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The 5 Most Common Upholstery Fabric in South Africa

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

The great majority of upholstery fabrics used in South Africa is imported from China and mostly made of polyester.

These fabrics are great value for money; affordable, durable and resistant to wrinkling

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 very popular, the cheapest of the five, and offers great overall performance.

The different weaving technique employed offers a variety of textures.

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 practical if you have pets as hair don't stick.

Microfiber is a very fine fibre made of polyester; 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 a tough but flexible material, 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 made of polyester or shredded leather (bonded leather) with a Polyurethane 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 cover the couch of their choice.


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