Dressing Your Home: A Guide in Using Fabric

Adding toile, burlap, or vintage fabrics in an interior design help create a unique mood and interest in any space. It serves as a simple decorating technique that allows designers and homeowners alike to change the vibe you get from a room by layering and switching the fabric.

But while fabrics may seem like accessories or design elements that are usually added to the picture last, it’s actually quite the opposite for professional designers.

Textile serves as the inspiration for the entire interior design. It provides a color palette that can help you build an entire room and offer a sense of direction in your project. By matching fabrics, layering textures, and mixing up patterns (not colors), you should be able to come up with inviting, relaxed, and simple spaces you can feel at home in.

If you’re someone keen on dressing in the latest fashion trends and appreciate a well-designed home, then this article is perfect for you. Read on to learn about the use of fabric in interior design and how you can use it to “dress” your home.

6 Types of Fabrics and Their Ideal Use

Fabric is arguably the most underrated interior design element out there. After all, people often think about lighting, furniture, and other elements first before they finally decide on what fabrics to use.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that fabric is a core element in design. To bring out its full potential, ensure that you have enough knowledge of the different types of fabrics and their ideal use in the craft.

1. Cotton

As a natural fiber, cotton is a popular choice for both interior designers and homeowners. It is extremely light and affordable.

Cotton is also one of the most versatile fabrics in interior design and is quite durable, making it perfect for use in bed linens and furniture upholstery. The only downside to it is that it’s vulnerable to stains and must be used in a blended form to gain a bit of stain-resistance.

2. Silk

Another fabric popularly used in interior design is silk. It has a rich and lustrous feel that makes an entire space feel more luxurious. It is often used for cushion covers, sheets, and upholstery because it is soft to the touch.

But like cotton, it can easily get stained. It is also a bit more delicate than other fabrics on this list, making it a good choice only in low-traffic areas where it won’t be subjected to too much stress.

3. Nylon

Another versatile fabric you can use for your interior design is nylon. But unlike cotton and silk, nylon is a synthetic fiber, making it more resistant to fading and wear-and-tear. It also tends to hold color well.

However, nylon can only be used in blends and not in pure form because of its durability.

4. Leather

Like silk, leather adds a rich and luxurious feel to interior design. It is mostly used in offices, particularly for chair and sofa covers, because of the executive vibe it adds to the space.

As a natural material, leather requires more attention than other materials used in interior design. It is quite vulnerable to moisture and direct sunlight. It can also get scratched and torn easily if only a thin layer of the material is used.

5. Wool

Wool is another natural fabric commonly used in interior design. But unlike cotton that comes from plants, wool is protein-based because it is grown from sheep.

Besides wall-to-wall carpeting, wool can also be found in upholstery and window treatments due to its resilience to wear and tear. It is also bulkier than most textiles and tends to crimp and crease. However, it allows for better air circulation and holds warmth better than other fabrics.

6. Rayon

Considered one of the most commonly used fabrics in interior design, rayon serves as a viable alternative to silk. It has a great texture, though it can get wrinkles easily. This is why rayon is not recommended for use in high-traffic areas or rooms where it will be subjected to a lot of stress.

3 Clever Ways to Use Fabric in Interior Design

Now that you understand the common fabrics used in interior design, it is time to apply what you learned. To get you started, below are three clever uses of fabric you can try on your next home improvement project:

1. Add luxury with a bed canopy

In medieval Europe, canopy beds were considered a symbol of decadence and extravagance. This is primarily due to the fact that noblemen and other aristocrats of that era slept with curtains around their bed for privacy as their attendants also slept in the same room.

Even today, canopy beds still come with that luxurious feel that makes people feel important, regardless of their position in society. Take full advantage of this by choosing from among the best fabrics for interior design that exude comfort and extravagance, like silk blends and sheer tulle, to create a luxurious canopy bed.

2. Decorate the wall with framed fabric

The walls are often adorned with artworks that draw the eyes and blend the rest of the design into a beautiful, bigger picture. But instead of paintings, why not maximize the color, patterns, and texture of the fabric as wall décor?

One great way to do this is through framing.

The good thing about framing fabric is the number of possibilities it presents. From big and small frames to square and round ones, there are plenty of different combinations you can come up with to adorn your home with beautifully patterned and textured textiles. The best part is, you don’t even need glass for the project.

Aside from buying fabric for this very purpose, you can also save on costs and upcycle unused scarves or vintage cloth scraps from your recent sewing project. You only need the frame, and voila! You get instant wall décor.

3. Toss in a floor pillow

If you have limited sitting provisions in your living room, you can try extending the comfort of the sofa or couch down the floor. And what better way to do this than by making fluffy floor pillows?

To do this, you can recycle fiber fillings from old stuffed animals or busted pillows and pile them all up inside a makeshift floor pillow. You can use any kind of soft fabric for this project, so don’t limit yourself to plain pieces. Instead, take inspiration from posts online and design a floor pillow that matches the rest of your interior design.

Dress to Impress

Dressing to impress can be applied to both clothing and interior design.

Make sure you do it properly with the help of this article, and let your creativity flow to come up with both lovely and unique fabric décor for your home.


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.