Fabric Appearance Affected By Nap

Affect of light on fabric nap.  While we were working on a recent video for our online Upholstery Class it dawned on me that not everyone would consider the properties of napped fabrics when they are choosing a fabric for their upholstery project. Upholstery fabrics that have a nap actually have a raised surface to the fibers. Some examples would be velvets, faux suede, microfiber, and chenille. The fabric I was recently working with was a chenille fabric with a pattern. I was making a cushion with no boxing. It was very obvious to my eye that where the front and back of the cushion met at the zippered end you could clearly see how the fabrics appearance was effected by the nap. This is also clear when you have a piece of upholstered furniture where the inside back is on a vertical plain and the seat is on a horizontal plain. The fabrics can sometimes appear to be different colors even though they are in-fact the same. These napped fabrics all so have a quality of when brushed in one direction or the other with your hand you can see a difference in the depth of the color. I am including a short clip of a video that will give you a visual of how drastic the look can be when using a napped fabric.So the next time you are  choosing a fabric for your project take the time to look at it in the room it will live in so you can see how your lighting will effect the nap. Lay it flat as well as draping over the back of a chair so you can see it as it will be on the final piece. Sometimes it is wise to invest in a yard before you make your final investment.

Have fun picking the right fabric for your next home decor project.


The video above is 35 seconds of a one hour video available to members at upholsteryclass.kimsupholstery