The top 5 Fabrics for Interior Design: design your home interior
Here’s some expert advice on choosing the very best textiles for your latest interior design project
What space are you planning to transform? Is it your home, living room or an office? Are you an interior design practice looking for the perfect decorating fabrics? Whatever you’re searching for, here’s some expert advice from our staff on choosing the very best textiles for your new design project this year
The design process involves putting together a variety of specs on how to decorate a particular area or a series of rooms in a home or office.
Most of the fabrics considered for home projects are either for upholstery, cushions and curtains. And, if the project includes a bedroom, you could use them for other products, such as bed covers and linen, too.
We’ve taken the necessary information and narrowed it down to help you view maake’s top 5 home fabrics this year.
You don’t need to be a student studying an interior design UK UCAS course on a design school campus or doing research for hours online. You can easily get reading and master the essentials right here in this module without becoming a professional interior designer.
Just follow our easy-to-use guide for all the information you need.
maake’s choice: our 5 best home materials
We carefully considered our wide range of fabrics to find our 5 perfect choices for interiors. Our awards go to 3 that are flame retardant (FR), one perfect for light upholstery and all sorts of homeware and another that works brilliantly for a variety of home coverings, including curtains, cushions and upholstery. They are an interior designer’s dream come true.
1. Eco Velvet
This soft, vibrant and luxurious fabric is ideal for curtains, cushions and light upholstery. It features a very soft print face with a short pile and smooth, off-white reverse backing.
The material also has a slight stretch. Colours print vibrantly on its white polyester base. We use no water in the printing process. And all inks meet Oeko-tex® requirements, and pass EN71-3 standards.
You can also purchase ready-made velvet cushions from maake homeware.
A heavyweight crushed, mild shine, chenille fabric, Bayeux is great for upholstery, curtains and cushions. It’s very hard wearing but has a soft touch because of its short pile.
This fabric is our heaviest polyester material. It features an off-white base whilst still printing colours vibrantly and with an almost metallic look.
3. Oslo FR
We use this inherently flame retardant linen-effect fabric mostly for curtains and cushions in the home.
The slight slub texture of the fabric drapes beautifully, which is why we often use it for curtaining. This is a quality material certified FR (flame retardant). Its white polyester base prints vivid colours.
4. Voile FR
Extremely lightweight and translucent, this frame retardant voile fabric is perfect for soft furnishings, mosquito nets, window veils and displays. It’s a quality material with a sheer appearance and a tight plain weave with a smooth, sleek surface.
We use the fabric’s still drape to create crisp, elegant interiors. Both the front and the back of the fabric is identical.
Widely used in restaurants, hospitals as well as in home interiors, this durable, water-resistant material is also wipeable and anti- microbial. Liquid forms pearls on its surface, so it’s very easy to clean. It’s ideal for families and pets.
The fabric has passed the rigorous Crib 5 set of tests which proves that it meets UK fire regulations for commercial use. Research shows that it has a Martindale rub rating of 80,000+ meaning it is suitable for virtually all types of use.
This excellent fabric is ideal for home outdoor furniture, such as cushions, soft furnishings and upholstery. Unlike regular suede, it’s incredibly hard wearing despite having a soft finish and a plush appearance. The front of the fabric is white and the reverse is off-white, smooth and non-suede.
Note: We use no water in maake’s polyester sublimation printing process. All inks meet Oeko- tex® requirements, and pass EN71-3 standards.
Design industry tips for the home
Living room/family room interior design ideas
- Inspiration: If you’re looking for inspiration, check online blogs, an interior design magazine, ads, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. Then, once you have an idea for what you want, think about colours for the walls, curtains, carpets and furniture.
- Area plan: Existing furniture and new pieces need to fit in well to the space available. Choose one item as your focal point – these are usually your couches. Work out where you want these to be placed, and then place all other furniture items and accessories around them.
- Walls: If you’re planning to hang paintings on the walls, it’s a good idea to choose a neutral color paint or wallpaper that won’t detract from the artworks. Also, neutral colours are more tranquil, which is vital for a living area. Add pops of colour with cushions, accessories and the artworks themselves.
