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  3. Upholstery Buying Guide - Find Your Fabric

Upholstery Buying Guide - Find Your Fabric

Find The Perfect Fabric For You

At Utility we give you complete control over the fabric and colour of upholstery you'd like for your sofa, lounge chair or whatever it may be - it's what sets us apart from other furniture retailers. This can be slightly daunting, especially for someone who isn't familiar with the difference between wools, linens and cottons for example. However, choosing the perfect fabric for you and your home makes purchasing a sofa or lounge chair that extra bit special - especially when it's the right one.

Before we go into the details of our selected fabrics we're going to give you some top tips on what you should always consider when looking at fabric options.

Top Fabric Buying Tips

  • Look for fabrics with a high Martindale (rub) count. The recommended Martindale for residential use is generally around 20,000 rubs. The higher the count the heavier and longer usage the fabric can take, meaning you'll get much more for your money.
  • Lightfastness is another thing to keep in mind. Similar to Martindale, Lightfastness refers to how the fabric fade under direct UV light. A fabric with a lightfastness of 6 and above is classed as very good.
  • Similar to the weight (gsm) you see on clothing and paper - the weight of fabric refers to how thick it is. Weight can affect things like comfort and durability of the fabric.
  • Make note of the composition of the fabric. Depending on the material used, the characteristics of the upholstery will be different - check out below for a guide to wool and cotton fabrics.
  • It often helps to see fabrics in person as digital representations are not always 100% correct and can only ever be used as a guide. If you require samples, we offer a free fabric sample service for most of our brands! More information can be found here.

We've put together this handy upholstery buying guide below which covers our most popular fabrics from Kvadrat, who supply many of the fabrics available on brands like Hay, Vitra, Tom Dixon and Gubi.

Kvadrat Fabrics


Kvadrat teamed up with designer Raf Simons for this two-tone durable fabric. Balder is a variation on the work of the late Swedish textile designer Fanny Aronsen, re-imagined in an inspiring new colour palette. Balder is woven from several different tones of thread in an irregular weave pattern that creates subtle fluctuations in colour across the surface of the fabric. The blend of wool and cotton make this fabric comfortable yet hard wearing and dirt repellent. This soft yet tactile fabric is perfect for those who are looking for a modern twist to their contemporary furniture.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Canvas Kvadrat Fabric Information

Designed by Giulio Ridolfo, Canvas is a woolen fabric that comes in a range of vibrant colours. From a distance the fabric has a calm and unicoloured tone, but once you get closer you can distinctly see the elegant structure and shimmering colours. Each yarn is made up of three material dyed hues and each fabric uses two different yarns, meaning each fabric features six complementary hues. Canvas is very durable and, as a result, offers a long-life span. Perfect for those looking to add a splash of subtle colour to a room.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Coda Fabric Information

Coda was designed by Norway Says & Per Bjørnsen and has the title 'Three-dimesnional Wool' due to its geometric pattern and heavy weight. Coda is woven into two layers that use contrasting strong and neutral colours to create a striking fabric and give it its 'three-dimensional' appearance. Coda fabric received the prize of honour for excellent design in Norway in 2003. Again as with other wool fabrics it is hard-wearing dirt resistant and also comfortable.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Divina Fabric Information

Divina (meaningly heavenly or divine) was designed by Finn Sködt and is a 100% woolen fabric that has been described as having 'heavenly primary colours'. This single tone fabric has rich and vibrant colours due to the manufacturing process used. The surface of Divina is smooth to touch, directionless and uniform in its appearance and as with other wool fabrics it is comfortable, hard wearing and dirt-repellent. Divina is perfect for people who want a fabric that is bold and will draw attention to furniture in a room.

Full details and collection available to view here.

Divina Melange

Divina Melange Kvadrat fabric Information

Divina Melange (Melange meaning mixture) is virtually the same as Divina apart from the fact it combines two complementary shades of wool to create lovely textured fabric. The uniformity of the fabric complements organically shaped furniture pieces as with Divina. Melange is in a smaller range of colours and is perfect for those who are looking for an extra dimension to their furniture.

Full details and collection available to view here.

