March 15, 2024

In the world of interior design, fabrics are the unsung heroes, silently transforming spaces with their texture, color, and personality. They are the threads that weave together the story of a room, and choosing the right fabric can make all the difference in creating a space that feels inviting, stylish, and uniquely yours. As a leading interior design studio in Toronto, specializing in custom upholstered furniture, we understand the importance of fabrics in bringing a vision to life. Join us on a journey as we unveil the secrets of fabrics, offering insights and tips to help you make the perfect choice for your home.

At Kendall & Co. we carry a very extensive selection of fabrics which are normally only available to the Professional Design Trades. We carry thousands of textile books, with several types of fabrics in our fabric library, including upholstery, drapery, and accent fabrics. 

Upholstery Fabrics

Fabric books and samples at Kendall & Co.

Our upholstery fabrics are designed to withstand high wear and come in a variety of options, including stain treated, velvet, cut velvet, leather, faux-leather & vinyl, patterned (plaids, florals), and textured (wool, boucle). These fabrics are most often used for furniture making as well as for some drapery.

Velvets are a nice option for those who are looking for an easy fabric to clean (regular soft brush vacuuming or wiping down with a damp cloth) while also being soft and comfortable, and versatile as they come in many colours. 

Custom made & upholstered blue velvet sofa by Kendall & Co.

Similarly, leather, faux-leather, and vinyl are good low maintenance choices as they are easily wiped clean. The main difference between leather and faux-leather is that faux-leather is made from synthetic materials and so will be less durable than genuine leather. Vinyl is a good lower cost option for those who want the look of leather but not the higher price tag. That said, leather will last longer than vinyl, although both will have long lifespans with proper care.

We carry a variety of fabrics with stain resistant properties built into the fibres of the textile, thereby offering long term efficacy and no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) compared to after-market spray treatments.

Here are some of our industry leading branded stain resistant fabrics:




We also offer a few others such as, Endurapel, Kravet Armor & Stout Secure. 

Drapery & Window Covering Fabrics

Custom made draperies with pom pom trim by Kendall & Co.

Drapery and window covering fabrics come in a variety of stratums. Some are as robust as upholstery fabric while others differ from upholstery as they tend to be more delicate fabrics, such as sheers, satins, silks, and linings. Style options include black-outs, wide-width, patterned, and embroidered. 

 Trim & Accent Fabrics

Trim & accent fabrics are a bespoke addition to your custom furniture for aesthetic purposes, and include things like piping and ribbon accessories.

Fabric and trim samples by Kendall & Co.

Fabric Quality & Durability

The longevity of a fabric is measured by the rub count number, or fabric abrasion. When fabric comes into contact with friction and stress, over time the fibers will start to break down. You're going to see things like pilling, balding, and even holes appear. The more resistant the fabric is to that friction, the longer it's going to stay looking new.

The Wyzenbeek double-rub test is probably the most widely sided test for fabric abrasion. It consists of a mechanical finger rubbing back and forth on a piece of fabric until that fabric starts to show some sort of wear. The other test which is a little bit less common called Martindale, is the same thing basically. Only instead of going back and forth it goes in like this figure eight pattern.

A standard grade of upholstery fabric, like something you might get a Pottery Barn, starts at around 10,000 double rubs. What we would consider heavy duty kicks in around 30,000. At Kendall & Co. we carry a whole bunch of performance fabrics that are rated in excess of 100,000 double rubs. That's 10 times what a standard upholstery fabric would be. If you're looking for something that's going to stand up to your kids, your pets, adults who are irresponsible with furniture, this is it. It's also great for commercial environments.

All of our fabrics in our library will have a rub count number, so you will always know the durability of the fabric you choose. This taken into account along with stain and sun resistance and quality will give you a piece of furniture that's going to be built to last. 

Working with an Interior Design Studio

Choosing the perfect fabric can feel overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate this journey alone. Working with an interior design studio can make the process seamless and enjoyable. Here's how we, as a top interior design studio in Toronto, can help:

  1. Expert Guidance: Our experienced designers are well-versed in fabrics and can offer expert guidance tailored to your needs. Whether you're aiming for a specific style or need advice on durability, we're here to help.

  2. Customization: We specialize in custom upholstered furniture, meaning you have the freedom to choose the perfect fabric for your piece. From luxurious velvets to durable performance fabrics, the options are endless.

  3. Quality Assurance: When you work with us, you can rest assured that quality is our top priority. We source fabrics from trusted suppliers, ensuring that your furniture is not only beautiful but built to last.

  4. Visualizations: Visualizing how a fabric will look in your space can be challenging. Our design studio can provide renderings and samples, allowing you to see and feel the fabric before making a decision.

That's all folks!

Fabrics are the soul of interior design, infusing spaces with texture, color, and personality. Whether you're seeking a cozy retreat or a statement piece, the right fabric can bring your vision to life. As a leading interior design studio in Toronto, specializing in custom upholstered furniture, we're here to guide you through the world of fabrics. From expert advice to personalized customization, let us help you create a space that is as beautiful as it is functional. Contact us today to begin your fabric journey and transform your home into a haven of style and comfort.

Stay tuned for our next blog post delving specifically into the benefits of stain resistant fabrics, and which ones might be best for you.

What other questions do you have about fabrics? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below. 

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