- Floors: Whether you decide to keep wooden beams bare, or cover floors with carpets and rugs, it’s entirely up to you and the look you’re trying to create. Make sure that the size of the carpet is in proportion to the area if you’re not putting down wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Texture and colour: Bring in the personality of the home’s inhabitants to make the space more personal. Less is always more – don’t overcrowd with items or colours. Let the pieces you have stand out rather than be overwhelmed.
- Bring the outside in: The light changes when there are lots of plants inside, and it also looks so beautiful. So work out where you can add greenery to make a difference.
- Set the mood: Your bedroom is your retreat, your haven, your soothing spot. So keep colours soft and light. Preferably choose neutrals (cream and white) or pastels (pretty pink, lavender and baby blue) for walls and curtains. Highlight the room with colourful throw cushions, quilts or a bedspread that gives as hint of its inhabitant’s personality.
- Make space: Light, airy spaces are ideal for restful bedrooms, so don’t add too much furniture. Keep it simple, no matter how big or small the room.
- Keep it personal: This area must reflect its owner and have a calming effect so that it’s a welcome spot to retire to, for a good night’s sleep. No matter how lively its owner may be, this is a place to completely relax, a soothing special spot to have sweet dreams in, night after night.
- Lights down: Keep lighting soft and relaxing and choose curtains that block out the light. You want this space to be a private retreat.
Outdoor living at home
- It’s all about comfort: Whether it’s an outdoor patio or a covered area, this space needs to work on being comfortable and welcoming. Couches need to invite anyone who visits you to lounge and relax. Cushions are for moulding to the body so that guests never want to leave.
- Make it practical: Have side tables for drinks and snacks, a coffee table in the middle to rest feet on when it’s not full of refreshments.
- Color it happy: Bright, warm, cheerful colours work best for outdoor areas.
Advice from maake's interior design experts this year
- To create colour movement in a room, layer just one shade. Try green, or blue, for example.
- Make the look monochrome. Mix grey, black and neutrals together.
- Curtains in diaphanous fabric and soft colours not only filter the light; they also create a cosy atmosphere.
- Choose at least 3 colours. Include a neutral and 2 brighter hues.
- Mix soft striped pastels together to create a feminine look.
- Soften strong colours by mixing them with softer shades.
- Cover the couch in a solid colour. Rather play with patterns on cushions and occasional chairs.
- Avoid a small image or pattern on a large couch, or a huge pattern on a tiny chair.
- Mix colours and designs. Don’t be afraid to break the rules!
- Choose a little pattern for a tiny area. Keep larger designs for more spacious areas.
- Florals and other prints are great for soft, rounded chairs and couches.
- Mix black with soft, lacy vintage fabrics. This will give you a new take on mixing old and bold.
- Add a touch of luxury with quilted or padded fabric.
- For couches and ottomans, use textured fabrics. Keep comfort in mind.
- For a colourful textured decorative touch, choose embroidered pieces that have bright colour bases.
Study these different home fabric types for interior design
It's time to get back to school and down to basics... Here’s some research on how fabric is manufactured. Fabrics are produced in two ways – we either weave or knit them.
Woven fabric: We create this fabric using a weaving process that usually features a loom. We call the thread which goes down the length of the fabric a ‘warp’, and there’s a ‘weft’ which goes across the fabric.
The warp and the weft interlace on the loom at right angles to each other to create the material.
We use numerous different types of thread for woven fabric, anything from natural cotton and silk to semi-synthetic rayon and man-made polyester.
You can also knit those very same fibres together.
Knitted fabrics are completely different to the woven varieties – for one specific reason. We manufacture woven fabric using several warp yarns or threads that we tightly inter-weave.
We make knitted fabrics using one continuous thread (this is very similar to using a ball of wool when you knit something by hand). Manufacturers use industrial knitting machines to make knitted fabrics. The process involves creating interlocking loops.
You can use any yarn or thread to create either knitted or woven fabric. The process you use is either weaving or knitting, but the fibres could be identical, such as cotton, linen or polyester.
Which is better for interior design? Knitted or woven fabrics?