Divina MD

Divina MD Fabric Information

The final part of the Divina family - Divina MD - combines not two, but three fabric shades to create a tri-tone fabric. Due to the composition of the fabric it appears to change colour when the perspective of the viewer changes. MD keeps the values of the original Davina fabric with its uniquely vibrant look. All of the fabrics in the Divina range naturally complement each other and can be combined to create an eclectic furniture collection.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Hallingdal Fabric Information

Hallingdal is the original contemporary upholstery and was Kvadrat's first fabric design. Designed by Nanna Ditzel in 1965, it has had many revisions but still keeps the same aesthetic. With 58 colour options to choose from - some of which are unicoloured and the others constructed from two colours - there is a Hallingdal colour for all interiors and the versatile colour range spans from strong primary to neutral colours. Hallingdal is perfect for those looking for an iconic fabric for their equally as iconic chair.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Harald Fabric Information

Harald is another one of the fabric ranges designed by Raf Simons for Kvadrat. Made purely from cotton, Harald has the soft texture of cotton,the directionless appearance of velvet and the matte velour places the emphasis on the silhouette of the furniture it adorns. Cotton upholstery boasts comfort, durability and has strong colour properties. Available in 20 different vibrant colours such as primrose yellow, burnt orange, raspberry, lavender, aubergine and dark mint green. Harald is the ideal fabric for those looking for a bold statement.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Messenger Fabric Information

Designed by Maharam Design Studio for Kvadrat, Messenger is composed of 78% post-industrial recycled polyester giving it fantastic sustainable qualities. Featuring a texture reminiscent of wool, Messenger is piece-dyed using a special cross-dyeing technique. This gives the fabric a two-tone look, which can make it appear to have been woven with different warp and weft threads. Messenger is a great for those looking for a more sustainable alternative to traditional fabrics and is available in 46 colours.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Remix Fabric Information

Remix is designed by acclaimed Italian designer Giulio Ridolfo. Made from melange yarns which consist of three different colours, each colour way uses two different threads resulting in a total of six colours. This results in an irregular colour pattern across the surface of the fabric. Available in a total of 28 colours that range from burnt reds and oranges, dusty blues and greens and subtle charcoal tones to natural shades of yellow, beige and sand. Remix is a durable fabric that would be perfect for those looking for a soft, calm fabric for their furniture.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Rime Fabric Information

Rime, designed by Åsa Pärson for Kvadrat is a woolen fabric that has a strong melange (mixture) appearance from a distance. Comprising of two unicoloured fabrics, Åsa describes the fabric as having three different styles which are 'smart, happy or simply elegant'. These styles depend on the contrast of the two unicoloured fabrics used which vary for each colour way. Similar to Remix, Rime  would suit those looking for softer tones in their furniture.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Steelcut Fabric Information

Steelcut was designed by Frans Dijkmeijer and coloured by Giulio Ridolfo and features an innovative weave that creates a three-dimensional surface, much like small pyramids when viewed up close. The new shades create harmonies by combining vivid floral hues and different earthy tones. In doing so, they bridge colours that are associated with the ground or the sky. This unicoloured fabric is perfect for those looking to add deep and rich colour tones to their home.

Full details and collection available to view here.

Steelcut Trio

Kvadrat Steelcut Trio Fabric Information

Steelcut Trio, part of the Steelcut family, was also designed by Frans Dijkmeijer and coloured by Giulio Ridolfo. Using the same innovative technique as Steelcut but incorporating three separate colours that help accentuate the three-dimensional pattern of the fabric. Steelcut Trio appears unicoloured from a distance but up close you can see the different subtle shades used to create the fabric. Steelcut Trio is the ideal fabric for those looking to experiment with textures and colours in their home.

Full details and collection available to view here.


Kvadrat Tonus Fabric Information

Tonus, designed by Nina Koppel is an elastic fabric that is characterised by the rare colour richness of the fabric. Available in 47 colour ways, 19 of which are new, Tonus has been recognised as a classic textile due to its vibrant colours - colours which have been enriched since its inception. Tonus is a great fabric to sue if you want to draw attention to a point in the room or want a more playful feeling to a room.

Full details and collection available to view here.

That's our round-up of the popular Kvadrat fabrics available on a wide range of our upholstered items on the site. If you see a fabric that you like which isn't listed above you can contact sales@utilitydesign.co.uk and we will be at hand to help with any query you have.

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