Fabrics work double-duty in any design project. You don’t only consider the look of the material, but also the feel and durability. After all, you will be touching most items you cover in fabric, and you don’t want a texture that leaves guests mumbling that they’re more comfortable standing than sitting on your beautiful but impractical sofa. Obviously, delicate fabrics are not the best choice for high-use furniture. Fortunately, when you’re decorating in the style of a particular period, those styles typically include fabrics that stand up to time in both beauty and quality.
Choosing fabrics is a big part of any interior decorating project. You’ll need textiles for your rugs, your furniture upholstery, and your curtains. And, when you want high-end style, it helps to know which fabrics complement the time period you are trying to evoke. That’s when it comes in handy to have an interior decorating partner that also has one of the best fabric stores in Toronto.
Gauging Look and Feel
One unfortunate trend in modern textiles is mass production that lends itself to cheaper quality. The result is fabric that looks quite similar to traditional textiles but that will not stand up to use as well as their ancestors. This is why it’s so important to be informed about fabric quality and to work with a well-respected professional.
Keep these quality markers in mind when browsing fabrics:
Thread count— This number indicates how tightly the fabric is woven. In general, higher thread counts mean higher quality, longer-lasting materials. Of course, you’ll need to take into consideration the type of fabric, since thread count varies between, for instance, silk and cotton. And, some fabrics, like leather, do not have a thread count at all.
Materials— You’ll find many look-alikes in the world of synthetic fabrics, but natural textiles are where true luxury lies. Natural fibres generally have both a better look and feel. Additionally, when decorating in period style, natural fibres provide a more authentic finish.
Feel— Touch every fabric you are considering buying. If you can’t touch it first, then don’t get it. Remember, you will likely be touching this material often, whether it is for curtains or furniture, or sinking your bare feet into a lush rug. Even if the material will be used for a less frequented room in your house, you don’t want to enter a luxuriously designed room, sit down, and find the material unpleasant.
Matching Fabric to Your Design Period
If you’re looking for upholstery fabrics in Toronto, you’ll find a wide variety at Department of Interiors. We’re happy to help you find authentic-looking fabrics to match your period design. To help you get started in choosing from so many high-quality textures, colors, and patterns, we’ve put together a brief overview of pattern characteristics for three of the most popular time periods:
Late 18th Century and 19th Century— During this period, you would not find the “overstuffed” look that is popular with some modern upholstery. The profiles were more subtle, but the patterns were robust and often made with materials like silk, linen, and velvet. Damask fabrics are popular with this style.
Early 20th Century Art Deco— This period is known for its symmetrical, geometric design patterns. You’re likely to see stripes and contrasting colors in fabrics for this period, particularly neutrals beside livelier colours.
Mid-20th Century Modern— The Mid-Century look is more about playing with angles than with patterns. You’ll typically find solid colours in this period, but the color schemes range from neutrals and black all the way to the brightest oranges and blues. The look is clean and sleek.
The best way to choose upholstery, curtains, and rugs that you’ll be happy with for years is to do a lot of browsing before you decide. Look at and feel a variety of fabrics and designs to determine exactly what you want for your home. A reputable fabric store will be able to assist you in understanding which uses are best for specific textiles.
At Department of Interiors, we source the best fabrics in the world for all your décor desires. We’ll even custom order the textiles you need to complete your look. Come by our fabric store to find the top colours, textures, and patterns for rugs, upholstery, and curtain fabrics in Toronto.