Finding the Right Fabric to Make it Fabulous! An upholstery and fabric field guide...

By
Home Stager with JDS Consulting: Decor Design and Merchandising

 

Smoke Chair by Moooi

When merchandising a property for sale, especially high end residences, fabric can play a very important role in establishing a sense of opulence and grandeur; allowing buyers to picture themselves at home in your Real Estate for sale. The tactile and visual elements of upholstery found in sofas, chairs, wall coverings, and drapery can transform a ho-hum interior space into an elegant, warm, and inviting womb that buyers are loath to leave. Surprisingly fabric selection is probably the most difficult element to master when it comes to interior decor, this is largely do to the staggering selection of fabrics available in today's marketplace. Having too many options to choose from usually compromises the confidence level of consumers as they scour the seemingly infinite selection of swatches and product samples. The end result is usually a very safe and predictable choice that underwhelms potential buyers and looks like it was designed by Ebenezer SNOOZE, both cheap and boring! 

 

So where does one begin to grapple with the enormity of  picking THE perfect fabric for your upholstery project? The best place to start is to familiarize oneself with the traditional fabrics that have come to embody "high style" and meticulous taste. In this post I have compiled a list of Old School design fabrics that define Old World elegance, attention to detail, and luxury. These upholstery fabrics are used in traditional, transitional, eclectic and contemporary design styles. Finding contemporary versions of these classic materials can save you big bucks while maintaining the classic style cues high-end buyers are expecting. If your gung-ho for the "pricey" versions expect to pay over $200 a yard. Turn Key multi-million dollar residences will demand such materials so be prepared to spend a considerable amount on fabrics.  

 

Being meticulous when it comes to upholstery selection takes an eye for color, pattern, and texture. Mastering the fabric selection process takes some practice and the best place to start familiarizing oneself with the process is to understand what fabrics are available in today's market; how they were made in the past; and how technology has made them more affordable in the present. It is also important to distinguish between actual fabrics and designer styles, which can be confusing. TheFrench for many years dominated the cloth trade, establishing classic design styles and luxurious textile standards that define the world of fabric today. Below is a selection of some of the most popular upholstery fabrics found in the French tradition.

 

 

 


 

Matelassé: (mat-la-say)

Means hand “quilted,” or “padded”. The fabric design is meant to mimic the style of hand-stitched quilts endemic to Provence, in Southern France. Matelassé fabric can be either hand-stitched to create the decorative features of the fabric, or woven on a Jaquard loom  for theappearance of quilting. Matelassé is designed to feel thick and substantial like a padded quilt but actually has no padding added. 


 


 

 

Acanthus Scroll Damask

 



Damasks: (dah-mask)

Are found in a variety of textile's often utilized in wallpaper, drapes, and upholstery. Classic Damask is traditionally made from silk, however in modern times the term is now used to describe bold cut out patterning irregardless of the style of weaving or material used. Damask is easily recognized as abackground of silky fabric against which a raised, often matte, design appears. The Damask Style can be found in all sorts of accessories and non fabric items and is very popular in contemporary trends, such as Hollywood regency. This Damask has a stylized Acanthus motif.

 

 

 

 

Scalamandre Jacquard

 

Jacquard: (jah-card) 

Refers to fabrics woven on a mechanical loom invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in the early 19th century. Designed to streamline and accelerate the production process for manufacturing complex textiles like Matelassé, Damask, and Brocades. The loom is an ancestor of the modern day computer as it’s technology utilized punch cards with patterned holes, each row of which corresponds to one row of the design. Multiple rows of holes are punched on each card and the many cards that compose the design of the textile are strung together in order. Jacquard is a type of fabric and not a style.

 

 

 

Crewel Emroidered Fabric

 


 

 


Crewel: (cru-elle)

Is a style of embroidery that is characterized by lightly stenciled patterns on fabric that are then embroidered over. Multitudes ofstitches are then used to create elaborate patterning that in the past took a staggering amount of man-hours to accomplish. Today modern technology has virtually eliminated the time consumption and consequently the cost associated with the fabric.

 




 

Tropical Toile Sample

Toile(Twall)

Is commonly known as muslin in the United States and is a fabric made from linen and canvas. and refers to the cloth itself. It is usually mistaken for the term Toile de Jouy, which is commonly abbreviated as "toile" resulting in the confusion. This toile refers to a style of decorative patterning consisting of a background of white or off-white on which a pattern, generally of a pastoral print, is evenly repeated through out the fabric. Traditionally the print pattern consists of a single color, usually black, green, gray, or red, however, modern toiles come in a variety of colors and subjects.

 

 

 

 

Brocade Sample




Brocade: (bro-kaid)

This richly textured fabric is made from lustrous silks and often employs gold and silver threads. Brocade embellished details are designed to appear as embroidered additions to the fabric, giving it a substantial appearance of bas relief, characterized by it’s weight and thickness.






VIVE LA FABRIQUE!

 

Finding the Right Fabric to Make it Fabulous! An upholstery and fabric field guide...

 

 

Posted by

JDS Consulting: Hawaii Home Staging and Decor Design

Website : WaikikiRealEstateProfessionals.com

NEW TELEPHONE NUMBER (808) 927 9162

  E-mail : JDSDecorDesign@aol.com

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  1. Tori Toth 01/21/2011 03:54 PM
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Rainmaker
181,895
Karen Dembsky
Atlanta Home Staging
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA

Aloha Kimo!  great educational piece!  thx for sharing -- I will book mark.  I, too, am guilty of coming home from travels carrying back fabric!

January 12, 2011 09:50 AM
Rainmaker
319,934
Steven Nickens
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii
Island Sotheby's International Realty

What's up Kimo,

I use to work in the interior business. Still have accounts with PHF and a few other Honolulu companies. I was just in Honolulu last week end. Nice article keep up the good work.

January 12, 2011 02:25 PM
Rainmaker
137,415
Kimo Stowell
Real Estate Merchandiser
JDS Consulting: Decor Design and Merchandising

Aloha Karen, thanks for visiting it's been too long! Hope all is well with you considering all the nasty weather you've been having.

Aloha Steven, hows-it? I saw all the flooding Maui received in the last storm on the news. I hope you escaped it. Peace!

January 14, 2011 03:42 PM
Rainer
74,711
Tori Toth
888.667.6643 NYC, HSR, SAR, RESA, IADIE, LIBOR
Stylish Stagers, Inc.

the matalasse looks cool, i just bookmarked this great information i'm going to reblog this too!

January 21, 2011 03:52 PM
Rainmaker
137,415
Kimo Stowell
Real Estate Merchandiser
JDS Consulting: Decor Design and Merchandising
Aloha Tori, thanks for re-Blog.
January 22, 2011 03:36 PM
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