Fabric swatches: How to choose the right fabric for your upholstered furniture
What is a fabric swatch?
A fabric swatch is a small piece of fabric cut from the same sample used to upholster your seating or ottoman. Our swatches measure 15cm by 12cm, so they are big enough to get a feel for the colour and texture you would like to try. Want to try a few options? That’s absolutely fine - our swatches are delivered free of charge so you can try before you buy.
Choosing the right fabric swatch
1. Consider the colour
Colour is undeniably one of the most important factors when choosing a fabric. Start by assessing your room’s palette and identifying any recurring tones. Pick a secondary shade from existing furniture or home accessories in the room to ensure your new piece will make an impactful visual statement without looking out of place. The more contrasting the colour, the bolder the look, so if you don’t want your chair or sofa to stand out, look for something more neutral with an interesting or unusual shape instead.
2. Try the texture
Trying to imagine the texture of a fabric through a screen is near impossible, so testing fabric swatches at home is essential when deciding what you would prefer. A corduroy, for example, has a ribbed surface in a plush velvet, making it a highly tactile fabric. If you fancy a smoother texture, the Loretta velvet on our Flora Velvet Scalloped Armchairs has a super-soft finish. Once you receive your swatches, you can check whether they have the right feel and quality for your chosen seat.
3. Match with materials
If your sofa or chair is a mixture of upholstery and another material, such as wood or metal, it’s useful to consider how these colours and textures will pair with the existing materials in your room. Our Loha Velvet Armchair, for example, is available in four colours designed to complement the light-coloured wood and cane texture of the frame. If you are pairing two fabrics together, it’s also useful to see them side–by-side before you decide.
Testing your swatches at home
1. Move them around
Fabric can look very different depending on where it’s positioned in a room, so place your sample in a variety of places. If your furniture will be positioned next to a window, have a look at the colour and texture in the morning and evening light, as this can have a significant impact on the tone.
2. Compare with each other
If you have ordered a handful of swatches, lay them over each other to compare. Although you may only be picking one, placing near contrasting colours can bring out subtle undertones and help you decide which shade will complement your space. Make sure you consider other textiles in the room - rugs, curtains and floors will all have an impact on the overall feel.
3. Take your time
Ordering a piece of furniture is a big decision, but the great thing about ordering fabric swatches is that they are yours to keep. Take your time to decide what you think will work best in your space.
Most of our upholstery lines are available to buy - as soon as you have picked your favourite fabric, you can order your item straight away.