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The 5 most common upholstery fabric used in South Africa

Updated: Apr 22


The majority of upholstery fabrics available in South Africa are imported from China.

The most commonly used are made of polyester. Polyester fibers are affordable, durable and resistant to wrinkling and make great upholstery fabrics.


Below are some examples used on products sold at Furniture Clearance.


Poly-linen is a plain woven fabric entirely made from polyester that resembles linen. It is a very popular fabric due to its affordability (cheapest of the 5) and overall performance.


The different weaving technique employed offers a variety of textured fabric.




Chenille refers to a type of woven fabric but also to the type of yarn used to make it.


The yarn is a blend of other yarns twisted together into a pile that looks like a caterpillar.


It has a luxurious look, resists piling and wrinkling, but isn't pet friendly.



Velvet actually refers to a weaving technique, similar to rug weave, used to weave silk.


Even though velvet is now made of polyester, it still offers a plush and soft feel.


Velvet is quite a durable fabric, and very helpful if you have pets as pet hair falls off.



Microfiber is a synthetic fibre made of polyester, two times finer than silk, and ten times thinner than hair…

It is weaved to manufacture fabrics that imitates the look and feel of suede under the name Faux-Suede, Buffalo Suede (SA), Microsuede, Ultrasuede.


We share more details about this great fabric in a dedicated post.



Faux leather, Leatherette, Bonded Leather, Air leather…. the list is endless and they all refer to either Polyurethane (PU) or Polyvinyl (PVC) composite materials.


Vinyl is tough with a flexible surface and virtually waterproof. It is easy easy to clean and to maintain; making it a prime choice for hospitals and restaurants.


PU is made by coating a backing fabric such as cotton, polyester or shredded leather (bonded leather) with a type of resin. Depending on the quality of the resin, PU can have excellent upholstery properties.


We have a wide variety of fabric options at our factory store in Benoni that customers can choose to have upholstered on a couch purchased from us.





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