When choosing fabrics for your interior décor, you will want something that is practical yet aesthetic and matches your personality.

The investment of time and money that you put into this process will determine the quality of fabric that you end up with.

Interior fabrics can be used in a variety of places. The fabric you choose could be used for curtains, upholstery, rugs or even cushions.

For this reason, there are lots of factors to bear in mind.

Here are the 7 things you should always put on your checklist.

1. Type of Fabric

Every fabric has its own place and appropriate use. It is important to evaluate the different types of fabrics based on their use. Pillows, upholstery and drapes have different needs when it comes to the type of material.

For pillows, the fabric should be soft and tactile while for drapes you need hefty and weighty materials so they hang correctly.

Silk is luxurious but gets damaged easily. It is not suitable for upholstery and spaces with high traffic. However, it can be a good fabric for less frequented and private rooms.

Cotton is versatile and can suit both modern and traditional styles. However, for durability, cotton must be lined with another material, preferably a much stronger one.

Velvet is a great choice for insulating and light-blocking properties.

Polyester is durable, easy to care for, and affordable. On the flip side, it absorbs odors quickly and isn’t good for airflow.

Voile is an ideal choice for sheers because it creates an airy ambiance while still giving you privacy.

2. Your Style

When shopping for the best fabrics for your interior décor, it is crucial to factor in your style.

Having a clear style that you want to create in your indoor space, with the fabrics you choose, helps you to narrow your options.

To help you streamline your taste of style, consider the following periods:

  • 18th and 19th Century: the popular fabric during this era was damask. When choosing a fabric for this era, choose one that has subtle profiles and robust patterns. Velvet, linen, and silk are some of the go-to fabrics.
  • Early 20th Century: Fabrics with geometric and symmetrical design patterns are the best for this style. Colors were both neutral and vibrant.
  • Mid-20th Century: This modern sense of style has shifted from patterns to angles. Neutral-colored fabrics are on trend, as are bright hues such as orange and blue.

3. Color

Fabric color options are endless, and the final choice rests with you. You can start with neutral colors like gray and white and then explore more intense options at the other end of the spectrum.

The choice of color is closely linked with the effect you want to create and your personality.

Much like the way you choose your paint, you can change your fabric colors to reflect the look and feel of the different rooms.

Children’s rooms, the living room, dining room and the like can feature different-colored fabrics.

4. Pattern Blending

The pattern of the fabric you choose is influenced by the style you want to create. Modern rooms tend to lean toward geometric shapes and country homes’ spaces tend to feature spots and florals. In addition, there are those who prefer stripes or paisley.

To break the monotony, blend different patterns. Mix patterns that complement each other for interior décor that leaves an impression.

For the best results, match the scale of patterns to the scale of the room. Small-scale patterns should go with smaller rooms and vice versa.

With the best sewing machine, it is possible to get any pattern you are looking for as long as you can visualize it.

5. The Purpose

Apart from enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home, the fabrics you choose should be functional.

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with the fabrics. For instance, with curtains do you want a fabric that will help with light blocking, insulation, privacy, protecting furniture from UV rays, or blocking?

This will make it easier to decide.

6. Thread Count

Thread count — the number of threads per square inch — is an important parameter when choosing your interior fabric.

This is because it indicates the tightness of fabric weaving. The higher the thread count, the stronger and long-lasting fabric is.

So when selecting fabric, read the fine print!

7. The Feel

The rule of thumb when selecting interior fabric is to first have a feel of the fabric. If you cannot touch it then simply don’t buy it.

Whether you will use the fabric for chairs or curtains, one thing is for sure: you will be touching it more than you can imagine.

Interior design is all about perception and just as the other senses, the sense of touch is powerful.

When picking a fabric for the bedroom, you can opt for a smooth, seamless material.

However, when you are decorating a sitting room that directly faces outside, a rough fabric can fit in perfectly.

The bottom line for choosing any fabric for your interiors is first to shop around, look at and feel the different fabrics and have your checklist in hand.

Not all fabrics will have everything you want, so weigh the pros and cons — and have fun!

Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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