Inspiration & Style

Fabric Information
Make an informed decision when selecting upholstery fabric for your home.

It is important to choose the right fabric for your furnishings. 

Window seats in particular are areas that are subjected to a lot of sunlight and hard wear, needing more consideration regarding performance and suitability.

Cushions Unlimited have a good selection of hard wearing, well priced fabrics to choose from and are happy to share experience and advice to guide your decision making. Any fabrics available from the major fabric companies listed below can be procured for you.

Monday - Friday   9.00am  -  3.00pm

WARWICKWarwick Fabrics                 Textilia Mokum
Unique   Sunbrella Fabric

The following information is taken from a booklet compiled by these major fabric companies. It will enable you to make an informed decision when selecting upholstery fabric for your home.




Different fibres have different properties, some are more sensitive to light, some are harder wearing, and some have better cleaning properties. Some fabrics are more densely constructed and therefore more durable, some are more expensive by virtue of complex techniques used both in the preparation of the yarn and the weaving process. Price is not always a guide in terms of wear ability.

Therefore the sort of questions you should be asking are:

          a) How much use will it get and by whom? Is it in the family room where the children and pets will give it a beating?

          b) Where will the upholstery fabric be located? In a room that is exposed to a lot of light, or a room on the side of the house that gets less light?

          c) How long do we want this fabric to last before we have to replace or recover the piece? Do we want something that is at the leading edge of fashion and therefore will date quickly? Or do we want a piece of fabric which is only a stop gap while we are renting? Do we want this piece of fabric to last 10-15 years?

Light Fastness:

All the fabrics we sell have been tested and meet AS2687 (independent industry accepted performance standards). However no fabric is totally colour fast and some fibres like cotton do not hold the dyestuffs as well as other fibres.


Prevent UV Damage

Using sensible window treatments, cushion rotation and furniture rearrangement will help minimise colour loss and or fibre damage caused to most fabrics by UV exposure. Even short regular exposure can cause damage.


Performance Categories:

All fabrics are rated in performance categories. These categories are determined by rub tests (simulated rub test) the results of which determine the category the fabric fits into. These ratings are determined by an independent Australian Standard (AS2687).


1 - Decorative fabric

Recommended for areas where the furniture is used sparingly.

2 - General Domestic fabric

Recommended for areas where the furniture is subjected to regular use, but not constant use by the whole family.

3 - Heavy Domestic fabric

Recommended  for areas where the furniture is subjected to heavy use from the whole family. This quality is also recommended for general commercial use- boardrooms and reception areas.

4 - Commercial fabric

Recommended for hard everyday use in a commercial area.

These above codes are not a guarantee of durability as every piece of fabric is subject to different use, but it does indicate that the fabric in question has met fabric industry performance standards.



Fibres are either natural or synthetic (manmade). A fibre is an individual strand, in the form of a filament or staple that is spun into yarn, then turned into fabric by weaving, knitting or flocking. The yarns can either be dyed before or after the fabric is made. There are printed fabrics where base cloth is made then printed afterwards.

Natural Fibre fabric:

Natural fibres are found in plant or animal life. Generally more costly than synthetic fibres. Natural fibres have a better handle and they breath better. 

Cotton fabric:

A vegetable fibre that can withstand heavy wear. Cotton fabric has a luxurious handle and is ideal in hot climates due to its ability to breathe. It does not hold the dye as well as synthetic fibres.

Linen fabric:

Made from flax and is widely acknowledged as the oldest textile fibre. Linen fabric dyes well but is prone to wrinkle and has poor elasticity. Linen is often blended with nylon to increase its abrasion resistance. It does not hold the dye as well as synthetic fibres.

Wool fabric:

Is fibre from a living animal. Wool fabric has a natural memory and natural elasticity. It is wrinkle resistant and is a resilient fibre.

Synthetic Fibre fabric:

Nylon fabric is made from basic petrochemical. It is exceptionally strong with good abrasion resistance, wash ability and flexibility. Nylon fabric is smooth and non-absorbent, which means dirt does not cling to it and can be quickly removed.

Polyester fabric:

Is an extremely resilient and springy fibre. It is a lightweight strong fibre that resists abrasion and is not readily damaged by the sun. Added with natural fibres it creates wrinkle resistant fabric which helps the fabric keep its shape. Polyester fabric can collect static and soil easily but it also releases soil readily when cleaned correctly. Polyester fabric adds strength to a fabric however it can pill in cheaper constructions. Polyester velvets will definitely not pill. Polyester fabric does not absorb moisture readily and is washable in most fabric types.

Rayon fabric:

Rayon fabric is made from cellulose regenerated from either wood or cotton pulp. it is extremely absorbent, receptive to dyes and lustrous. It is the closest man made fibre to cotton.

Polypropylene/Olefin fabric:

This fibre is very strong and used in the construction of cheaper to medium priced fabric. It accepts dye well and does not break down in sunlight. It is usually used in cheaper constructions and is usually back coated which is an integral part of the fabric and can be degraded by some soil repellent treatments by breaking down the coating.

Dralon fabric:

This is used extensively in Europe to produce velvets. Made by Bayer this fibre is extremely hard wearing and does not absorb dirt easily.

Acrylic fabric:

These fibres are made from a chemical compound called acrylonitrite. It has a low moisture absorbency, dyes well, retains shape, resists sunlight and is hard wearing.

Chenille fabric:

Chenille yarns are textured yarns which contain a pile extending from their surface. Most chenille fabrics are of a cut pile chenille yarn. Making a chenille yarn is a complicated process that involves twisting the chenille around and fixing it to another yarn. Chenille gives a "pile fabric" appearance, but in most cases does not have the durability of a pile fabric. Chenille fabrics will often flatten with use due to the soft handle. Flattening is a normal characteristic and is not considered a fabric fault.

Faux Suede fabric:

These are woven from micro denier polyester yarns. They are exceptionally durable. Faux suede fabrics are woven and are fully breathable, providing warmth in winter and are cool in summer. These fabrics have easy care qualities, the yarns are so fine that serious soil is unable to penetrate. These fabrics are suitable for upholstery normally subjected to heavy use. Most cleaning can be easily accomplished using a mild soap and water solution. Following this wipe clean with clear water. Pilling can occur occasionally as a result of normal wear and tear and should not be considered as a fault.



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