Vinyl upholstery fabric is an excellent choice because of the multiple benefits that it can provide. First, there are far too many designs to choose from-plain or printed, subtle or boisterous colors, textured or smooth. Second, vinyl fabric is very easy to maintain. Unlike other fabrics, vinyl is specifically made to repel dust and even liquid easily. Usually, all it takes is simple wiping, and it's back to its tip-top condition. Third, the durability of vinyl fabrics can not be doubted. It lasts for many years and looks great for a long time too.

Most upholstery vinyl fabrics are made of a combination of polyurethane, polyester, or other synthetic materials combined with a fabric backing. The easy cleanability of the material makes it the perfect choice for upholstery use on furniture, such as sofas, couches, headboards, cushions, pillows, ottomans, tablecloths, and craft projects as well. In most cases, the fabric can just be cleaned with a damp cloth.

The manufacturing process of vinyl upholstery fabric is unique. It allows for a massive color range, textures, and surface effects, like embossing and fading. With vinyl fabric, manufacturers create a fully wipeable surface that is luxurious and scratch and fade-resistant. Vinyl is made by weaving polyester fibers to create a strong textile and applying a mixed layer of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and phthalic acid. The synthetic fabric produced is what's commonly called vinyl, pleather, or PU. PVC-free vinyl upholstery fabric products are also available at KOVI Fabrics.

No two pieces of vinyl fabric are created equal. To the discerning eye, it is soon clear which vinyl fabric will hold up to scrutiny and which will quickly perish with regular use. When shopping for upholstery vinyl fabric, ensure you look for the following as an indication of quality and longevity.

How to Select the Right Vinyl Upholstery Fabric for Your Project

Vinyl Fabric Thickness

The thicker the vinyl fabric, the better its overall quality and durability. However, certain thicker pieces of vinyl won't breathe as well, resulting in a sweaty bottom if you use it on your porch sofa.

Therefore, it's best to choose vinyl fabric thick enough to be strong but soft enough to be comfortable. And, yeah, you can get plush vinyl that is just as soft and pleasant to sink into as real leather.

Vinyl Fabric Classification

Get to know these types of vinyl fabric for upholstery:

Decorator's Vinyl: Vinyl that is soft and pliable falls in the decorator's class. This type of vinyl fabric is used for upholstery, making accent cushions, valances, and even drapery. Decorator's vinyl can also be used to make handbags, clothing, and shoes. Due to the required flexibility and drapery quality, the decorator's vinyl is thinner than other types of vinyl fabric. However, this class has different thicknesses, so look for a vinyl that is soft enough to be comfortable but thick enough to be durable.

Marine-Grade Vinyl: As the name suggests, it is designed for use in an aquatic setting, such as on yachts and speedboats. Marine-grade vinyl fabric is thicker than the average decorator's vinyl, but it is also soft and pliable. The chemical composition of this vinyl is such that the material is mold-resistant, won't shrink, and can be wiped when wet.

Since marine-grade vinyl is out in the elements, it's UV-resistant, won't fade, and doesn't melt when exposed to direct sunlight. It may surprise you that this type of vinyl fabric is often used in commercial projects, such as for upholstering chairs in public waiting areas, making vinyl-topped desks, and upholstering furniture in the medical industry. The same qualities that make marine-grade vinyl suited to the boating world also make it a great, easy-care upholstery for the world of work.

Automotive-Grade Vinyl: The next step in the vinyl journey is to make a marine-grade vinyl that is also flame-resistant, low in fumes, and won't heat up when in contact with body heat. The result? Automotive-grade vinyl fabric. Automotive-grade vinyl is specifically designed to breathe well for those long road trips. For the most part, this type of vinyl is available in plain colors, with muted textures to create a classy look in a vehicle's interior. The benefits of automotive vinyl are that it is wipeable and resistant to stains, fading, and heat.

When to Use Different Types of Vinyl Fabrics

Use vinyl in high-traffic areas where people sit and move a lot. Automotive vinyl is the most expensive of the different types, but it also breathes best, making it ideal for your home sofa where you spend hours with Netflix.

Marine-grade vinyl suits areas with moisture and high sun exposure, such as next to the pool or in a doctor's office. Decorator's vinyl is best used in residential homes for cushions and upholstery projects.

Vinyl is great as a stand-alone fabric, but it can also complement your decor scheme. Choose an accent color such as a bright red for a chaise in your lounge, or mute things with textured vinyl in earthy hues to suit your farmhouse look.

How to Clean Vinyl Upholstery Fabric

Wipe the vinyl fabric with a damp cloth to clean, and try not to scrub aggressively. Avoid harsh chemicals; check our upholstery cleaning guide. Vacuum weekly with an upholstery brush attachment, and wipe daily with a dry microfiber cloth.

Our blog on upholstery and interior inspiration features many articles on how you can incorporate vinyl upholstery fabric into many different projects. Known for its mold and mildew resistance and durability similar to that of leather, vinyl is the perfect choice for marine and automotive projects and outdoor applications like patio furniture and awnings.

We have vinyl and over 25,000 upholstery fabric choices with low direct prices. Check out our trade program to know more about wholesale prices. We only sell brand-new and top-quality fabrics backed by our lifetime warranty. Shop now.

Most Popular Upholstery Vinyl Fabric



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