Specialty Utility Fabrics

Find our towelling fabrics & raffia fabrics, which have a lot to offer to apparel & other projects. Shop Spotlight's speciality utility fabrics today!

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What Is The Difference Between Utility Fabric And Upholstery Fabric?

Utility fabric and upholstery fabric is often confused, mainly because there are some similarities between both. To ensure you obtain the best fabric for the project you have in mind, Spotlight created this comprehensive overview of differences between upholstery and utility fabric.

What Are The Trademarks Of Utility Fabric?

You will find that utility fabric has a bunch of characteristics that makes it easier to recognise compared to other fabrics. In fact, a utility fabric mainly has a supporting role in a heavy-duty environment. So, utility fabrics are mainly popular for projects that must withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Certain fabrics are classed as utility fabrics automatically. Common utility fabrics include vinyl, burlap, denim, and most fabrics with a special fabric coating.

Please note that utility fabrics can sometimes refer to fabrics with a certain flaw. These can be used for garment construction, opposed to using them for the end project.

What Are The Trademarks Of Upholstery Fabric?

Upholstery fabric is different from utility fabric, as it is used solely for the purpose of furniture upholstery. Because of this particular purpose, upholstery fabric has some specific characteristics that sets it apart from other fabrics.

You can recognise upholstery fabric by a sticky backing that is applied to the "wrong side" of the fabric. This layer has a purpose because it keeps the threads of the fabric together. In addition to that, it maximises the adhesion to furniture components such as padding and foam. As a result, the fabric is likely to stay in place and will not slip.

Interestingly, there are countless source fibres that can be used for upholstery fabric, which can make it a little harder to find your upholstery fabrics in a sea of others. On the flipside, this does enable you to take advantage of all the benefits of the various fabrics available.

When it comes to upholstery, you can find some convenient guides throughout the Spotlight website. So, if you are not sure on which upholstery material is best for your furniture, why not look at the additional guides to help you decide?

How To Tell The Difference Between Upholstery Fabric Or Utility Fabric?

While utility fabric and upholstery fabric can look remarkably similar, there are some characteristics that make it a little easier to tell the difference.

One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between both fabrics is by looking at the print if one is present. Prints on upholstery fabrics will always be perpendicular to the bound edge. Experts often refer to this characteristic as a "railroaded print".

Unfortunately, utility fabrics are more difficult to tell apart. Of course, you can look for the characteristics of upholstery fabric to exclude it as a utility fabric or vice versa.

What Are Popular Fabrics For Upholstery Projects?

There are countless materials that are used in upholstery these days and they all have their characteristics. For example, linen is a brilliant material for sofas, as it is lightweight and breathable. On the flipside, this material is not the best choice for homes with children and pets.

For homes with children and pets, it is better to look for upholstery options made from manmade materials, which can be more durable. A great option in that regard is rayon, which has incredible strength and is available in quite the range of colours.

What Are Popular Utility Fabrics?

Utility fabrics can be made from various fabric fibres, much like the upholstery fabrics we mentioned earlier. Of course, certain utility fabrics are more popular than others.

Denim is one of the most popular utility fabrics to date, but it is far from your only choice. Vinyl and burlap are other examples of utility fabrics and these obviously have quite different characteristics.

So, which utility fabric is best for your project? Well, that depends heavily on what you need the utility fabric for. For example, denim can be brilliant for apparel, while nylon is a great option to make decorative tapestries.

Specialty Utility Fabrics At Spotlight

Spotlight carries a wide range of utility fabrics with all kinds of special characteristics. When you take a look at our range, you will notice utility fabrics made from materials such as cotton velour and special finishes such as puffer coating. So, if you are looking for something durable and special, you are bound to find it here.

Need some upholstery fabric instead? Be sure to check out Spotlight's range of upholstery fabrics as well!



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