Selecting the Best Fabric for Your Home06/20/2019
With thousands of options on the market, the choice of upholstery material can be daunting. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Our core commitment at Maiden Home is bringing the highest quality products to our customers with a simple, stress-free experience, and at an exceptional value. When it comes to our fabric assortment, that means doing the legwork of scouring the market to find the finest options the industry has to offer, and cutting the clutter so you can choose from the very best.
We’ve identified the 5 most important elements to picking a fabric or leather for your upholstered furniture and built our assortment based on these standards.
Want to learn what goes into our selection process? Read on…
Don’t get us wrong - we love bold design - but we’re not taken with trends, especially when it comes to important furniture choices. This is why we approached our fabric and leather assortment with careful consideration and the eye of a designer. We aim to provide the perfect palette of timeless colors: tried-and-true shades that are both versatile and unique. From our Tuscan Leather in rich, natural tones, to our Performance Tweed in the perfect textural grey - we’ve made sure that each material will be a gorgeous accent to any room. Want to see how interior designers use Maiden Home fabrics in their projects? Discover our Home Tours here.
Real life is where the magic is found - and furniture that stands up to your real life is our priority. As a wife and mother, Maiden Home founder Nidhi Kapur was uniquely attuned to the needs of families that wanted quality furniture that would not only stand up to the daily deluge of spills and messes, but also look great when it came time to put the kids down and enjoy a glass of wine with friends or curl up with a book. No matter what your life throws at you, these fabrics will have your back: from red wine spills that bead up on the surface of our Performance Linen to our sleek Pebbled Leather that won’t scratch with daily wear.
We only source fabrics with a Martindale double rub count of 15,000 or above and pill rating of 3 or higher and top grain, minimally-treated leather. All this jargon means that your sofa will look and feel great for years to come. Want to dig into these terms a little more? Check out the Nitty Gritty at the bottom of this post.
In our eyes, quality comes from the respect of heritage technique paired with the latest in fabrication science, resulting in materials whose quality is both time-honored and cutting edge.
Our leather partner, Moore & Giles, has been in the leather industry since the Great Depression. It has since become a leader in sustainable leather production with a global network of ranchers and tanneries. These leather producers - largely small and family-run - offer some of the best leathers in the industry. Maiden Home’s Tuscan Leather is sourced through just such a fifth-generation Italian tannery - preserving artisanal craft and supporting local industry.
Likewise, our fabric mill partners are at the forefront of their field, weaving some of the most spectacular materials that feature performance treatments that make them eminently life-proof. Our ability to move quickly in a rapidly developing technical space means that we’re edging out the big box retailers who can take years to develop and integrate a new material into their assortment.
Just as we did with our craftsmen partners in North Carolina, we cut out the middlemen when it came to our fabrics–going directly to the source of the finest materials available. From Moore & Giles to Valdese, we’ve developed close ties to the best, cutting out distributor markups to bring our customers the best. Previously, these materials were only available via upscale showrooms and at prices that would make most people run for cover. We’ve negotiated directly with the mills and tanneries to get access to these materials at unheard-of value.
When you think about the things that you come into contact with everyday, from cosmetics to clothing, we rarely think about our furniture - but this is often where you can find the most toxic chemicals. Imported furniture can be loaded with toxins like formaldehyde, anti-fungals, and flame retardants. From our Greenguard Gold-Certified Performance fabrics by Crypton Home and Sunbrella to our ethically sourced leathers by Moore + Giles, we’ve identified the safest materials for you and your family to live with every day.
The Bottom Line:
We’ve done the work so that you don’t have to: Each of our fabric and leather options has been carefully selected to be the smartest choice for you and your family. Begin your fabric selection process by ordering your free swatches now.
The Nitty Gritty:
There’s a lot of jargon thrown around when it comes to fabrics and leathers, from Top Grain to Martindale testing. We don’t think you should have to learn a new language to select a great material for your upholstery, but just in case - here’s the lowdown on Maiden Home fabrics and leathers:
- Performance Fabrics: True Performance Fabrics go beyond high durability marks to actually repel liquid spills and resist stains. The top options on the market are from brands like Crypton Home and Sunbrella, and you'll find several beautiful options, like Performance Linen, Performance Textured Linen, Performance Tweed, Performance Basketweave, and Performance Chevron, in our assortment.
- Martindale Double Rub Count: This is a test that fabric manufacturers apply to their fabrics to understand the durability of their materials. It indicates how many times a machine will have to rub a fabric before it starts to degrade. Anything above a 15,000 count is considered highly durable for residential settings, and will not wear even with heavy use. All Maiden Home fabrics exceed this count.
- Pill Rating: In this test, fabric samples are given a rating from 1 to 5. We look for fabrics with pill ratings of 3 and above, which indicates minimal appearance of unsightly pills over time. Many brands will claim that piling is just something to be expected, but we’d beg to differ; it's usually a characteristic of low-quality, synthetic materials. If a fabric starts to pill, it is important to note, though, that this does not mean a fabric is wearing away. In the unlikely event that you do experience light piling with Maiden Home fabrics, simply shear it away with a razor.
- Full Grain Leather: Full grain leather describes a hide that uses the outermost layers of the hide. This part of the hide is highly durable as it contains the toughest fibers on the hide and showcases the natural markings of the material. It will patina beautifully over time, developing a rich, broken-in look.
- Top Grain Leather: Top grain leather balances the natural character of the hide with a more uniform, polished appearance. Because the outermost layers of the hide have been buffed away, top grain leathers have a soft supple hand and a modern look.
- Aniline Leather: Aniline leather refers to the surface treatment, specifically as it relates to the natural markings and character of the individual hide. Aniline leather is the most expensive because it requires hides that are minimally marked - this means that the cows are farmed in smaller herds without branding or barbed wire fencing. These hides will showcase the natural character of the material and patina over time. Maiden Home’s Tuscan Leather is all Top Grain Aniline leather.
- Semi-Aniline Leather: Semi-Aniline leather likewise refers to a leather that has been minimally treated to give a more uniform appearance. This allows for a more polished aesthetic that will show less patina over time. Maiden Home’s Pebbled Leather is Top Grain Semi-Aniline leather.
Need help choosing between your favorite fabrics? Just want a quick sounding board? Our Design Advisors are on-call to help with any questions you have from fabric choice, to layouts, to sizing and more. Reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring at 888-513-5754.