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Thread: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

  1. #1
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    Default Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    We are in the fabric selection phase for our new sofa.

    How does linen work as fabric for a sofa? I know linen clothes get wrinkled very easily. What happens when linen is put on a sofa or chair? Some people have told me to stay away, while others have said it works wonderfully.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    Linen is GREAT for an upholstered piece when used in a blend. Years ago Greeff fabrics had a line of Belgium made fabrics that were Wool, Linen and Cotton in appx 1/3 blends and that fabric was the most popular I have ever sold, also the longest lasting. I still have two pieces of it in my house 25 years later. I'd not want 100 % linen, but in a blend its terrific.
    Duane Collie
    Please Ask ALL Questions in the Forum
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    Duane - thanks for the opinion.

    One followup - why does Hancock and Moore have so many 100% linen fabrics in their line? I find lots and lots of fabrics with great colors (and feels) - and they are all 100% linen! I'm ready to order my sofas and want to get the fabric pinned down.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    They have both 100 % linens and a lot of blends as well. Perhaps this will help:

    "When shopping for a new piece of furniture, one of the biggest concerns is inevitably going to be durability; fabric being the "skin" of the piece, its ability to take a beating is undoubtedly the most important factor, especially for high traffic areas. Still, most people have no clue how to go about picking the most durable fabric, and that's ok! We're here to help.

    First thing to know is, how exactly is a fabric's durability measured? Most fabrics go by one of two test methods, known as Wyzenbeek and Martindale, to give the fabric an "abrasion" or "double rub" rating. Essentially, the fabric is pulled tight and rubbed in two directions by a standard weight fabric; if two yarn breaks occur, or if noticeable wear is observed, at that point the number of rubs is recorded as the abrasion rating. 30,000 double rubs is considered minimum durability for commercial use; hotels, conference rooms, etc. Between 30,000 and 100,000 is considered heavy duty. Although these tests are only used as tools for predicting wear, it can help when looking at fabrics, to know that the higher the abrasion rating number is, the better it performed on the durability test.


    There are definitely other factors to consider, though, when picking a fabric based on durability. Most fabrics come with standard levels of durability across the board, based simply on what they are made out of. The most all-around durable materials are leather and micro-denier ("micro-fiber"). Leather is tough and easily vacuumed, wiped clean, and conditioned for long life. Micro-denier, made of 100% polyester, is extremely tightly woven, making it very difficult for dirt and/or liquids to penetrate its surface, as well as making it very difficult to tear, rip, or pill. Cotton, depending on the weave (canvas is the best!), is also very durable in terms of wear, fade, and pilling, however it tends to wrinkle and will absorb stains; a cotton-polyester blend is a great compromise to help avoid the wrinkling, and a stain treatment can make up for its absorbent properties. Wool, although usually very warm, is extremely resistant to pilling, fading, soil, and fading. A blend with polyester or rayon can make it more skin-friendly. Manufactured to imitate wool, acrylic fibers will not fade, soil, or wear easily, although less expensive versions will usually display a certain amount of pilling after some time of heavy use. Rayon can go either way - high quality rayon can be extremely durable, but be careful when looking for rayon at a very low price - it's likely to wrinkle and can sometimes absorb water stains. Other very durable fabrics include olefin, nylon, and vinyl; all very good choices for heavy use pieces of furniture.


    Among the least durable fabrics are linen and silk. Don't get me wrong - both can be gorgeous and luxurious additions to a beautiful piece of furniture - but they should probably be used only in "adult" areas, where food and drink don't go, as they soil (and wrinkle) easily. They both must be professionally cleaned if stained, and will not withstand heavy wear. However, they both breathe nicely, and resist pilling and fading.


    Whatever fabric you happen to fall in love with, there will almost always be a more durable alternative. If you want leather but don't have the time to care for it, opt for vinyl or micro-suede. If you love linen but you need a kid or pet-friendly fabric, opt for synthetic linen (either a cotton/poly blend or 100& polyester). If you love the formal and fancy feel of silk and velvet but you're not living in a formal environment, try micro-velvet instead. A good piece of furniture should fit your tastes, but it also needs to fit your use of it; make sure you are honest with yourself from the beginning about how you treat your sofa, and it will be smooth sailing!



    Kara Pierce is a Senior Design Consultant at The Sofa Company which specializes in Custom Sofas, Sectionals and Chairs in Los Angeles, CA."



    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2470375
    Duane Collie
    Please Ask ALL Questions in the Forum
    Private Messages (PM's) are for Sample Requests and Placing Orders
    No written Quotes are given on Hancock& Moore, Jessica Charles or Councill - you must call the store for pricing.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    Great info. about the durability aspect of fabric choices. I think that some 100% linens could work well for furniture pieces but I have been unable to find it in any of the lines that I have searched. I have a bolt of such fabric so I know it is made by some company somewhere. The linen that I am referring to is woven of very thick threads in both directions, just the basic basket weave - not a twill. The threads are also long, because short threads create slubs and encourage the fabric to stretch over the long haul. The fabric is heavier than many of the Belgian linens sold by retailers (ie Restoration Hardware). I believe the heavy linen will last and look beautiful for years but the furniture owner will need to appreciate the comfortable "messy" look which will not look good on a furniture piece that has a structured and/or formal style. Oh - and red wine will be permanent...:0)
    just my .02!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    100% linen in a heavy weave made in Belgium is going to be too costly for most. You'll have to go to a custom fabric house like Schumacher or Robert Allen, etc., to find those and them build your furniture COM (Customers Own Material). Expect a price of $ 125 a yard or thereabouts.
    Duane Collie
    Please Ask ALL Questions in the Forum
    Private Messages (PM's) are for Sample Requests and Placing Orders
    No written Quotes are given on Hancock& Moore, Jessica Charles or Councill - you must call the store for pricing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Linen Fabric for Upholstery

    The most frequent complaint I have seen over the years on 100% linens and many linen blends is that they attract dust and lint like a powerful magnet. It is particularly noticeable on the darker colors.

    The fabric industry has been improving rapidly at creating linen looks out of 100% polyester. It's not the same as the real thing but, unless it is a particularly thin, lightweight weave it will be very durable and you won't get the lint problem.

    Jeff Frank
    Simplicity Sofas

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