Fabric Choices For Your French Chairs

Pair of French Directoire Style Armchairs Greenwich Living

French chairs can be dressed up so many ways.  When it comes to upholstered furniture, nothing is more important than the type of fabric that you choose for your furniture. Fabric can provide an immediate indication of quality and taste, and can be a direct statement about a home and its owners.

When considering what kind of fabric to select, a few questions must be asked.

1. What type of furniture piece is being covered? Is it an accent chair, or a chair that will be used every day?

2. Is a pattern appropriate? Would a pattern overwhelm the room, or is it needed to bring interest into the room?

3. Is the overall scheme warm or cool? Blue, purples, and greens can present a cool tone, where as browns, beige, yellows can warm up a room.

4. Is durability and stain resistance important? Homes with small children, and pets may want to consider patterned fabrics, or fabrics with darker colored tones, which will hide the dirt and wear on the furniture between cleanings.

Here are just a few fabrics that are commonly used when upholstering French chairs.


Twill is a durable fabric with a diagonal grain produced by weft yarns passing over one or  more warp threads, then under two or more warp yarns.  Herringbone, denim, and gabardine are woven in this manner.

Warp is a set of fixed yarns that run in length of the loom.  Interfacing or weft amd warp yarns that alternate each row produces a fabric.


Jacquard is a fabric woven on a Jacquard loom that uses perforated cards to create intricate patterns.  Damasks, tapestries and brocades are woven this way.


Corduroy is a heavy cotton or synthetic fabric with evenly spaced ridges or wales running the length of the fabric


Gingham is a cotton or synthetic printed in one color on white creating a check.


Linen is a strong yarn produced from flax that can be woven into fabric.  Slubs, which are woven fibers are inherent in the yarn, but they are not flaws.  For all linens beauty, it lacks elasticity which results in wrinkles.  It is wide to have it backed before using it as upholstery.  Linen is blended with cotton.

Image: Belle Maison

Edita by Walter Pfeiffer

Romo Simonii Fabric

NUMERO TOKYO Charlotte Free by Eric Guillemain. Akari Endo-Gaut, May 2012,

Carolyn Quartermaine | Trouvais

Pink French Chair- ZsaZsa Bellagio: French Flea Market

Marie Antoinette French Antiques

Easingwold Bathrooms & Interiors

Pair of French Louis XVI Style Painted Foot Stools Greenwich Living

Lily Bunn, a designer from New York City

Here see see a lavender covered antique French chair with the other blocky, geometric pieces of
furniture. Notice how the chair becomes a true focal point, yet the space remains soothing?

Herve Pierre

One Kings Lane – Mary McDonald

Melissa Miles Rufty

Manuel Canovas

Hollywood Regency Chairs in Yellow

One Kings Lane – Children of Shelters

Be Sociable, Share!