Could We Please Just Use Pretty Fabric?

January 10th, 2022 | Tracey McKee

Just a little rant, or better yet, an attempt at encouragement.

It seems that our furniture industry has, over the past few years, promoted the idea that the most desirable fabrics are those that can be spilled on, thrown up on, trampled on and eaten on. Every night. Spaghetti. And through it all, you’ll never see a stain or sign of wear.

The only problem is that many of these “high-performance” fabrics look more like they belong in the waiting room of a doctor’s office than in a home. The textile industry is capable of dreaming up extraordinarily beautiful fabrics, but instead we’re pushed toward dull industrial choices with a bulletproof look that lacks character.

I bring this up because finding really great fabrics is becoming more and more challenging. So I’m encouraging all of us — the buyers — to not give up on beauty! Of course stain-proof and stain-resistant fabrics make sense for certain areas, and I have provided a lot of them to my clients over the last few years. But I recommend we use these sparingly, where they are most needed, and go for great-looking natural, untreated fabrics with less hesitation.

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In many cases, the risk of staining is lower than you’d think! Linen is, in fact, naturally stain-resistant and wool is known to be very cleanable. Being a textile lover, I can’t resist beautiful linens with thick weaves and heavy cottons that absorb color so beautifully. And wools can have some of the prettiest patterns woven into them.


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And of course textiles with less treatment and safe dyes have the advantage of being more natural and containing fewer chemical traces. For me, not only are these the most beautiful fabrics, but also the ones I feel best about recommending for my clients’ homes.


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Fabric selection makes all the difference for something as major as a full furniture upgrade, or as simple as a new set of throw pillows. If you’ve got a vision and could use a little help bringing it to life — or if you just don’t know where to start — our Design Department can help. Drop us a note here! 

- Tracey McKee

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