/ POSTED IN British Interior Design

3 things to consider when choosing a sofa fabric

If you thought choosing your sofa style was tough, just wait until you’re faced with picking a fabric to upholster it in. With over 130 different options, from cottons to lightweight linens, wools and velvets, narrowing down the choice to just one can be a daunting task. So, if you’re finding yourself stuck in fabric indecision limbo, here’s 3 top tips to help you make up your mind…

  1. Discover which fabrics will be your saving grace if you have kids or pets at home
  2. We reveal the best fabric types to fit with your existing furniture and décor
  3. Find out the secret to living with your chosen fabric for up to 10 years and more

Product featured: The Ansty chaise sofa/sofa bed shown in Cotton Natural from £1,665 and £1,810

With handmade styles available in 130 different fabrics, choosing just one can be a tough task

Does it fit in with the family?

This question is two-fold. We’re talking about both your existing furniture family and your actual family here (and that includes four-legged ones as well). The key to choosing the right fabric is considering who will be using your sofa, particularly if it will be in use every day. So, this means it needs to be up to the task of being resistant to rubbing. And, a big part of that is choosing a fabric that’s naturally durable and hardwearing, especially if you share your living spaces with furry family members and children.

Product featured: The Wishford sofa shown in Matt Velvet Turmeric from £1,160

Appreciating who’ll be using your sofa will have a huge bearing on the fabric type you select

A rub count is a test of how hard-wearing the fabric is; it measures how many times the fabric can withstand friction before it starts to show signs of age. So, if your sofa bed is likely to be used on a daily basis, opting for fabrics such as our Matt Velvet, Broad Weave Linen and Viscose Linen is recommended. The resistance and durability of these fabric types, in particular, make them a great match for family and pet-friendly homes, where the probability of accidental stains and spillages is higher than average.

Product featured: The Appledoe sofa/sofa bed shown in Broad Weave Linen Silver from £1,105 and £1,295

A rub resistant fabric is great for sofas and sofa beds being used on a daily basis

Is the fabric the right style?

No matter where in your home your sofa or sofa bed is intended to sit (be it in a guest room, kids’ playroom or in the main family living room), it’s vital that the fabric you choose complements your existing décor, as well as the shape, style and design of the sofa you’ve selected.

So, if you’ve chosen a look with bygone or period style influences, a traditional weave fabric can be a great match. And, fabrics such as Herringbone, Highland Tweed and Broad Weave Linen all look incredibly elegant and sit perfectly with sofa bed designs in vintage-inspired shapes, such as The Downton, The Langridge and The Appledoe.

Product featured: The Deverill love seat sofa/sofa bed shown in Herringbone Dew from £820 and £1,005

The shape and style of your sofa will also impact the fabric type you choose – as will the style of your existing décor

However, if the room the sofa bed will sit in is decorated in a contemporary style, opt for traditional shapes only in modern fabrics. This will help to successfully tie in the old with the new, and make a great style statement. So, don’t be afraid to play around with the fabric composition to unify your tastes and create something completely custom and bespoke. After all, that’s the reason we offer such a wide range of fabrics on all of our handcrafted furniture creations at Willow & Hall.

Product featured: The Downton sofa/sofa bed shown in Textured Chenille Duck Egg from £1,004 and £1,180

Traditional styles like The Downton can look more modern depending on the fabric type you choose

Can you live with the colour?

A sofa bed is an investment piece that should last you a good 10 years at least. So, making sure you get the fabric colour spot on is crucial. While wall colours and soft furnishings can be altered over time, the likelihood is your sofa bed will remain with you for the long-term. So, bear this in mind when selecting the colour and make sure it’s one you’ll be happy to live with for the foreseeable future.

Neutral shades are ideal if you want your sofa bed to still look relevant and on-trend even after a decade has passed. Grey fabric, for example, is a great investment. Not only is it available in a multitude of shades and densities but it’s also extremely elegant and time-resistant. So, it’s a perfect fabric colour if you want something that will last the distance. And, it pairs perfectly well with other colours too. Changing your throws, cushions or even your wall colour won’t cause a clash with a sofa or sofa bed upholstered in grey.

Product featured: The Atworth sofa/ sofa bed shown in Linen Cotton Dove from £920 and £1,103

Grey is an investment into a long-lasting and time-defying fabric

If you’re still struggling to decide on a fabric to cover your sofa bed in (and who can blame you with the selection on offer), then our samples page is the perfect place to start. Here you’ll find a little more info on each of the fabric types we offer and see the full spectrum of colours and styles available. Plus, you can select up to 8 samples entirely for free – we’ll post these out to you in our neat little cosy pack with the option to include product cards too.

Product featured: The Buttermere sofa/sofa bed shown in Country Linen Zinc from £952 and £1,128

Sending off for free fabric samples can give you the chance to compare your shortlist side by side

Remember, when it comes to choosing sofa or sofa bed fabrics you need to consider 3 things:

  1. Whether the fabric will come into daily contact with people or pets
  2. How well the style fits in with your existing furniture and décor
  3. If the colour is one you can live with for up to 10 years or more

So, there you have it, our top tips for choosing the perfect sofa fabric. And, if you have any questions contact our friendly Customer Service team on 020 8939 3800 or email them at

Kind regards,

The Willow & Hall team

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