- Why a Fabric Chair
- How to Choose a Fabric Chair
- How to Find the Best Fabric for Chairs
- Top 5 Best Fabric Chairs
- Bottom Line
There is more than one way to describe what a fabric chair is. Or rather, more than one type of chair can be called that.
The simplest case is a chair upholstered in fabric. Usually, the best dinner chairs are like that. That is what you probably think of. However, that is not all. It is also possible that a chair isn’t upholstered at all, that it’s just a metal frame with a piece of cloth to sit on. That is another option. Of course, such “chairs” are not really chairs, and they are definitely not furniture. But they exist, and this must be taken into consideration.
Why a Fabric Chair
The best thing about fabric chairs is that they are generally inexpensive, quite minimalist and often gorgeous. For a long time, fabric and leather have been the only upholstery materials available to people. They became obsolete after the emergence of new synthetic materials, however, it was only a fashion trend, and it didn’t last.
How to Choose a Fabric Chair
Fabric can be a great material for chairs, but even the best fabric has its shortcomings. Furniture is always made to last for years, and that is why the quality of the fabric is crucial.
Unlike clothes or bed sheets, the upholstery cannot be just washed. Most chairs do not come with easily detachable upholsteries, and that is why it is important to have a chair that is easy to clean.
Of course, if you have a leather chair, that will not be a problem. But we are not talking about leather chairs here.
How to Find the Best Fabric for Chairs
There are many types of fabric, not all of them cheap (unless we’re talking about dinner chairs). Indeed, there are also quite exquisite fabric chairs, with velvet, silk and satin upholsteries. Fabric is not always as cheap as people imagine it to be. At times, a fabric chair can be even more expensive than those with leather upholsteries.
The seat of a chair is subjected to wear on a regular basis, and that is why finer sorts or fabric are just unsuitable for upholstering a chair. But many are.
One thing you should keep in mind, the higher the thread count, the better the fabric will resist wear. But that doesn’t mean the material is not relevant.
In general, there are two groups of fabrics used for upholstering furniture: natural and synthetic.
Natural fabrics include:
- Wool. Perhaps more ancient than other fabrics, wool is very resistance to almost of the factors usually affecting upholsteries. Durable, wrinkle-resistant, fade-resistant, stain-resistant, wool make an excellent material for upholsteries. Blended wool can be easily cleaned.
- Linen. This fabric is very popular. However, it has many drawbacks. Linen is very easy to stain, and it’s far from wrinkle-free, in fact, it is one of those fabrics that wrinkle all too easily. It also cannot deal with heavy wear. Unlike many other fabrics, linen does not fade or pill, which makes it suitable for furniture. This is an excellent choice for chair upholstery for living rooms, although it is not reliable for other settings.
- Silk. A very expensive type of upholstery. Much like linen, it only fits for living rooms, and even then, they have to be formal. It is too expensive to use it such chairs extravagantly. Never use chairs with silk upholsteries anywhere they can get stained. If that still happens, professional cleaning is the only solution.
- Cotton is the most popular type of fabric in the industry of clothes. However, it is less than ideal many other things. However, it’s always cheaper, if only because it is easy to come by. It also withstands wear very well, unlike linen, and resists pilling and fading, but is not immune to them completely. Cotton blends may or may not have the same problem. While cotton is more durable than linen, some types of weaves may make it less durable. But those weaves also make it a luxury fabric. It is probably the best fabric for dinner chairs.
Synthetic fabrics are generally easier to clean. They include:
- Acetate. It is not the best upholstery material for a chair, avoid purchasing such chairs if you can help it. Acetate is a synthetic equivalent of silk, at least, it was designed as such. It is mildew-resistant and pilling resistant. But it wrinkles, fades fast, and is not really resistant to heavy wear.
- Acrylic is a better upholstery material than even some natural fabrics. Its natural equivalent is wool. However, everything depends on the quality of acrylic. It is not impossible for acrylic upholstery to pill. Only high-quality acrylic is less prone to that. On the other hand, acrylic does not wrinkle, is hard to soil, and resists wear.
- Nylon is never used by itself, only when blended with other fibers. It is wear-resistant and prevents crushing of velvet. It, however, pills all too easily.
- Polyester is very similar to nylon in that it is mostly used as a blend. It, too, helps with napped fabrics, and it also is extremely wrinkle resistant. However, it doesn’t solve the pilling problem, especially not with cotton, on the contrary, it contributes to it.
- Rayon is a bamboo-based synthetic fabric. Some people categorize it as natural because of that. However, it isn’t so technically. Nevertheless, it is hypoallergenic and very pleasant to the touch. Its only drawback is that it wrinkles.
