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Got a chair in need of new upholstery fabric?

got a chair in need of new upholstery fabric

Got a chair in need of new upholstery fabric?

We all have a great second-hand or vintage shop that we adore. I actually have several; some here in town and others in PDX.

The problem of falling head-over-heels for a vintage or otherwise used piece of upholstered furniture is that by the time it hits the thrift shop, the fabric is shot, or has that I’m-not-so-sure-I-want-to-sit-on-it factor.

got a chair in need of new upholstery fabric?

SDH fabric used to upholster the headboard of this bed

Every problem needs to have a solution, and in this case it’s quite simple: find new fabric and someone (if not yourself as a DIY if you are so inclined) to reupholster the piece, giving it new life and spirit!

With all of the new options out on the market, why should we bother with the old stuff? Quite frankly, it’s all about saving one more piece of furniture from the landfill. Beyond that a few other words come to mind: sustainability, longevity, tradition and celebration. These words echo our thoughts perfectly. Here at Nicole Michelle we value enduring quality, heirloom pieces that are worthy of a new look and a longer life.


got a chair in need of new upholstery

Flax colored roll of linen fabric

Since I’m not an expert on the whole process of removing and rebuilding worn pieces, I’ll choose to leave it up to those who possess the lovely skills required. However, I do know a tad about the upholstery fabric choices. So, let’s talk fabric.

When choosing upholstery fabric, our first inclination is to color and pattern. Honestly, that’s my creative thought, but the rational side says there are a few other considerations.


Will this sofa/chair get used on a daily basis, and if so by adults, kids or pets? The answer will quickly determine some definite do’s and the maybe not’s. Woven patterns will have more staying power than printed patterns and a tighter weave with a high thread count will be stronger as well. In other words, that pretty little chintz will not last on an everyday sofa that the kids use as an indoor trampoline and Rover lounges on all day. Save that yardage for the windows.


got a chair in need of new upholstery fabric

Vintage chairs transformed with fun Les Indiennes indigo fabric


Select fabric that reflects your lifestyle, interior décor and is compatible with the piece of furniture. For instance, a club chair would be great covered in leather and a wingback in say British-looking tweed. However, rules are made to be broken. If you have an adventurous style, then by all means think outside of the box and pick a bold stripe or geo-pattern for a traditional chair. Use it as a statement piece that will add originality and hip interest to a room.


Choose a color that you can live with for more than a season, after all, it has a big impact on the look and feel of the room, especially if it’s a larger piece. Color affects mood, so contemplate the mood you want to create. Personally, I would avoid trendy hues. Then again, if you’ve always been an “orange” person even when it wasn’t “cool,” then by all means use orange.


got a chair in need of new upholstery

Libeco linen envelopes a tufted sofa

What Nicole Michelle has to offer

We are known for stunning bedding, table linens and hand-fashioned dishware. What’s less familiar is three of our favorite makers have remarkable upholstery weight fabric. Libeco provides us with neutral backdrops woven of Belgian linen; some of the strongest and most durable cloth in the world. Les Indiennes jumps in with hand block-printed patterns with just the right ethnic feel for Boho chic rooms. Last but not least, is SDH, Fine European Linens, whose array of fabric choices range from muted tone on tone patterns to stripes and jacquards.

Currently, I don’t have a project to work on, but the writing of this post makes me want to run out and find even a small chair in need of some new-fabric love.




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