? Also, do you have children or pets who will be using the piece regularly? If so, Kasandra recommends taking the cleaning instructions of the fabric you’ve selected into consideration as well as how the pattern or colour will show up dirt.

Choosing fabric for your Woodbender piece
All our upholstery is done in-house at the Woodbender factory in Strand, Western Cape.  Our clients are also welcome to supply their own fabric or to select one from a local fabric house, which we can order on their behalf. Just remember to request samples and try them at home to make sure that they fit with the other elements in the room.

If you’d like to know more, give us a call on +27 21 854 6034 or drop us an email at