Living Rooms Residential Design

Fabulous and Functional Fabric

The Intricacies of Fabric

For most homeowners learning the many intricate details of pattern repeat, abrasion resistance, and cleanability of a fabric is like learning a foreign language. Some of you may have seen our recent Facebook post today featuring two fabric palettes that have us fired up. I’m going to share some design secrets as to why we chose those fabrics and why they are perfect for our clients home and maybe yours too.

                                                       Living Room Palette


                                                       Family Room Palette


Pattern with Flair

First things first, let’s talk pattern repeat. Don’t be scared to add a pattern into your home, big or small it creates visual interest and helps draw the eye around your room. But it’s important to understand how fabric is made. Stripes can be particularly tricky. In small applications this is no big deal, but if you need a large vertical or horizontal run of fabric its time to start asking questions. The first question you should ask: What direction does the fabric run off the bolt? What this means: What direction does the manufacturer create the fabric when it’s being made. The easiest way to find your answer is to look at the label. Keywords to focus on are Railroad or Vertical. Railroad means the fabric comes off the bolt in a horizontal direction, or sideways. While Vertical means the fabric comes off the bolt in a vertical direction, or the long ways. The Schumacher herringbone pattern featured in living room palette is a great example of fabric that runs vertically off the bolt.

Double What?

In the interior design industry, we use our own language to describe everyday places, actions, and things. One such phrase is a Double Rub- verb; the amount of times someone sits down, rubbing the fabric, and then gets up, rubbing the fabric again.  Why is this important to you as a homeowner? Because this is a good indicator of how long your fabric will last. Typically for high use areas of the home, like a sofa, a good double rub range is 30,000 – 50,000. Each palette includes a large fabric swatch from Glant with a high double rub count to act as a workhorse in any home.

Fabulous and Care Free

Your home is the place where you should feel most comfortable and most confident. It should reflect your aesthetic and allow you to simultaneously live your life in a comfortable fashion. Part of living life includes an occasional stain and any fabric in your home should support your lifestyle. Fabric is a very personal long-term investment that we all make. The best way to protect that investment is to ensure that your fabric not only durable but cleanable as well. The easiest way to do this is to check the care instructions. Correctly clearing a linen pillow is completely different than cleaning a 100% polyester fabric. Ultimately, if your lifestyle calls for extra protection and durability infused style, stain proof coatings are available through most fabric manufactures upon request. One manufacturer we love at Ida York Design Group is Pindler. They have a variety of finishes that are perfect if you have a growing family or lots of messy friends.


Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about fabric from us, stay tuned for more design tips, tricks, and info about all the awesome things happening at Ida York Design Group. If you have a topic you would like to learn more about email and we are happy to consider it.

Photography courtesy of Britney Schreck

Fabric courtesy of Pindler, Glant, S. Haris, Schumacher, Burch Fabrics, and Joseph Noble