Style Files

February 07, 2022

Fabric 411 with Morgan Fabrics

Learn all about fabric options in our exclusive interview with Morgan Fabrics!

Morgan Fabrics is “your total fabric resource” - a global fabric mill whose customers include manufacturers of fine home furnishings, custom furniture, bedding, design professionals and many more. Offering the best value, selection, and service, it is a no-brainer that Tandem Arbor partnered with them years ago as one of the fabric mill for our custom furniture pieces.

Not only are their fabrics beautiful and of the highest quality, their team has extensive knowledge on what they produce and its best use cases. We sat down with Laura Moore of Morgan Fabrics to get the 411 on the best upholstery options, how to determine the best quality fabrics, the story on double rubs and more. Get the low down by taking a peek at our conversation below:

What is the best upholstery for homes with kids and pets?

If your home has kids and pets, I’d say go for an ultra-suede microfiber with a coating on it to protect it from spills and wear and tear. Also, make sure that it is extra durable as durability plays into wear and tear.

How can you tell whether a fabric is high-quality or not?

As far as quality goes, you want to look at the texture and the weave - how tight the weave is, is very, very important, along with the pile and durability. Oftentimes, anyone can look at fabric and understand the quality based on these quick observations. Of note too, is that upholstery fabric is normally backed, which is a plus for custom furniture clients as it makes it more durable and allows it to hold its shape over time.

How do you pick a luxurious material while keeping cost in mind?

Years and years ago, people had a bad attitude about man made fiber. If it wasn’t natural fiber, people felt as though it wasn’t good or high quality. I feel we’ve come so far with all the technology we have now and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between a cotton and a polyester. In fact, some polyesters are better than natural fibers, especially when it comes to durability. Natural fibers are delicate and susceptible to sunlight, wear and tear, and overall elements. Poly is almost indestructible and can be very, very beautiful. There are a lot of people that do want natural fibers, but if you have a family and children and pets and you want something you can clean up, poly would be the way to go for fabric and upholstery.

What is fabric pilling and how do you prevent it?

To prevent fabric pilling entirely, you can’t sit on it… kidding! When fabric is pilling, this means the yarns aren’t strong enough to handle the natural wear and tear. To prevent that from happening, you need to use upholstery fabric that is sturdy and tightly woven. Poly yarn is stronger than natural fibers therefore if pilling is a concern, go with poly.

What’s the story on double rubs? What are they and should our customers consider them when selecting their upholstery?

There are two sides to double rubs - residential and commercial. Commercial (hotels, restaurants, etc) are wanting 100,000 double rubs as they anticipate an extra amount of wear and tear. For your home, you can select upholstery with 35,000 to 50,000 double rubs and be just fine. What “double rubs” points to is the durability. Double rub is a test that wears down the fibers to understand how many “rubs” the fabric can withstand over time. This gives customers an idea of how long their fabric will last. In essence, it’s a security and code we use in the fabric world to guide homeowners and clients on what to select.

What is a velvet fabric and why are there so many?

Morgan Fabrics is famous for our velvet selection - you could say that we are velvet people. There is cotton velvet, which has a very matte finish. We also have poly velvets that hold the dye very well, are good in the performance area and offer many different finish options. There is a lot you can do with velvet and it’s a really great fabric, hence the plethora of options. It’s particularly great for furniture because it’s cuddly, feels nice, luxurious and smooth. It wears so well and always looks great, no matter your decor - any style you have or are trying to achieve, velvet will fit it.

What about linen?

We have 100% linen which is very pretty, yet is thin and wrinkles. Many people like this look because the dye takes the linen so gorgeously and results in variation and movement. We also have 100% poly linen that exudes the natural look of linen, but the durability of poly.
Linen can be dressy and it has a crisp look that is unmatched compared to other fabric options. There are so many different types of linen due blends, so getting the overall look you want to achieve is doable at various price points. Linen also prints up very well for accent pieces such as throw pillows.

What is railroaded fabric?

This is where the design goes from salvage to salvage, so it’s the width. It is an up and down design which goes the full width of the fabric.

When a customer says they are undecided and don’t know which fabric to choose, which tips would you give them?

First, I’d ask what type of furniture are they looking for - is it a sofa, is it a chair? Also, where is it going - the den, living room, bedroom? Lastly, do you have pets or kids? All of these things you need to ask, plus budget.

Once you get that information then you can guide them and give them options as to what you feel would be great for them. Ultimately, get to know your client and build that relationship with them to assist in making the best decision for their family.

When creating your custom furniture, working with an amazing fabric resource, such as Morgan Fabrics, is of the utmost importance. After all, the fabric and upholstery is what brings the custom design you’ve chosen full circle with color, texture and movement. It is no doubt that Laura and her Morgan Fabrics team plays a huge part in us being able to deliver a beautiful piece that you’ll use for years to come.

Interested in touching the fabrics and seeing them in your home before customizing a piece? Order free swatches!

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