Fabric for walling and upholstery

Kothea samples of textured fabric for walling and upholstery inspired by the tiles decorating this French folly

Cotton Velvet vs. Mohair Velvet

Contemporary beige cotton velvet chair
Black Mohair Velvet Contemporary Chair
Black Mohair Velvet Contemporary Chair

KOTHEA was asked “what is the difference between cotton velvet and mohair velvet upholstery fabric”.

More of an explanation about velvet is given here – essentially ‘velvet’ is the finish arrived at by a specific production process. That process can be applied to many fibres. Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat and cotton is a natural fibre that grows from the cotton plant.

Faux Leather For Flooring

Cream Faux Leather Upholstery
Black Faux Leather Upholstery
Black Faux Leather Upholstery

KOTHEA was asked if Faux Leather could be used as flooring. We have experience of putting faux leather just about on any surface: in yachts, in hotels, in villas, on doors, on walls, on bars and of course on furniture. But sadly no experience with floors.

Some of the faux leathers/faux skins we sell have a Martindale / Rub test of over 100,000. This is suitable for HEAVY/CONTRACT upholstery. However to extrapolate that to even light use flooring is risky. The rub test mimics more the action of sitting rather than being walked upon. The forces exerted by walking, running and carrying things on faux leather would be much more than in seating areas. This would be further complicated by the adhesive which would have to be both perfectly bonded throughout the entire area in contact with the floor (possible) and the adhesive would have to be strong (possible).

Having said that I have a sneaky feeling that it is possible in reasonably low traffic areas. After all it is possible to buy leather tiles. Perhaps also the covering applied after laying can improve stability and durability. If you would like me to give a more definitive response on this issue please leave a comment.

Knit Back Fabric Backing

Schematic of stockinette stitch, the most basi...
Image via Wikipedia

Some fabrics can be too fragile for use as upholstery unless knit backed. Knit backing is a process whereby, for example, a cotton polyester backing is applied to a lighter weight chenille, silk or cotton.

Essentially the fabric‘s life is increased with better durability and resilience. The handling characteristics of the fabric can be improved; and knit backing also helps prevent seam slippage.

The same principle applies for the fabric whether or not it is to be used for either upholstery or wall covering. There will certainly be other requirements for contract usage, say, in hotels and aviation and also other treatments like fire retardancy or stain protection would be required for contract upholstery.

Fabric Treatment Companies – FR Flameproofing

silk velvet upholstery fabric textile FR Martindale RubsWe are often asked to recommend fabric treatment companies for flame retarding in contract installations. Most treatment companies offer other services such as; back coating fabric for walls and stain resistance/repellency. There are several such companies in the UK and at various times we have used all of the following:

Essex Flameproofing,

Textiles FR, and

TEK Treatments

Just click the company name to take you to their web site. Please feel free to add comments to this posting recommending any suppliers you have used but any negative comments about other companies are not permitted on this site. Thank you.

Shimmering Upholstery

White Textured Upholstery on Contemporary Chair
White Textured Upholstery on Contemporary Chair
White Textured Upholstery on Contemporary Chair


New for Spring 2015, striking and shimmering design beautifully upholstered on an occasional chair.


Cushions for textured upholstery sofas
Cushions for textured upholstery sofas
Cushions for textured upholstery sofas

When your sofa is full up the obvious place to put your spare cushions is in that bath tub in the corner of your lounge. We have several new Spring 2015 collections waiting to hit the sewing machines of London.

What is Mohair Velvet?

Concrete TableMohair Velvet is a fabric ideally suited for upholstery.

The Mohair wool from which it is made is 100% natural and is inherently Fire Retardant, usually to contract (hotel) standards. Mohair, too, is typically hard-wearing. Ideal for a busy home; a home cinema; a cinema!; a restaurant; a hotel and so the list goes on.

It is not necessary to have MOHAIR. Mohair wool is from a goat. Other wools from Alpaca or sheep have similar properties. It’s just that Mohair Velvet is the most widely known for upholstery.

Cotton, linen and silk are all-natural fibres that are made into velvets. Man-made fibres like trevira, viscose and nylon can also be made into velvets either on their own or mixed with natural fibres.

We offer free mohair velvet samples/cuttings to TRADE interior designers.

Textile Pinking Machines

For the emergency fabric samples that we sometimes have to make when we are out of stock of samples we use the GOLDSTAR pinking machine. Here’s a quick youtube video from the manufacturer

And here is another one that looks a bit more industrial strength.

11 Top London Upholsterers – London Upholstery At Its Very Best

Orange, Black and red colourful velvets

Here are a great selection of London based upholstery companies. Some of them are relatively small and other are very considerable and long-established companies. They are not necessarily at the upper end of the market, nor the bottom. I guess I could more easily say here is a range of upholstery and re-upholstery companies in London ! Enjoy, in no particular order.

Barnes Upholstery – 020 8255 9797 info@barnesupholstery.co.uk/
Sofa And Chair Co – 020 8752 8938 info@thesofaandchair.co.uk

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Whilst we have dealt with some of these companies as clients this post is not intended as a specific recommendation, or otherwise, of any of them.



SJ Upholstery 078 7652 8213
Moore’s Upholstery – 020 8421 5448
Chelsea Upholstery 020 7384 1666 info@chelseaupholstery.co.uk
Brown Antiques  020 7736 4141  sales@brownantiques.com
Fine Line Upholstery –  020 7407 7438 info@finelineupholstery.co.uk
Upholstery Village – 020 7731 6586 UpholsteryVillage@hotmail.co.uk
HJ Cooper – 020 8788 8673 enquiries@hjcooper.com
Barnett Upholstery 020 7622 9347 s.carter@barnettupholsteries.co.uk
7 Upholstery – 020 7613 4925 upholsterye27dj@yahoo.co.uk