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Fabric Decision Help Needed.

bbstx
2 months ago

Just a brief re-cap of what I’m doing. Several months ago, I contracted with an interior decorator to fluff up several rooms in my house, including the LR. It is a small house with no additional living areas.


This is about pattern *not* color. The colors shown here are highly inaccurate.




The ID I’m working with has sent me a memo sample of this fabric ^. I absolutely love the color, but I’m unsure about the pattern. It seems a little informal. It will be on a wing chair and ottoman. It is a sturdy fabric rated at 63,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs. Horizontal repeat is 9.5”; vertical repeat is 12.5”.




I prefer the pattern on this one, but it is a more delicate fabric - 12,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs. Horizontal repeat is 14” and vertical is 7”.


There are 2 bergere chairs in the same room that will be covered in a medium coral linen velvet. The sofa is a medium gray velvet chesterfield. The sofa is a given that the ID is working around. The wing chair is currently DH’s primary seat, but he is getting a new, chestnut leather tilt-back chair and ottoman that ought to be in about March 1. The wing chair and ottoman will be moved to a different part of the LR.


I am perfectly happy with the color combos, so I’m not asking about that. Just pattern. To me, the top fabric reads a bit tribal, which I think of as an informal pattern. I’ve looked everywhere to see if I can find either fabric on a piece of furniture. No luck.


I would love to hear your comments on the two fabrics. TIA




Comments (47)

  • IdaClaire
    2 months ago

    I love the first pattern. Yes, it does lean a bit 'tribal', but I don't think that necessarily limits it to an informal look, particularly since it would be going on a wing chair with matching ottoman. Of course, it's all about individual preference, and I think the first fabric is much more interesting than the second (which reads just slightly on the 'stuffy' side to me, but again, that's my own association with anything resembling a trellis design and YMMV). So I guess what I'm trying to convey is that I absolutely think the first pattern could read beautifully in a more formal space; in fact, I think it breathes a bit more life than the second pattern does.

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  • localeater
    2 months ago

    My impression of the first fabric is formal, the design reminds me of classic Greek motifs; I don’t get a tribal vibe.

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  • rubyclaire
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I see the "tribal" element to the first fabric, but I really prefer that one because of the more vibrant pattern. The second fabric is very beautiful, too, just a bit softer which may be the look you are trying to achieve.

    The coral and gray velvets sound divine!

    bbstx thanked rubyclaire
  • Jinx
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    bb, is this it, on the chairs? I like it, but I think I prefer the second.

    It‘s so hard for me to pick fabrics! To imagine a piece of pattern on something big.

    I’d like to see the other one on furniture, I’ll keep looking.



    bbstx thanked Jinx
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    First, both are pretty.


    However.


    Not only is the first one tribal-ish, it is ikat-ish. Ikat has long since peaked. I say this as a proud owner of many ikat items, including a room wallpapered in it, and as a fan of the look.


    The second one is, to me, very lovely, but a little too ubiquitous. One person's ubiquitous could be another's timeless, but it is a little too "hotel lobby" to me.


    I think a fluff/refresh should bring new life to the room, and be more au courant. I'd ask for more ideas. YMMV

    bbstx thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    BTW, your choices sound gorgeous; I cannot wait to see!

  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Jinx. You found it!!! That is exactly it. Thanks!


    Mtn, I was doing fine until you said ”Ikat.” I’m with you on it being a trend whose time has passed. Nevertheless, this is not as Ikat-ish as some things I’ve seen.


    I suggested a solid fabric. She really thinks it needs a pattern.


    Here is another fabric she has suggested. I think it looks like something Granny would have. Again - ignore the color.



    I have adored all of her other suggestions and choices, but this wing chair is tripping both of us up.


    The chair is currently covered in a hunt scene toile which I loved. Regretfully, the linen has not held up and the chair must be recovered.

  • Fori
    2 months ago

    The lines on the first are shaggy. That's what feels informal to me. A wing chair deserves more pomp.


    Sounds like a main concern is wear. Since you're kicking DH off to another chair, it's just not gonna get a lot of wear, so you can get whichever fabric you prefer.

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    I agree it is a tribal/ikat look. Not saying there is anything wrong with that. I ilke the second fabric but prefer the deeper color of the first. But, I think you can find better. It's hard to say without seeing the other pieces in the room. I'm assuming you want a formal look?


    I have been poring over fabric websites for fabric to have some pillows made. There are alot of fabrics in the aqua colorway. If it were me, I'd look at some of the websites and see if you find anything to show your decorator. Calico Corners is a good site - they have a fair amount of fabric and show it on pieces of furniture, which I think is helpful.


