Easy Care Fabrics For Footstools of all sizes

What is the most practical fabric for a footstool or ottoman?

There are no hard and fast rules for what type of fabric is suitable for your new footstool or ottoman.  The properties of footstool materials should stand up to the type of treatment you’d expect your items to receive. For example, a linen fabric footstool may be less hardwearing than real leather when used daily by the whole family.

A lot of the decision comes down to your personal preference and your home décor.

Is there any fabrics I should avoid for my footstool?

At The Footstool Workshop we can use most fabrics on your new footstool or ottoman, and, we are happy to take a look at your material first to discuss with you its suitability before you commit to it.

We recommend avoiding satin or silk as the fabric is often too fragile for upholstery, which to do properly, involves using tacks and tension.  Oftentimes, silk or satin cannot withstand the modern upholstery process and is better suited to curtains and scatter cushions instead.

Instead, try to choose material for your headboard that is classed as ‘upholstery weight’.

What fabrics do you suggest for my footstool?

We recommend, weaves, linens, velvets, leather, faux leathers, chenilles or wool and offer over 150 different fabrics on our website.

We also accept customers own material for upholstery.

All of our upholstery fabrics have a Martindale Rub Count suitable for heavy domestic use and above, making them ideal for footstools that can also be used as coffee tables.

What is a ‘Martindale Rub Count’?

The Martindale Rub Count is a test that measures the durability of a material from abrasion. The higher the number of ‘rubs’ the better the fabric is likely to withstand wear and tear.  It’s an internationally recognised system of scoring and counts how many times the material can be ‘rubbed’ before it starts to show a change in its appearance.

What Martindale Rub Count should my footstool fabric be?

Ideally, a Martindale Rub Count of over 25,000 and above is most desirable for high traffic items of furniture, such as sofas and stools.

Are natural fabrics or manmade fabrics better for a footstool?

You may prefer to upholster your footstool in a fabric that you know is 100% natural. However, man made fabrics are not as they used to be.  In the past, they have had a bad reputation for being ‘shiny’, plasticky and cringeworthy to the touch.  Things have moved on significantly since then and these days a manmade fibre can be as convincing as its natural counterpart and offer a huge range of benefits that suit our modern lifestyle.

Many natural fabrics now contain a small amount of polyester to strengthen them and provide better durability, making them washable and more stain repellent.

Is leather hard wearing?

100% real leather is hugely popular.  It tailors well and is available in many colours and finishes.  Leather is the perfect natural material for your new footstool.  Real leather is very hard wearing and gets better with age and use which amplifies its natural patina.

Large Leather Footstool With Deep Buttoned Top

What fabrics can be cleaned?

Most footstool materials can be cleaned, some will need a professional approach in situ.  Care should be taken to understand the material that you choose for your new footrest to keen it looking smart.

We are ready with helpful advice on how to clean your chosen footstool fabric -please ask.

For extra peace of mind, fabric protection can be applied to your finished items in our workshop to help guard against spills and accidents.

We also carry a number of materials that are treated with Aquaclean technology and Fibreguard.

What is fabric protection?

Fabric protection is a clear, water based solution that is sprayed on your finished footstool, ottoman and scatter cushions that provides a spill resisting treatment to the material.

It does not smell, change the look or feel of your fabric and is virtually undetectable.

It prevents liquid spills from penetrating the fibres of the fabric, providing a window for you to grab a cloth and remove the spill before it can set in.

Fabric protection can be added to all of your ordered items with us, by simply selecting it on the product page as part of your footstool options as you design your footstool on our website.

To find out more about our Fabric Protection, click here.

Which Fabrics Are Fibreguard Treated?

Our Easy Care Bouclé is treated with fibreguard.

Which Fabrics Are Aquaclean Treated?

Our faux suede is treated with Aquaclean and stands up to the ‘pen test’.  Simply draw on the material with pen and wipe with soapy water on a rung dry cloth – see the pen disappear!  Faux suede is a fantastic choice for a footstool or a high traffic area.

What should I look for when supplying my own material for a footstool?

When supplying us your own material, look for something with a high Martindale score, that is not silk or satin that is not heavily beaded or embellished/embroidered.

If in doubt, send us an email with a link to your material and we will take a look and offer our opinion before you purchase the fabric.



About the author

Sheryl Long