Knitted fabric is warm and doesn’t crease. However, we use it more for clothing than home interiors. Indeed, it has a beautiful texture, especially when we make the fabric from wool, linen and other fibres that aren’t completely smooth. For this reason we often use it creatively in the home to give an artistic effect.
Woven fabric is much stronger and more hard-wearing than knit fabric. For this reason we use it for hard-wearing home items like upholstery and homeware (curtains, cushions, tablecloths, tea towels, bed covers, etc.) The material features a tightly woven weave that doesn’t fade or shrink, is smooth and wrinkle-resistant, too.
Natural or synthetic for interior design?
Here’s all the critical information for you...
Natural fabrics are those manufactured using natural fibres, such as cotton, linen, silk, velvet and denim.
We manufacture synthetic fabrics using in a chemical process. Examples include nylon, acrylic, polyester, lycra and fleece. There are also numerous fabrics that we manufacture using a blend of both man-made and natural fibres.
As they are generally long-lasting and durable, we often use synthetic fabrics for upholstery fabric for couch cushions. We also use these fabrics for scatter cushions and seat cushions that the family regularly uses, especially kids and pets.
All of maake’s top fabric choices for home design feature polyester.
Our design choices are often blended with natural fibres (cotton or linen) to make the fabrics less likely to crease and fade.
Polyester is a strong, durable fabric that is a very popular choice for cushions and upholstery. It’s very easy to clean, resistant to abrasion and moisture. It’s a great choice for furniture in a family area that needs hard-wearing coverings.
Microfibre is another popular upholstery fabric; we make this material from tightly woven polyester. We specially treat it to look and feel like suede, but it is softer and much easier to keep clean. It also doesn’t fade easily, so you can use it on furniture that is located in a sunny spot inside.
Other synthetic fabrics that are good for interior design
· Acrylic wool: Basically faux wool, this fabric doesn’t crease or fade and is hard wearing. It’s excellent for covering cushions and seats.
· Nylon: We usually blend this fibre with others to create strong, durable fabric that we use for upholstery. It doesn’t get dirty easily. However, it does tend to fade.
· Rayon: A synthetic imitation of silk, cotton and linen, this hard-wearing fabric doesn’t fade easily. It’s an excellent choice for durable furniture coverings.
· Viscose: A man-made fibre created from tree cellulose, it resembles silk, cotton and linen. Used for upholstery and cushions, it features a luxurious shine.
Note: We print all maake’s synthetic fabrics using the sublimation printing method. This chemical printing process is also called dye sublimation as the ink used to dye the fabric changes from a solid to gas using pressure and heat. What’s more this method does not use any water. All the inks used meet Oeko-tex requirements and pass EN71-3 certification.
- Cotton: This material is hard-wearing, easy to wash, cool and hypoallergenic. You can use the material outside, but make sure to store items away from the sun so they don't bleach or fade. As cotton isn't water-resistant, don't leave the item outside in the rain. It's great for upholstery, curtains (as it drapes well) and cushions inside the home.
- Denim: A very hard-wearing cotton, excellent for upholstery and cushions.
- Linen is a lightweight textile that we manufacture from the flax plant. It’s durable and easy to wash, heat resistant and cool to the touch. We use linen fabric widely to upholster cushions. It is also resistant to mildew.
- Velvet: An extremely luxurious fabric, velvet is hard-wearing with an indulgent feel. We often use it for ornamental pillow fabric, but you can make more frequently used homeware items from this material, too.
Note: We print designs onto natural fabrics using digital printing. This is an extremely sustainable process using digital pigment inks. It’s ideal for printing detailed images and patterns with multiple colours. We use no water during this computerised printing process, which features print heads for each colour that ‘jet’ the ink onto the fabric. This method uses about 95% less energy than traditional screen printing.
Get creative with interior design!
Any design student will tell you: year on year, it’s all about colour, universal design and texture! Now that you have all the information you need on fabrics that work best for design, it’s time to come up with some creative ideas of your own and put them into practice.
You can select options from 10,500+ art designs on our website, or, if you’re in the mood, why not create your own design!