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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

How Fabrics have changed

Updated: Apr 30

Need help picking out fabrics for new furniture? Where do you start? The layering of fabrics is sometimes magical. How the pillows look on the sofa, that coordinate with the chairs and recliners, next to the ottoman, on top of the rugs that matches the drapes. There can be a lot of choices to say the least. We at Tri City Furniture are here to help!



Typically fabrics are the most important part of the selection process, maybe more than Sofa construction, springs and foams.

I think because it is what we see and touch…..color is important and the feel against our skin!

Today we have higher quality fabrics than every before. But, there are also a lot of fabrics woven, just to be a fabric! They are made with different thread denier, so their durability is not as good. Unfortunately, you will not know this until you are using it or if you come talk to us.



Manufacturers are always trying to find cheaper ways to make a product and the fabric is one of the ways they can save a lot of dollars on a sofa, sectional or chair! Be careful with cheap or with imports, because you may be sacrificing an area of your furniture that really does matter!

First, lets talk about what makes up fabric content. There are many different synthetic and natural fibers used today….some are unstainable, other are very resilient under rough use, and others have neither!




Polypropylene is a very durable fiber, and pretty much unstainable, but can show crush marks. It is woven fiber hairs that are 4-5 “ long, then twisted to make the yarn that is then woven into fabric. It is one of the lowest cost fibers out! Many imported fabric are

Polypropylene. Most fabric woven with this yarn will pill or hair! So beware! They may tell you it has special cleaning powers, but if your chair is hairy, does it matter?


Polyester is an excellent fiber for fabric….it is resilient and pretty cleanable. It doesn’t not seem to pill much, if any! The down side, is that it is more expensive to use!


Natural fibers such as cotton and flax

Have a wonderful feel, are cool, and are absorbent have their own qualities. We love their feel, but realize they will change shape- wrinkle or stretch. ,Like our jeans, they will fade, and since they are absorbent, they can stain more easily! Because fabrics are generally attached to the frame, these natural fibers are better used on slipcovers or pillows so that they can be cleaned more easily!




There are collections today that do have repellents against moisture and stains….these fabrics are almost commercial fabrics, which have been out a long time, but now production is easier and lower cost…and they feel so much better! You would think that all companies would use these better fabrics, but it comes down to costs! Trust me, if a product is an import, it is using the lower cost fabrics….therefore making their cost lower!


 People want to think that this grey sofa and then another grey sofa are the same except for the price…..this is one of the main variables that people don’t see, until it doesn’t hold up, stains or pills! There is always a push downward for costs….but the end user loses!

what is inside and outside are the combination that allows a furniture piece to last a long time! One without the other just doesn’t work! Great fabric but foam cushions that flatten don’t work! All parts work together so that it offers comfort and longevity!


Now if you want the help of layering the fabrics and designs, come in and see us, because it is very difficult to read and understand, but we will walk you through the process together!





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