Choosing Sustainable Upholstery Fabric

As my business has grown, I’ve been getting more inquiries about eco-friendly decorating. What I have learned from exploring this topic through discovery calls is that eco-friendliness is highly influenced by values and perspectives. Along with this rise in consciousness, fabric options for eco-friendly consumers have also grown exponentially.

Seating is usually the biggest expense in a living room or family room redecorating project (window treatments are the next biggest, but that’s for another day), which is why I’ll talk about upholstery here; I’ll discuss options for creating beautiful and transformative interiors, using eco-friendly upholstery.

You can choose upholstery fabrics made from natural fibers or recycled synthetic fibers. You can get the best of both worlds by mixing natural and synthetic fabrics in a bespoke design that’s stylish and durable, for example synthetic seating with natural fiber throw pillows.


Natural upholstery fabrics are inherently sustainable because they are made from both animals and plants.  Among the most well-known natural fabrics are leather, wool, and linen. Linen is long-lasting, hypoallergenic, and very durable, making it an excellent choice for seating that gets a lot of use. A room makeover on a higher budget can accommodate natural fibers better.

Compared to natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics are more age-resistant. Recycled synthetic fibers are also great because they divert waste from landfills. Fibers like these are made from post-consumer waste like plastic bottles and fishing nets. Known for transforming plastic bottles into high-quality fibers, Repreve produces high-quality fibers for upholstery, apparel, and other textile applications. Econyl is another company that turns nylon waste from fishing nets and industrial plastic waste into upholstery yarn.

Recycled synthetic fibers are available in a variety of colors and patterns. The good thing is that many of them also feel soft, so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort. Stain-resistant and durable performance fabrics are often made from recycled fibers. Revolution Fabrics, for instance, makes high-quality, stain-resistant fabrics out of recycled materials. You can feel safe decorating with these fabrics since they’re eco-friendly and free of toxic chemicals.


It’s not one-size-fits-all when it comes to eco-friendly decorating. Both natural fabrics and recycled synthetic fibers work well for upholstery. It’s easy to make beautiful spaces that are kind to the planet if we decorate thoughtfully and sustainably. If you’re looking to create a beautiful decorated home, an experienced decorator can help you mix natural and recycled synthetic fabrics, while respecting your budget.