    Good luck! I am also searching for fabric to recover seats of antique dining chairs we bought MONTHS AGO! The current old, tired seats are done in red leather! LOL


    bbstx thanked Tina Marie
  • IdaClaire
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    The thing is, too, that color may influence our pattern preferences. That's something that I think we just can't help. At least I can't. :-)

    bbstx thanked IdaClaire
  • Funkyart
    2 months ago

    I love the first one-- but i liked/had ikat before it was "in" and will after. I agree that while it has some tribal/ikat vibes (especially with its scale), it can transition and work in multiple styles.


    The second one is fine--- but uninspired. That may work-- not every element needs to scream "look at me and how cool I am". I am not a fan of the third though it looks to be very well made.


    But i am very clear-- this is my opinion based on my style preferences. I think what you are describing as what you want doesn't necessarily align or jive with my style. So feel free to discard my opinion :)

    bbstx thanked Funkyart
  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    I don't care for the third pattern at all. And I agree with Oco about color influencing our preferences. I also agree with Bumble that our opinions are based on our style preferences and obviously we may all have different styles.

    bbstx thanked Tina Marie
  • localeater
    2 months ago

    Ok, I was interpreting the scale of the first fabric as about 1000x smaller than it is in the pictures that Jinx posted.

    I take back everything I said

    bbstx thanked localeater
  • Jinx
    2 months ago

    Localeater, I was, too! It surprised me to see how big the scale was. That’s why I stink at picking fabric or wallpaper without seeing it used. I admire people who can!

    bbstx thanked Jinx
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    I don't know if this add more complexity, but maybe Id like the more sedate second choice if you had a killer pillow?

    bbstx thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Fori
    2 months ago

    I like the thistle.

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  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    Can you make us a storyboard? : ) With the things you have selected along with items you are keeping? That will make it easier for us to suggest. Might also drive you crazy.

    bbstx thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Mimou-GW
    2 months ago

    The first fabric reminds me of a flame stitch which was once a popular fabric for wingback chairs. But then Mtn said ikat, and yeah, I see that.



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  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Flamestitch --- in your colorway --- is an intriguing idea.

    I think flamestitch is exactly the kind of thing, with its mod MCM vibe, that would be a good thing to use sparingly as a refresh because it would read au courant.

    bbstx thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Fori, I didn’t see a thistle at all, but now that you say it, I can see it.


    Mtn, the French chairs are going to have lumbar pillows with beautiful trim. I’m afraid another “killer pillow” would lead us to Pillows R Us land.


    My little sister’s advice: “Use a fabric you LOVE, instead of one that you are only choosing because it is sturdy. If you hate the fabric, in a couple of months you’ll want to drag that chair into the front yard, douse it in lighter fluid, and set it on fire!!” She cracks me up, but she’s got a good point.


  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    Saw this when I googled flamestitch aqua



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  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago







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  • mtnrdredux_gw
    2 months ago

    These might be the wrong color but I think patterns like these might add more of a refresh element




  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I too have thought of a flamestitch or a bargello. When I bought the chair a hundred years ago, it was covered in a white on white flame stitch. The colors that are working for me seem to be called “Pool” or “Aqua.” I know, of course, that that changes from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    I have told the ID no quatrefoil and no chevron, not that she would ever choose them.

    Here’s another she liked that I had forgotten about. The vertical and horizontal repeats are a little over 6” each way.





    The lower picture is a close-up of the texture. It appears to be embroidered on a linen base. It is rated for 50,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs, although both ID and I doubt that. The actual color is somewhere between the two photos. It is from Carole Fabrics and the pattern is called Silver Brake in the Mist colorway, if someone can help me find a picture of it in use.

    Mtn, I may work on a mood board, but it will take making photos of my furniture and I am mortified for anyone to see the state of my house right now. It is still in disarray from the painters, plus a roof leak in the back hall (we think it is fixed but we are waiting for another hard, blowing rain before we move stuff back in). The only room that I felt like was under control was the kitchen and night before last the disposer croaked! 🤦🏻‍♀️


    ETA: Mtn, we cross posted, but I think of the pattern in this post as a fern or palm and I see you found some of the same style!


  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    The palm pattern I posted above is out. Just the tiniest bit of scratching with my fingernail caused the damage circled.


    I can only imagine what would happen if a guest sat down and her bracelet or watch got caught on the threads. If I were the guest, I’d be sooo distressed. And as the hostess, I’d be mortified to have caused my guest embarrassment.

  • Lars
    2 months ago

    For a wing chair, I think I would prefer a solid fabric, and you can add pillows to it for pattern. If it were a dining chair, it would be a different story.

    How deep is the seat and how wide is it? If it is too small for a kidney pillow, then a patterned fabric might be nice, but it's easier to decorate with a solid color.

    bbstx thanked Lars
  • Arapaho-Rd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    To see what fabrics they'll be paired with would help. Here's photos of patterned wing chairs to get a feel for size of patterns, colors are off and this may not be helpful at all but here goes.






