How To Tell The Right Side Of Upholstery Fabric?

If you are buying fabric online or at a store, you may not always be able to tell which side is the right side. And that will make it hard for you to install or sew the fabric.

So how to tell the right side of upholstery fabric? What makes the differences between the right and wrong sides of the fabric?

Here are some tips to help you determine which side is right.

How to Tell the Right Side of Upholstery Fabric?

upholstery fabric
Credit: canva

Upholstery fabric is the material that covers your furniture and other items.

Now, telling which side is the right side or the wrong side is not always easy.

For some fabric types or patterns, the differences are quite obvious. However, for others, it can be difficult to tell if a particular pattern is on the wrong or right side of the fabric. 

Which Side of Upholstery Fabric is Right?

upholstery fabric
Credit: canva

The right side of the fabric is the side that will face the inside of your car seat. This is the side where the stitching is located. If you have a leather seat, then this is the side that has the grain direction.

How Do I Tell Which Side up is?

There are two ways to determine which side is the right side.

First, look at the label on the back of the fabric.

Second, look at the pattern. If the pattern is printed on both sides, then the right side is the side that is facing outward.

What are Some Other Ways to Determine Which Side is Which?

If the pattern is only printed on one side, the right side will be the side facing inward.

Another way to determine which side is right is to look for the seam line. If the seam line is on the outside of the fabric, it is on the right side.

How Will You Distinguish the Right Side and Wrong Side of the Fabric?

upholstery fabric
Credit: canva

The right and wrong sides of your fabric are very important for sewing. They help you keep track of which direction you should sew.

If you want to learn how to distinguish them, read this article.

Right Side vs Wrong Side

The right side refers to the side of the fabric where the pattern is printed. This side is what you would normally see when looking at the fabric.

The wrong side refers to the other side of the fabric. This side has no pattern on it. It is the side that you would normally turn the fabric inside out.

How to Distinguish Between the Right Side and Wrong Side

To distinguish between the two sides, look at the pattern. If the pattern is on the right side of the fabric, then it is on the right side. If the pattern is not on the right side, it is on the wrong side.

Simple Tips

The following tips will help you determine whether the fabric is on the right or wrong side:

  • If a printed design is on one side only, then that’s the right side.
  • If there is no printed design on either side, both sides are equal.
  • If there is a solid color on one side and a print on the other, the solid side is the right side.
  • If there is a print on one side and a solid color on the other side, the print side is the right side.
  • If there is a pattern on one side and a plain background on the other, then the pattern side is the right side (unless the pattern is symmetrical).
  • If there is a border around the edge of the fabric, then the border is on the right side.
  • If there is a contrasting border around the edge of the fabric, then the border with the contrast is on the right side.

How to Choose Your Upholstery Fabric?

upholstery fabric
Credit: canva

Types of Upholstery Fabric

Upholstery fabrics come in many different types. There are three main categories of upholstery fabrics: natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and leather.

Natural Fibers

These include cotton, linen, wool, silk, jute, hemp, ramie, sisal, and others. These natural fibers can be used alone or combined with synthetic fibers.

Synthetic Fiber Fabrics

These include polyester, acrylic, nylon, spandex, rayon, modacrylic, olefin, polypropylene, vinyl, and others. These synthetic fibers are usually blended with natural fibers.

Leather

This includes leather, suede, nubuck, corduroy, and velour. These are made from animal skins.

Tips to Choose

upholstery fabric
Credit: canva

When choosing upholstery fabric, consider these factors:

  • Quality – How well does the fabric hold its shape? Is it easy to clean? Does it have good draping qualities?
  • Durability – How long will it last? What type of maintenance do I need to perform? Will it fade over time?
  • Price – How much will it cost me? Can I afford to replace it if it wears out quickly?
  • Color – What colors will it match my furniture? Do they coordinate with my decor?
  • Size – How big is it? Are the dimensions accurate?
  • Pattern – What patterns will it show? Will it blend in with my existing decor?
  • Texture – What texture will it have? Smooth, rough, soft, hard, etc.?
  • Care instructions – What cleaning products should I use? How often should I wash it?
  • Warranty – What warranty does it offer?
  • Style – What style will it fit into my room?
  • Material – What material is it made of? What kind of fiber is it made of?

Does Upholstery Fabric Have Backings?

It has a backing that helps keep it flat and smooth. This fabric is often found in couches, chairs, and other furniture items.

Types of Backings for Upholstery Fabric

There are two main types of backing. They are woven and non-woven. Woven backings are more durable than non-woven ones.

How are Backings Made?

Backings are made by weaving yarns together. There are many ways to weave them. One way is to use a loom. Another way is to use a machine called a shuttleless loom.

Which Type is Better?

Woven backings are better because they are stronger and last longer. Non-woven backings are cheaper and easier to work with but tend to fall apart quickly.

The best type of backing depends on what you want your fabric to do. If you want it to stay strong and last long, go with a woven backing. Otherwise, choose a non-woven one.

Related Questions

Which side of fabric is the right side?

The printed or pretty surfaces are usually on the right side of the fabric. You normally sew items with the right sides together so that the stitches will be on the inside when you’re done sewing.

What is the wrong side of fabric called?

The wrong side of a fabric is the back surface. This side has no pattern on it. It is the side that you would normally turn the fabric inside out.

Is there an App to identify fabric?

Yes, there is. A free test version of the textiles identifier app (in Finnish) has been made available in the Google Play store for Android devices. The application analyzes images taken by the smartphone camera to identify textiles in real time.

What are the four types of fabrics?

There are four main types of fabrics: animal-based natural fibers, plant-based natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and leather.

What is the selvage side of fabric?

The selvage side of fabrics is the edge where the raw cotton fibers meet the woven cloth. This is usually made from a different color thread than the rest of the fabric. Selvages are often used for decorative purposes, such as trimming hems and borders.

What side of fabric do you pin the pattern to?

You must always pin the pattern on the right side of the fabric. It will make it easier to match the patterns with the fabric motifs or plaids or center patterns in the most attractive spot on the fabric.

Does felt have a right side?

Yes, felt has a right side. The differences can be barely discernible or significant because the color is consistent throughout. However, the wool blend is denser on the right side of the felt. When you feel the two felts, they are about the same thickness, but you can tell the wool is much denser right away.