With so many fabrics available it’s easy to get confused about the different types and their best applications so we thought we’d break it down for you. Here’s an explanation:
Polyester- Constructed from artificial fibres, Polyester is a high performance fabric that’s extremely durable and wears exceptionally well in commercial environments. It’s resistant to most chemicals, wrinkles and mildew and also rates outstandingly in abrasion tests which makes it perfect for use in high traffic areas.
Wool – Derived from animal coats, Wool is a natural fibre that breathes well and is wrinkle, mildew, fade and abrasion resistant. Wool is extremely durable and well suited to seating upholstery due to its natural ability to regulate temperature.
Leather – Sourced from cattle, leather is tough and flexible, it naturally resists punctures and tears. Its natural properties make it easy to clean as dirt and spills can be wiped away. Perfect in both hot and cold environments leather upholstery is a popular choice for boardroom and reception seating.
Bonded Leather – Bonded leather is a relatively cheaper alternative to leather as its construction is a combination of genuine leather and synthetic fibres. Bonded leather carries the same benefits as genuine leather when it comes to aesthetics, durability, ease of clean and application.
PVC - Commonly referred to as vinyl, PVC is a synthetic material that serves an inexpensive imitation to leather. Modern forms of commercial PVC are extremely durable and perfectly suited to high traffic areas as well as areas that demand water resistance. Waterproof PVCs are often selected for hospitality and healthcare applications where superior durability is foremost.
Olefin – A synthetic material made from Polyolefin. It’s extremely durable and usable in the most hard-wearing environments. Olefin is more commonly used as screen fabric vs upholstery fabric as it lacks stretch.
When choosing your fabrics you should take into consideration factors such as Martindale rub ratings, where you will be using the fabric, what colours are best suited to your space and how environmentally friendly your choice is. Read more about how to choose the right fabric here.