Fabrics – Choose Wisely

Lets discuss fabrics. Your designer will consider a number of factors when selecting the right fabric for your Wills Furniture sofa, lounge suite, chair or ottoman.

For a designer its often somewhat imperious to select a wafting silk or a pure white linen. However good designers realise their clients must live with the fabric selected and it may be the fabric is determined by the potential use of the furniture, its location and the degree of traffic a room may experience. Often choosing an easy to maintain fabric is a better long term choice.

Image source: Houzz

Here is a list of fabrics, both Natural and Synthetic reprinted from the Houzz.com.au website. It is a useful guide and at Wills Furniture we consider it reasonably accurate and useful.

  • Cotton is durable and resistant to wear and fading, but not as resistant to dirt and wrinkling. Cotton can go from casual to formal depending on the weave.
  • Cotton blends are slightly more durable than cotton due to the mix of additional fibres.
  • Leather is durable and functional. It wears well and gets better with age.
  • Linen is resistant to pilling and fading. It provides a crisp and casual look to furniture. However, it wrinkles and shows dirt easily.
  • Silk is elegant and adds a sophisticated and formal touch to furniture. Due to its delicacy, it’s best for light use and requires professional cleaning.
  • Wool blends with synthetic fibre for easier maintenance. It’s durable while also being resistant to pilling, fading, wrinkling and soil.
  • Acetate is developed as imitation silk, and is resistant to pilling and shrinking; however, it doesn’t hold up well for everyday use due to its tendency to wear, wrinkle and fade in the sun.
  • Acrylic is developed as imitation wool and may pill easily if not of high quality. However, it’s softer than natural wool, and is resistant to wear, wrinkling, dirt and fading.
  • Microfibre fabric is made from polyester fibres, is similar to suede, and easy to maintain.
  • Nylon is often blended with other fibres, creating a durable fabric that won’t wrinkle or soil but may fade and pill.
  • Polyester is usually found in a blend with other fibres, and is resistant to wrinkling and fading.
  • Rayon, though prone to wrinkling, is durable and affordable.
  • Vinyl is durable and a more affordable option compared to leather.

Source: Houzz

Image source: Warwick Fabrics

Functionality and Reality

A clever designer will select fabric that not only looks superb but also wears well, is easy to maintain yet synchronises well with the style of the furniture and the decor and feel of the room you have selected.

Houzz advises:

Neutral tones and floral prints work well in a traditional space, while bright colours and bold patterns give off a more contemporary vibe. Your lifestyle also dictates your design. Here are four quick questions to ask while browsing upholstery fabric online:

• How long is this upholstery meant to last?
• How often will you clean and iron it?
• Where do you plan to use it – indoors or outdoors?
• Which style furniture pieces is this upholstery meant for?

Source: Houzz

At Wills Furniture we always advise our designers on fabrics and their properties , recommending the best in looks, appearance, quality and maintenance.

The choice is yours. Let it reflect your personality, your home and your vision.

Featured Designer – Black & Spiro


Black & Spiro logo

Black and Spiro Interior Design is one of Australia’s leading interior design studios. Brisbane based Interior Designer Anna Spiro heads up her team of six, working from her delightful premises in New Farm, Brisbane.

For over a decade Anna has guided and managed her successful interior design business, Black and Spiro. More recently Anna has released, in partnership with her brother Sam Spiro, her new range of fabrics – Anna Spiro Textiles. The Range reflects Anna’s great affection and appreciation of the tropics of Hawaii and its vibrant living colours.

Colour and its application are the hallmarks of Anna’s extraordinary yet tasteful designs. Adventurous, yet respectful, Anna has created a unique style that is instantly recognisable. Distinguished yet utilising a wonderful spectrum of patterned fabrics, antique furniture and carefully selected art.

Anna is about life, vibrancy, creating homes and places reflective of her clients’ lives and what it is they love. It is a passion, yet a passion with discipline, with an eye for both detail and overall finish.

As a young Interior Designer, Anna spent considerable time under the tutelage of old school Brisbane Interior Decorator John Black, forming a partnership, Black and Spiro in the year 2000. A decade ago it was time for Anna to launch independently and the original partnership with John Black was dissolved. Anna continued to run her own business out of the same delightful New Farm premises under the original Black and Spiro name developing a loyal following, first in Brisbane and South East Queensland and then Nationally. The team manage a variety of projects in the areas of residential, retail and high end hospitality.

Fabric is in fact Anna’s passion and here we feature some Wills Furniture pieces, some prepared with Anna’s fabric selections, in a variety of settings.

The sofas featured are both the Clivedon. As can be seen this delightful sofa lends itself to a variety of applications and fabric choices. A classic Edwardian inspired design with clean lines, an upholstered square back and square fitted arms. Polished legs with brass castors and seat cushions in feather wrapped foam make for a comfortable and stylish furniture classic.

The Ottoman pictured is custom designed and as can be seen fits perfectly with the Clivedon Sofa.

In a few weeks time we will again feature a Black & Spiro project currently going to press for a well known magazine. It features the Sheffield Sofa and Cordoba Arm Chairs in Anna’s signature style.