Upholstered chairs: our recommendations for making a wise selection

An upholstered chair is a style choice that dresses up any setting, from a small home’s kitchen to a large restaurant’s dining room.

Decorating with upholstered chairs, whether classic, modern or something in between, means that you are opting for elegant furnishings that make an environment more distinctive. Picking the proper chairs is far from easy. But armed with some expert advice, you will be able to select the perfect chair that meets all your requirements.

Obviously, upholstered chairs are well-suited for areas where wining and dining occur, whether in a design hotel’s modern lounge or in a restaurant’s traditional, intimate dining room. Selecting an upholstered chair for a table means that meal time will be spent in a relaxed and comfortable manner. Guests will settle into these chairs that help create the right mood for enjoying fully their dining companions, the dishes’ flavours and the atmosphere.

Classic or modern upholstered chairs? A style for every environment

Upholstered chairs are best suited for a classic furnishing style. Yet some people will choose styles in which only the seat or the back is upholstered. This type of furnishing will fit in beautifully in any environment. In turn, it’s not unusual to place a classic upholstered chair in a setting with a minimalist design with the intention of creating contrast and adding a touch of class to the space. The same holds true for modern, linear upholstered chairs that can be the ideal choice for lightening a space decorated with substantial, elaborate pieces.

What is the detail that can make a difference? Choose chairs with padded armrests for the head and the foot of the table to impart a true sense of style, not so much for the added comfort but because this detail raises the level of elegance of both the chairs and the entire room.

How to choose the perfect covering for upholstered chairs

Upholstered chairs can be customized, thanks to the coverings. Style and creativity come into play when selecting the colours, fabric types and finishes. Surprising, original combinations can be created that are designed specifically for the environment to be furnished.

However, before selecting the quintessential upholstered chair, you need to realize that the design is not the only important element. Consider also the fabric’s resistance and how easy it is to clean, particularly in light of the chair’s use. In heavily trafficked environments, such as restaurants and hotels, it’s necessary to choose chair coverings that are resistant to wear, paying special attention to the fabric’s washability.

Whether you prefer leather, cotton or synthetic materials, when searching for the best covering for your upholstered chairs, you should give due weight to certain factors that determine the covering’s quality.

  • Rub resistance: indicates the extent to which colours from other textiles (clothing, for example) can transfer onto the upholstered furniture’s covering, leaving a stain. The resistance is rated on a five-level scale in which one indicates a very low resistance and five a particularly high resistance.
  • Abrasion resistance: a factor that is measured using the Martindale method. This test involves rubbing the covering fabric against a piece of wool cloth until two yarn breaks occur in the covering fabric’s weave. This index is calculated using the total number of abrasion cycles required to cause the yarn breaks.
  • Colour fastness to light: over time, all fabrics tend to fade. Light, both natural and artificial, is a contributing factor to the loss of colour in coverings. Even in this case, there is a ratings system, the so-called blue wool scale that measures colour fastness. A fabric sample is exposed to an artificial ultraviolet light, while an identical sample is covered. The sample’s resistance to fading is given a rating from one to eight. Natural fibres tend to fade more easily than synthetic fibres. For this reason, avoid placing upholstered chairs near windows or at least cover windows with curtains capable of filtering the sun and reducing light penetration.
  • Likelihood of pilling: similar to rub resistance, pilling is measured on a scale of one to five based on how easily the covering fabric wears out, forming the classic pills.
  • Upholstered chairs: Which is better - a seat with a webbed or wooden platform?

    Selecting the most appropriate type of support for an upholstered chair is not as simple as you would think.

    Two types of upholstered chairs exist: those with padding on webbing and those with padding on wooden boards.

    The first is created by placing the foam rubber stuffing that will be upholstered on a surface made of interwoven strips of webbing. This webbing supports both the stuffing and the person who will sit on it. Padding on a board is made using a wooden base, usually chipboard or plywood, that serves the same role as the woven webbing.

    Changing or washing the covering is more complicated with an upholstered chair supported by webbing as opposed to one mounted on a wooden board. In fact, upholstery mounted on webbing is not removable from the chair frame. Therefore, the entire chair has to be transported to the upholstery shop. But in the case of a chair with a board covered with padding, all you need to do is remove the seat from the chair frame in order to reupholster or change the padding.

    Now you have all the information you will need to select the ideal upholstered chair. What are you waiting for?


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