Focus/15: Choosing new fabrics

23 Sep Focus/15: Choosing new fabrics

“Focus” the Ultimate Interior design event of the year is coming up where the industries best brands launch their new collections.


Fabric can be expensive, so making the right choice is an important investment. It pays to get good professional advice and a second opinion.

Its very easy to get carried away and choose the latest fashion, these can quickly date and unlike clothes you can’t put them to the back of the wardrobe till the come back in to fashion, my advice would be to use these much wanted and desired fabrics on cushions rather than covering an entire sofa.


If you have a tight budget and a particular pattern becomes popular, companies selling cheaper fabrics will invariably copy it.

You would be better to choose an original fabric design from a lesser known smaller company, as a copy will always look like an imitation and you will always feel like a compromise.

Getting in a professional will save you time and money. They can find out your preferences and do the back breaking searching for that perfect shade of “aubergine” and advice you on the best use of fabric for the job.Its no good putting up a deliciously opulent silk on a south facing window as the sun will rot the fabric edges, equally a loose weave fabric could be disastrous in a slouching TV sofa.

Cotswolds Cottage small 008

Bear in mind that pattern repeats have to match when making curtains , so be mindful as a big pattern repeat can be very wasteful and expensive if it doesn’t fit your window drop, and please don’t scrimp on fulness in curtains they will always look mean!

I firmly believe less is more, and a good blend of weaves and prints can create a good balanced look. Getting samples is vital and most fabric houses will supply a generous “returnable sample”. Put the fabric in the place that is intended for and check it out in different lights. Pleat up a patterned fabric if it’s for curtains and see how the pattern now looks gathered up. Always stand back from the fabric and view it from a distance and see how it works in the whole room,  we hardly ever stand over a fabric and look at it 6 inches from ones nose!

Make yourself a mood board, and you will quickly see what designs and colours you are drawn too, take this with you when searching for fabrics and then you can be more selective when making your choices.


Finally have fun choosing your fabrics its like the icing on the cake !

Focus/15 Runs from 20th -25th September at the Chelsea Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, London SW10 0XE more on Focus/15

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