had a burning desire to share just how much I love velvet and chenille fabrics, and in particular cut velvets and crushed chenilles….and why I think they are so awesome! (Yes, I’m totally design obsessed lol!) After selling and applying thousands of yards of all different types of fabrics from all different fabric sources across the globe, I’ve definitely become an expert on the topic. I’ve also compiled an internal list of favorites for every type of application and naturally have learned which type of fabric works best for each specific application. I’ll be discussing more types of amazing fabrics coming up, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated!
n my world of interior design, the most common application for fabric is for upholstery items. Upholstery items consist of furniture that has fabric applied to it (or “upholstered” to it) like sofas, chairs, ottomans, benches, beds with fabric headboards, dining banquettes….you get the idea. The main requirement for upholstery fabrics is that they need to be very durable. That is why typically it says on the tagged descriptions for these fabrics “heavy duty” and/or it states the “rub-count”. Picture your butt rubbing against the fabric each time you get on and off your sofa or chair and when it starts to show some wear and tear after a certain amount of rubbings, that is the “rub-count” of the fabric. I’m not joking, they actually do measure this to gauge the strength of fabrics but it’s done a little more scientifically with a machine and not someone’s actual butt…but admit it, I had you going for a second! Lol! So, the higher the rub-count, the stronger the fabric, and therefore the longer it will last. When shopping for client’s upholstery fabrics, I always look for fabrics with the highest rub-counts, anywhere from 50,000 – 200,000, to ensure their durability, especially if I’m shopping for a young family’s home, which most of the time I am.
so enough about butt rubs! The reason I told you about them though, is because so many chenille fabrics and especially velvet fabrics are extremely durable and they have been scientifically proven so with super high rub-counts. Velvet fabrics are notoriously strong and durable. They are also super soft and cozy, which makes them an instant favorite. The difference between a regular velvet fabric and a cut velvet is the latter has a pattern literally laser cut into it. It’s such a cool effect! The cut pattern adds dimension and texture that a plain velvet doesn’t have, making it special and unique. In a total room design, it adds visual interest and sophistication. Today, the top fabric houses keep creating such amazing and beautiful cut velvets, each more beautiful and intricate than before, some of them are like works of art on their own.
Chenilles have evolved into my other favorite group of upholstery fabrics! Back in the day, I actually avoided the use of chenille fabrics. Although they were beautiful and luxurious, the fabric manufacturers hadn’t figured out yet how to make them durable without needing to have them “backed”. This meant spending more time and money to add a strengthening backing material to the fabric so they would hold up for upholstery use. Oh my have things changed! The vast majority of chenilles these days are not only extremely durable on their own, but they are so luxurious and soft, I find them simply irresistible. And the crushed chenilles have a lux factor times 10! They shimmer and shine depending on which way you move them or which way the light falls on them, which gives them an elegance and unique character all to their own. Crushed chenilles will elevate the look of any piece of furniture. They can be found in a huge variety of colors, textures, shimmer levels, and price ranges. If you want to add glamorous softness to any piece of furniture, a crushed chenille is the way to go!
I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite upholstery fabrics! Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Stay in touch for more amazing interior design knowledge & inspiration by signing up for my newsletter today!