There is a lot that goes into redesigning a house, you have to think about wall colors, floors, tiles, furniture, curtains, the list doesn’t end! Accordingly, we’ve taken it upon us to make your life a little simpler with this guide to fabric buying perfection. We’ve spoken with Mohamed Mardini, founder of Naseej By Mardini and fabric expert to tell us his tips and tricks on how to pick fabrics according to your home needs. You’re welcome!
- Name of fabric: 100% Polyester Fabrics
- Touch/Feel: cotton-like and not fluffy like velvet
- Tips on how to spot it: N/A
- Why it fits this category: It’s easily washed which is something to look for if you have pets, because dry-clean friendly only fabrics are not the most convenient. Stay away from anything fluffy like Chenille. Velvety materials like Chenille tend to hold onto fine hairs or dust quite easily. This is what you want to avoid if you have pets.
Waterproof/ Outdoor Appropriate
- Name of fabric: 100% Polyester (Scotch- Guard)/ Natural Linen and Cotton
- Touch/Feel: Harsh feel
- Tips on how to spot it: Easily spot Natural Linen and Cotton by color and feel. They usually are off-white, beige, greige, and cotton (yes Cotton is a color, it’s yellowish-beige).
- Why it fits this category: The best outdoor fabrics would be 100% polyester, treated against staining (Scotch-guard) and dyed with UV stable dyes so the colors wouldn’t fade easily in Egypt’s scorching sun. Another option would be natural linen and cotton in their raw form. When you don’t dye fabric, it doesn’t 100% natural fabrics that are not dyed, do not fade in the sun. What these raw, natural fabrics have over their more durable 100% polyester counterpart is that they won’t bother people with sensitive skin on warm days.
- Name of fabric: Households with toddlers need to consider water-repellent fabrics, as they’re a lifesaver! New moms don’t need the extra burden of worrying if the milk that just spilled on the couch will stain!
- Touch/Feel: N/A
- Tips on how to spot it: Spotting these fabrics is not easy, so to avoid getting scammed you can ask the salesman for a glass of water to pour a tiny bit on the sample. If the fabric really is water-repellent, the fluid should just form droplets and fall off the surface of the fabric.
- Why it fits this category: These fabrics are mostly dry-cleaned only so removing covers and washing is not necessary as well, less stress, less work.
- Name of fabric: Woven Velvet
- Touch/Feel: Very soft
- Tips on how to spot it: Long pile (hair) and is not stretchable
- Why it fits this category: It’s a thick durable fabric
- Tips: Beware, there are many fabrics being sold as velvet nowadays that are not actually woven velvet. These faux velvet fabrics will have very short hair and will feel very soft, and are stretchable when pulled at certain directions, consequently, people are fooled to think they’re of good quality).
- Name of fabric: Polyester/Cotton mix (65:35)
- Tips on how to spot it: You make sure that the there are no loose yarns on the surface of the fabric. You can test this by rubbing a key against the surface of the fabric very softly and in one direction only if it starts collecting or breaking yarns then stay away from the fabric.
- Why it fits this category: Although Polyester is one of the most disliked fabrics (not sure why), it’s actually one of the most durable materials.
- Tips: Another way of knowing the durability of a fabric is asking for its rub-count. Any fabric above 15,000 rubs would be ideal for households.
- Name of fabric: Silk and Velvet
- Touch/Feel: Very soft
- Tips on how to spot it: Silk: Do a touch test, if you rub the fabric and it feels warm in your hands then its real. Velvet: Soft with long hair.
- Why it fits this category: Silk and velvet go hand in hand with timelessness and class.
- Tips: These fabrics are everywhere in Egypt as Egyptians do love the classic-French style. However, nowadays you should look out for silk and velvet fabrics with geometric patterns, they’re very chic with a contemporary feel and quite trendy.
You’ll probably enjoy your next trip to the fabric store a lot more now. Because now you know what you’re looking for and how to spot it. You can find all of the above mentioned fabrics and more at Naseej By Mardini showroom.