Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
02/09 Design Tips

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

Some of our go-to material choices

Choosing the right kind of seating for your home and lifestyle can be difficult, especially when selecting an upholstery fabric. When we work on projects with clients, we’ve found that a lot of people have questions about how to make an informed choice. 

Whether it’s linen, Crypton, leather, or velvet, each upholstery fabric has something to offer. Furniture should be an investment, and making the right decision when it comes to the upholstery all starts with getting to know your options. 

Today, we wanted to share a guide to some of our favorite upholstery fabrics to help you decide what is best for you! 

Here are some of our go-to choices when it comes to upholstery fabric:


The number one request we get from our clients is that they want their living spaces to be kid or family-friendly. Trust us; we get it! You don’t have to wait for the reality of peanut butter fingertips to set in on your new white couch, that’s where Crypton comes in.

We call Crypton fabric the gold standard of performance fabrics. Not only is it stain-resistant, odor-resistant, and antimicrobial, it is also made without harmful chemicals, making it the perfect family-friendly fabric.

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

Our favorite Crypton pieces

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Leather is also a great option for family, friendly spaces. It ages well, it’s durable, and it’s easy to wipe spills off of. Even when the leather starts to get natural scratches, it’s still pretty. Plus, when you choose natural leather, you can often rub out the scuffs with your fingers. We love using leather because it’s classic, strong, and blends well in almost any space.

In our upholstery collection, we use natural leather for its feel and look. Sometimes when leather is processed, it can feel plasticky. However, natural leather is soft to the touch and wears down much better over time.

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric


Linen is one of our favorites for its natural texture, relaxed look, and premium feel. Not only is it incredibly comfortable, but it is also breathable, durable, and hypoallergenic l, making it a great choice for bedroom and living room furniture alike. 

Linen is less stain-resistant than our performance fabrics, so it may not be the best choice for kids’ spaces. 

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

The Walt Bed.

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

The Madlen Bench.

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

Best-selling linen pieces


Although velvet is known as a more elevated fabric, it is also surprisingly durable! Because of its texture, velvet has a way of disguising imperfections, making it a good choice for family living spaces.

It’s soft, warm, and, most of all, beautiful in any space. We love using velvet to add an extra layer of texture, whether it’s in an accent chair or an entire sofa. 

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric

The Reese Curved Sofa.

Fan-favorite velvets

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Psst.. Save the pin-friendly guide below for future reference!  

Choosing Your Upholstery Furniture Fabric
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Studio McGee
  1. I currently have 2 sofas covered in different indoor/outdoor fabrics and a word of caution, they pill like crazy. It’s easily remedied with a lint shaver, but they are by no means indestructible!!

    Great suggestions, you guys make leather sofas cool again!

    1. I’ve have the perennial fabric from RH in the Textured Linen "Sand" on a couch for about a year now and it is showing some signs of piling. They were very nice and told me that might happen when I ordered it, but for me the pilling is worth it for not having to worry about my 2 kids (ages 6 and 4), 2 golden retrievers and 2 cats. They definitely spill and it spot cleans so easily.

      I also have a pottery barn couch in Premium Performance Basketweave "oatmeal" – it’s held up much like the RH fabric. Pills a little bit after a year, not that noticable. I actually think this fabric wears a bit better, my dog chewed up a black pen and spilled ink on it after about a month of owning. Threw the slipcover in the wash and it all went away. Green frosting from cupcakes! Companies should pay me to test their fabric out, because my family will find a way! But we use these couches daily, they are light in color, and they look amazing.

  2. We would love to know the sources of the actual fabrics and linens used in the projects pictured! (i.e. The striped linen and the light blue-gray polyester fabric). Always on the hunt for good upholstery sources!! 🙂 XOXO

  3. Do you have any favorite leather cleaner/conditioners? We have leather counter stools that are a gorgeous gray and I don’t want them to darken, but they are in need of a conditioner.

  4. Would love to know the source for the blue polyester fabric? Will it pile? Am making cushions for my wishbone chairs, so lots of rubs.

  5. Hi!

    Love the kitchen lighting. I am looking at similar lights but worry about them looking too small. Our island is 12ft long and the pendants are 17 wide. How long is this island? Thank you!

  6. I’m concerned with microplastic dust in the home from synthetic textiles. Do you have any suggestions other than leather for people looking for natural fibers?

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