- Olefin is the best kind of upholstery. Unlike many other fabrics, it lacks their typical weaknesses and does not introduce any new ones.
Top 5 Best Fabric Chairs
If someone wanted me to give them an example of an accent chair, I would make sure to turn their attention to this particular one. Its shape is nothing but unorthodox.
It is an ultra-modern chair, perfect for accentuating a living room. It is not very suitable for a bedroom or any formal setting, though it’s not impossible to make it work.
The chair looks like it has a wooden frame. However, it is an illusion, the base is, in fact, made from stainless steel. That makes the chair heavy but also very stable and reliable.
The chair has no legs to speak of, as well as no arms, and seems rather unsteady because of its circular base. But it also is very comfortable and unusual, which might make it a perfect addition to any setting. The chair is well-padded with polyurethane foam and upholstered in woven fabric.
You don’t have to assemble this chair as it is shipped fully assembled.
And here we have a perfect example of a different subtype of fabric chairs. Unlike room furniture, this product is meant for outdoors use first and foremost. Less than 9 pounds in weight, it can easily accommodate a person that weighs 225 lbs. Of course, some people might weigh even more, but this chair wouldn’t be of any use to them, to begin with. Camping or hiking might as well be a safety risk for people who are not of healthy weight.
But, as I’ve already said, the chair itself is very lightweight, only 8.5 pounds. For hiking or climbing that’s still a lot, but not if you travel by on your bike or car. In that case, such a means of comfort becomes a less of a luxury.
The seat of the chair comprises of microsuede fabric, which makes it very nice to the touch and quite durable. On top of that, it looks stylish, although that is not the most important factor when it comes to collapsible chairs such as this.
A good purchase for those who plan on traveling.
This fabric chair is also a good accent chair, mostly due to its coloration but not only that. The shape is very unusual these days. However, it used to be rather popular several decades ago. In short, it is a perfect example of a retro chair, though many people unfamiliar with the design would assume it is a recent invent. The curved shape makes a statement of elegance and taste.
While a retro chair, it will not look out of place in any modern setting, with the exception of more minimalistic styles, although an experienced designer could make that work.
The style is not the only advantage this chair has. It is also upholstered with soft velvet fabric, which makes it pleasant to the touch, at least, for some people. It is not impossible that others may find the touch of bare skin to velvet, not the most pleasant experience.
As a swivel chair, there’s nothing special about this product. However, I can assure is it is very well made, and the base of stainless steel is not going to break very easily. On the other hand, it makes the chair much heavier than it could be.
This is not a very expensive chair. Nevertheless, it has a touch of luxury, and it will make a perfect addition to your room. If you want to make a fashion statement, this is the chair for you.
Its grenadine Dacron upholstery is incredibly soft and gentle to the touch. It’s synthetic, and it’s quite easy to clean thanks to that. The frame is made from Kiln Hardwood and is very durable. The chair weighs almost 90 pounds. That’s a lot, but it also means the chair is very reliable.
Assembly is required, but it is not complicated, you probably will not need any tools for that.
You will find that the seat is not very soft at first, but give it some time. Eventually, the cushion will soften just enough.
This is a dinner chair, but it is usable in any setting thanks to its well-thought design. It will look great in your living room, in your bedroom, even outside. Just remember that while this chair is durable, it’s not meant for harsh weather conditions and don’t leave it outside when you don’t need it there.
This chair’s comfortable, rounded and rolled back shape combined with scaled-down proportions helps to create intimate, conversational settings in open areas or small spaces.
The chair is upholstered in polyester, with all that entails. The upholstery is very durable and wrinkle resistant, but you can also expect it will pill with time. However, on the upside, it is incredibly easy to clean. The only thing you should keep in mind, only use spot clean. Other than that, everything’s going to be okay.
The cushion contains high-density foam, which cannot be harmed by water either, the frame comprised of plywood. The Caitlyn Roll Back Chair comes with birch legs.
It doesn’t stand out too much, but it does help to make a statement. It’s very comfy and elegant, and it is simply perfect for creating settings. Thanks to its not standing out, the Caitlyn chair can create some of the most intimate settings you could think of.
A fabric chair is not an easily discernible type. While it is incredibly easy to tell if a chair is fabric or not, it is a type that encompasses many different types of chairs. The only thing they will have in common is that they are either upholstered with fabric or the seat itself is made from fabric.
What does that mean for you? It means that choosing a fabric chair if you want one should not be your first priority. The fabric is but an upholstery; it does not affect how the chair is constructed. Although it can be very important in how it feels and looks.