Cotton fabric is a popular choice when it comes to upholstery work. There are many people who love cotton for the way it breathes and can lighten up a room. The origins of using cotton in upholstery go way back.
Upholstery itself has a long history with its roots in the Middle Ages. The textile revolution provided a great foundation for upholstery work to emerge. Back in the Middle Ages, wealthy homes would furnish their houses with padded cushions, beddings, wall hangings, and even chair cushions.
Cotton being cheap and easily accessible, became a popular and common choice for upholstery. Upholsterers are the people who specialise in creating upholstery. They were basically, in a sense, interior designers of the 18th century.
Traditional upholstery involved creating covers for a wide array of furniture such as sofas, chairs, seats, and even beds. Upholsterers use a wide variety of fabrics. However, cotton, because of its merits, became a popular option among many upholders. Before sewing machines and modern inventions came into the picture, upholders were the ones responsible for creating such skilled work.
Back in the Middle Ages, upholstery work was a luxury, and only wealthy homes could afford it. The job of providing beautifully crafted covers and paddings for furniture and even rugs and carpet fell upon upholders. It was a popular skill and craft that continued into the 18th and 19th centuries. Even today, cotton upholstery continues to be a great choice because it is not only cheap but is light, comfortable, and soft.
How is Cotton Upholstery Made?
For any type of upholstery work, you will need a wide variety of materials such as metal springs, paddings, webbing, and, most importantly, the fabric. For ages, upholsterers used different materials as stuffing such as grass, horsehair, wool, or even hay. But nowadays, springs and foams are popular choices. When it comes to fabric, cotton has been a popular choice then and still continues to be a popular choice even today!
This natural fibre is grown all over the world and is one of the most important fabrics in the textile industry. The planting season of this plant starts in Spring and is grown in Summer. Harvesting will be done in Autumn and in Australia the cotton season lasts approximately 6 months. You will know when to harvest when the cotton balls crack open to expose the white cotton inside.
Basically, cotton is a crop that gets planted during the spring, grows during the summer months, and is ready for harvest when the year is ending. Cotton balls or raw cotton gets turned into the fabric we know through two processes. The first step is the spinning process, where raw cotton gets turned into threads. This thread through the weaving process gets turned into the fabric that is commonly used, even in upholstery.
Pure cotton is something that most upholsterers tend to avoid as it can wrinkle easily. To avoid this, cotton upholstery involves the mixing of cotton with other fabrics such as nylon, linen, or even wool. Polyester is the fabric that is often blended with cotton to achieve a great overall finish. This makes the cotton upholstery lighter, and moreover, resistant to wrinkles.
If you are considering getting new furniture or even reupholstering old furniture, then you should consider looking into cotton as an option. There are so many amazing benefits of using cotton as a fabric for your upholstery. If you ever sit on cotton upholstery furniture, you will realise why this particular fabric is extremely popular and sought after.
One of the main benefits of using cotton in upholstery is that cotton is breathable. It does not hold too much moisture or heat. This makes it light and airy, especially during summers. This will make relaxing and lying on cotton upholstery very comfortable and smooth. The fabric is also cool to touch.
Cotton fibres get woven together to produce strong and sturdy threads, which are also smooth at the same time. So, you will not only get durability but also comfort at the same time. Cotton also has hypoallergenic properties, which can be a good choice for anyone who is prone to allergies.
In regards to stain resistance, cotton is not very good. It can quite easily get damaged by water and food spillages, making it difficult to effectively remove stains and marks. You will likely need the services of professional upholstery cleaners to help maintain it for you and to increase its longevity.
Cotton upholstery is very popular and commonly found in family homes. It provides a relaxing environment full of comfort and often comes in light and airy colours. Chairs, beds, sofas, drapes, couches, seats, and lounges can all get upholstered using cotton.
You will mainly see cotton used for sofas, lounges and couches though. We recommend that if you want cotton for these types of furniture in an area that gets used a lot, that you choose another material.
Cotton fabrics for upholstery are best used in formal settings where they don’t get much usage. This is because of their stain resistance and difficulty in cleaning and applying too much moisture.