Can Quilting Fabric Be Used For Upholstery?

When you are looking to upholster or reupholster your furniture, the fabric that you choose is highly relevant.

When shopping for the perfect fabric for your upholstery project, the design is important, but the most essential element of the fabric you choose is the type of fabric you select.

Can quilting fabric be used for upholstery?

Quilting fabric can be used for upholstery, but you need to make sure you are using high-quality materials, usually made from cotton. This is because upholstery needs to be strong and durable for day to day use.

If you are thinking about using quilting fabric for upholstery, you will want to take into consideration it’s durability, among other factors.

Typical Quilting Fabric:

While there are many different types of fabric that are used in quilting, typically, quilters use a fabric that is high quality and 100% cotton.

They use this fabric because of how easy it is to manipulate and because it experiences less shrinkage than cheaper cotton fabrics.

Types of Cotten that Can be Used to Upholster Furniture:

While it is not as common, cotton fabric can also be used for upholstery and is not just for clothing or quilting.

When you are searching for quilting fabric, whether it be for quilting or for upholstery, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.

One thing that you need to look for is the quality of the cotton you are buying. Higher-quality cotton will be made with multiple fibers that are twisted together. Higher-quality cotton is made with the longest fibers that are offered.

You can tell the difference between higher-quality and lesser-quality cotton by feeling it. High-quality cotton will feel smooth and similar to silk, while low-quality cotton can feel fuzzy and look dull.

The reason you will want high-quality cotton, especially when doing upholstery, is because it is more durable than low-quality cotton that uses shorter fibers.

Is Quilting Fabric Typically Durable Enough for Upholstery Work?

If you use high-quality cotton, it should be durable enough for your upholstery project.

Not only is this type of cotton durable for your project, but it is also able to resist pilling and resists abrasion.

This helps for upholstery for furniture that you intend to use often.

Other Advantages of Cotton Upholstery:

There are other reasons that cotton upholstery is ideal for furniture projects.

Some of these reasons include:

  • Breathability: the breathability allows for the heat and moisture to stay away from you when you sit on it.
  • Moisture Resistant: cotton fibers are good at soaking up water, and take a long time before they feel damp. This helps your cotton stay cool and dry, even in the summertime.
  • Color Choices: because cotton is so easy to dye, you can get it in a variety of color choices that are guaranteed to match whatever decor options you are looking at.
  • Hypoallergenic: cotton is a good idea if you are sensitive to wool or synthetic fabrics. Cotton is all-natural and won’t irritate your allergies.

Potential Disadvantages of Cotton Upholstery:

There are also some drawbacks to consider is you are choosing cotton for your upholstery fabric.

Some of these reasons include:

  • Easy to Wrinkle: cotton can be easily wrinkled. If you are going to pull the fabric tight with your upholstery project, then you won’t notice this, but if you are making covers, you may have frequent wrinkling.
  • Easy to Stain: cotton allows spills to soak in quickly and can also stain really easily. This can be hard for a well-lived on a piece of fabric.
  • Fades in the Sun: cotton can also be susceptible to fading if left in the sun for too long. Cotton upholstery placed in a window or sunny room will fade and even weaken over time.

How Hard or Easy is it to use Quilting Fabric for Upholstery?

Cotton is very easy to work with; that is why quilters use it for their projects.

While upholstery is not an easy task, cotton is not going to make it more difficult for you. There are a few tips and things to keep in mind when you are working with cotton for your upholstery project.

These things include:

  1. Keeping your cotton pulled tight while sewing.
    • This will help to reduce wrinkling later on with your project.
  2. Make sure your fabric isn’t too thin.
    • A fabric that is too thin will not be able to be pulled sufficiently and won’t look right when you are finished.
  3. Find a friend to help you.
    • A friend will be able to help you pull the fabric tight enough while you are doing the upholstering, which will be much harder on your own.

Another thing to consider when starting an upholstery project, no matter what type of fabric you are using is to buy extra fabric.

This will help if you need more fabric than you anticipated or if you mess up the first time.

Should I Prepare Quilting Fabric Before doing Upholstery?

Cotton needs to be prepared before you use it, whether you are quilting or working on upholstery.

To prepare your quilting fabric for your upholstery project, you will want to start by washing it. Washing is a great way to get any dye out that is going to bleed before you use it on your furniture.

Another great benefit of washing your fabric before you use it is that it will shrink in your first wash. This is especially important if you are making furniture covers or items that you intend to take off and wash on a regular basis.

If you do not wash it before you use it, then your item might shrink after you craft it and will no longer fit.

No matter what type of fabric you are using or what your fabric care instructions are, you will want to wash your fabric first.

After you wash your fabric, you will also want to fully iron it so that there are no wrinkles, and it is easier to pull the fabric as tight as you can.

What is the Best Type of Fabric to use for Upholstery Work?

The best type of fabric for upholstery is more substantial and more durable fabric options.

Depending on what look you are going for, and what type of object you are working on, there are a few potential options.

These include:

  • Chenille
  • Faux Suede
  • Velvet
  • Tweed
  • Faux Leather
  • Marine Vinyl
  • Jacquard
  • Canvas

Just because these fabrics are the best for upholstery, doesn’t mean they are the only fabrics that you can use, as long as you make sure what you are working with is durable.

Can Upholstery Fabric be Used for Quilting?

The above fabrics are ideal for upholstery, but can also be used for other things.

You can quilt with almost any type of fabric as long as you know how to work with it.

Just make sure that you know the separate challenges that will be presented with your fabric choices before you get started with your quilting project, and you prepare the fabric correctly.