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Designer fabrics: the ultimate guide to premium materials for home décor

Discover which fabrics have made the cut…
Designer fabrics: the ultimate guide to premium materials for home décor

Whether we are sinking into a sofa, throwing open the curtains or plumping up cushions, we are always in contact with our soft furnishings, and the way they make us feel can have a huge impact on the relationship we have with our homes. Premium materials, from sumptuous velvet to crisp linen fabrics, will excite the senses, helping us to feel comfortable, uplifted or simply relaxed. Here, we profile the materials that are inspiring some of the best designer fabrics…


Why choose premium materials? 

In a word: longevity. The quality of premium materials means that they will pay their dividends in the long run as they will look good for years to come. Many fabric companies such as ours are also looking at producing designer fabrics more sustainably, so you can purchase prestigious textiles that are kinder to the planet. And high quality fabrics really can lift an interior, elevating soft furnishings and ensuring that they are a joy to use, every day.


Premium materials to invest in for 2023

Velvet: luxurious and versatile


Linwood | Omega III | Rouge


Velvet is fantastic for bringing texture and warmth to a space, which is important when you consider that our less-than-reliable climate requires our homes to feel cossetting and cosy at all times. Velvet fabrics also carry colour beautifully, from rich, earthy tones that add depth to interiors, to jewel hues that can positively sing in a room. We pride ourselves on our extensive range of velvet fabrics that includes Omega III, our first eco-friendly velvet that is also machine washable and inherently fire retardant; it is pictured here in Rouge, a lipstick red that beautifully showcases the subtle curves of the sofa. Printed velvets are another of our fortés and these are perfect for bringing a touch of magic to a space. If you are nervous about using a bold printed velvet on a large piece of furniture, consider it for a smaller design such as an occasional chair, or simply introduce it with accessories such as cushions. Also think of a more unexpected place to showcase a printed velvet, such as thick curtains for a front door in a hallway – a sumptuous and practical solution that introduces pattern to a transient space where you are less likely to tire of something very bold. Pictured here is our glorious Wild design in Midnight with a console table resplendent with blooms.


Linwood | Wild Life | Wild | Midnight



Linen: timeless and breathable

 Linwood | Elba


Believed to be one of the oldest fabrics in the world, linen is still an enduring favourite in both fashion and interiors. And for good reason. Made from the resilient flax plant, linen is one of the most intrinsically sustainable fabrics available, requiring little more than rain water to cultivate. It is also extremely hardwearing, naturally breathable and entirely biodegradable… and this is before we begin to discuss its fabulous aesthetic qualities! Linen has a subtle texture that makes it perfect for bringing a tactile quality to simply decorated spaces – witness the beauty of our Elba linen fabrics in lovely spice shades in this relaxed sitting room. Linen also works beautifully with patterns as it takes dye much better than its synthetic counterparts. Our extensive range of patterned linen fabrics spans classic country-style botanicals to neat prints such as Buttons in Pond, a small scale design that is as lovely for upholstery as it is for curtains and blinds.


Linwood | Small Prints | Buttons | Pond



Cotton: soft and durable

 Linwood | Pronto | Pink Gin


Cotton is another timeless fabric that has breathable qualities and is highly durable, making it a suitable choice for upholstery as well as curtains, blinds and accessories. The downside to conventional cotton fabric is that it is very water intensive to cultivate and process, something that inspired us to go down a more sustainable route. Pronto, pictured here in a gorgeous Pink Gin hue, is a cotton mix fabric that is made from recycled yarns and is wonderfully versatile. It can even be machine washed – allow for five per cent shrinkage, so factor this in and measure curtains a little longer. Another option from our sustainable portfolio is Verde, which is shown here in Sky. A wonderfully soft fabric that is again machine washable, it is made from recycled offcuts from the fashion industry – a designer fabric with a conscience.


Linwood | Verde



Wool: warm and textured

 Linwood | Lana | Cherry


A perennial favourite for interiors, wool is a classic designer fabric that works beautifully in contemporary and traditional schemes alike. It is cosy in winter yet cool in summer, and it is also naturally fire retardant and water repellent, making it resistant to spills. Our Lana collection is made from recycled wool and comes in 55 colours; use it to create inviting curtains or blinds, or for enhancing shapely pieces of furniture – here, the Cherry colourway lends vibrancy to a pair of stools, while a sweet ruffle adds a contemporary touch. Our Ollaberry & Roxburgh collection of pure wool fabrics is a timeless range that includes plaids, window pane checks, stripes, herringbones and plains; pictured here is Samphrey in Balfour, which is teamed with Belmont in Balfour for the back of the armchair.


Linwood | Ollaberry/Roxburgh | Samphrey | Balfour


Choosing the right fabric

 Linwood | The English Garden | Kitty | Aqua Leaf


When it comes to selecting designer fabrics, always start with practicalities. Do you need a fabric that will resist spills or stains, or one that can be thrown in the washing machine? Is it intended for upholstery, and if so, is it for a piece that will get a lot of use and requires a very robust fabric? Once you have deemed if a fabric is suitable, it is very much about preference: do you want to make a statement with colour or pattern, and how will your chosen designer fabric complement any existing pieces? Perhaps you love the plush feel of velvet or the tactile quality of wool, or maybe you prefer the breezier aesthetic of cotton or linen? A bit of careful thought will result in a choice that you can enjoy for years to come.


We hope we have given you the inspiration to select the right designer fabric for your project, be it curtains, blinds, upholstery or accessories. Our top tip is to order in swatches so that you can view the fabrics in situ, considering how they work with other pieces in the space. And don’t forget the power of layering: a mix of different fabrics will excite both the eyes and the senses, adding depth and texture to a room.