Fabrics and Where to Use Them


When people think of interior designing, they think of furniture, accessories, colour, and arrangements. Fabrics and textiles are often a forgotten element whereas it should be at the top of the checklist when designing your home.  

Add a great deal of character and make your space a lot more interesting by using fabrics and textiles as solids or mixing patterns. Similar to the colour psychology, certain materials carry specific moods and feelings that you have to explore to know how you can use it around the house.   

The placement of your materials can affect how it holds up in the long and short run, which is why we often recommend planning the materials and the arrangement of the furniture simultaneously for a harmonious and seemingly perfect pairing and end product. The production of certain fabrics and textiles affect their characteristics and in turn, dictate how it should be used around the house.   

The foundation of the materials lends them the characteristics which make them suitable for certain settings. Materials used in interior designing can be categorized under two sections; Textile and Fabrics. While fabric is a type of textile; not all textiles are to be considered fabrics. Textile is produced by weaving, knitting, felting, and tufting. Fabrics are naturally made or are fibres manmade through crocheting, weaving, knitting, or bonding to create a cloth.   

Moreover, textiles can be produced from several materials, such as fibres, filaments, polymers, plastics, etc. The end products of textiles are often used as carpets, window shades, wallcovering, and more. On the other hand, fabrics are more commonly used for drapery, bedding, linens, and other commercial designs.   

The building blocks of any material are Fibres, which can be natural or synthetic. This again plays into their ability to carry important characteristics that affect how the end material is used. Natural fibres are either animal or plant-based and their general characteristics include its ability to hold dyes, biodegradability, sustainability and durability. Some examples of natural fibres are silk, cotton, and wool.   

On the other hand, synthetic fibres, are manmade materials that are designed to be a cheaper substitute for natural fibres. Stain resistance, water-resistance, and instant availability are some of the attributes of natural fibres. Examples of these type of fibres include polyester, nylon, acrylic, and vinyl.  

While we could talk for even more paragraphs about fabrics, textiles and their differences and types, we will spare you the details and jump right into their uses in interior designing. Here you can explore the different types of materials that are most commonly used in house designs, where exactly they are used, and more importantly why!   


This type of material is known for its flexibility, availability, strength, and stretchy qualities. This is one of the synthetic fibres and is a petroleum product which makes it neither sustainable nor biodegradable. Specifically, for its durability and resistance to wrinkling, polyester is best used for bed sheets, curtains, and upholsteries.   



Cotton is very commonly used around the house because it is soft, strong and flexible. It is mainly used in bed linens, upholstery, throw pillows and window furnishings. Some of the most feared downsides of cotton, such as moisture retention, staining, shrinking, etc., can be avoided by blending it with other fibres.   



This material is suggested to be placed around the house, whether as upholstery or bedding, where there is the least or indirect sunlight. While it possesses strong qualities like durability and water resistance, it is very susceptible to insect damage and requires regular cleaning to avoid permanent damage to the material. 



Silk falls under the luxurious spectrum of materials; it is delicate and expensive and possesses qualities that make it perfect for curtains, wallpapers, and decorative upholstery. This material is naturally shiny and soft, which gives a rich feeling to the surrounding. However, as it is a delicate material it is prone to stains and should not be placed anywhere around the house to avoid damaging it.   



Last but not least, Velvet has been making quite an appearance since 2019 and it has improved many aspects of interior designing as it creates a sense of luxury and richness. This material can be mixed with other fibres and fabric to enable it to possess important qualities making it more versatile. For example; Cotton Velvet is breathable and stretchy, while Silk Velvet is lush and soft to the touch. Velvet can be used in various ways including as armchair and sofa upholsteries, curtains, carpets, and more. 

With this newfound knowledge in interior design materials, you are ready to make the right selection for different spaces around your home. A tip we would like to share is that along with the abovementioned qualities of the materials you will need to take into consideration other aspects like texture, colour and the overall aesthetic of the room.   

Need help deciding and perfecting the look of your bedroom, living room, dining, room or kitchen? We would be more than happy to provide you with a professional consultation.