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  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Lars, I suggested almost exactly the same thing to the ID, a solid with a patterned pillow. She thought that a pattern on the chair was needed. I don’t have the exact dimensions, but the chair is too shallow for a kidney pillow. And we would then have a lumbar/kidney pillow in every chair in the LR.

    I prefer solid fabrics for furniture....and clothes. I hired an ID because my “designs” are usually boring. I’m going to try to follow her lead here. She’s got more memo samples coming my way.


    ETA: This is more or less my chair. Just a plain Ethan Allen wing chair. The ottoman is plain with Chippendale legs and a stretcher, no skirt.



  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Arapaho Rd, I love the fabric on the last chair. What is it?

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago

    Are the coral chairs and the sofa solid? If so, I think you do need a pattern. In our great room, all our upholstered pieces, other than the Mr.'s leather chair, are very neutral (beige/off-white). "My" chair is pretty much "tone on tone" with the pattern being only a shade or so darker than the background. Maybe you could find something tone-on-tone in the aqua family.

    bbstx thanked Tina Marie
  • Arapaho-Rd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    It's Barclay Butera - the Avery Wing Chair

    I almost fell off my chair when I saw the price. I tried to find the fabric on BB website but didn't see it there. Fabric # 8052-31

    Avery Wing



    Tear Sheet

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  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Seriously???? I just spent way too much time posting pix of the coral fabric, the beregere chairs, the sofa, and DH’s behemoth of a chair. Nothing is showing up!

  • Lars
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Seeing the chair helps. Since the seat is shallow and you cannot have a pillow there, I would want to have a fabric with a large pattern, what Arapaho posted above. There is too much going on with the chair for a small or busy pattern IMO.

    You could even go with a very large stripe in two colors, similar to this pillow that I madedifferent colors, of course, but in this scale.

    bbstx thanked Lars
  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago



    Linen velvet and tape trim



    Bergere chair and a bit of the rug. (Measurements are for the upholsterer)





    DH’s behemoth chair. Leather and nailhead above.



    Sofa in very low light.

  • rubyclaire
    2 months ago

    That coral linen velvet and trim are so pretty! Those chairs will be gorgeous - can't wait to see how they turn out. Any progress on fabric for the wing chair & ottoman?

    bbstx thanked rubyclaire
  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks, Rubyclaire. My mother used to have a wing chair upholstered in cut linen-velvet flamestitch (did I get all of the adjectives in the right order?). It was oranges and blues (but not in a garish, Auburn sorta way). Since then, I’ve been a sucker for linen velvet.


    There are more memo samples winging their way to me. I’m in a holding pattern until I see what else there is.

  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Current contenders for wing chair fabric, pictured below


    #4 is the front runner.

  • Tina Marie
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Beautiful and that color is all over our home. I love 3 and 4 and for a solid I would go with #1.

    ETA: If it were me, with your other pieces, I would definitely go with a pattern. #4 would be my first choice. However, I am not so good at visualizing the fabric on a chair, so keep that in mind LOL.

    bbstx thanked Tina Marie
  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The practical me says go for the Crypton fabric (#5). The I-like-pretty-things me is all over #4.

  • daisychain Zn3b
    2 months ago

    I like #4 for a pattern and #2 for a solid, but I really love #4. It's a geometric, but from a distance, I imagine it reads circular.

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  • bbstx
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Daisy, you nailed it. From a distance, 4 looks almost floral to me. To my sister, it looks like caning.

  • bbstx
    Original Author
    last month

    A decision has been reached and fabric has been ordered. #4 was the winner! Thibaut Apollo in Aqua. IRL it is a richer blue-green color.



    It was time to get this show on the road!



  • Peppapoodle
    last month

    BB, the fabric you chose will be beautiful!! I can see the “cane” pattern your sister sees. And the coral is yummy!

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  • Lyban zone 4
    last month

    Beautiful choice.

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  • bbstx
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks everyone for the encouraging words! I like and trust the ID I’ve chosen, but it feels good to have y’all cheering us on.


    The fluffing up is coming along nicely. We’ve now ordered the fabric for the LR wing chair. The chairs that are getting the coral linen-velvet are at the upholsterer. The chair for the bedroom that is going to be covered in Thibaut MacBeth (blue) is going next week. And the leather chair was supposed to have shipped yesterday. The twin headboards for the guest room are completed. I’m so ready to get this project finished and stop living in limbo with art stacked against the walls and lamps in the bath tubs!


    @Tina Marie you mentioned upthread that you were looking for fabric for dining chair seats and that you often use aqua/blue-green in your house. While we were talking about which fabric to choose, the ID mentioned that she had covered dining chair bottoms in the Thibaut Apollo on a prior job and it looked great.

  • Tina Marie
    last month

    Thank you @bbstx! I will have to check into that. Right now I am leaning towards natural/cream/off-white but have not decided. Picked fabric for a bedroom chair and great room pillows. Now looking for fabric for a large (rectangular) pillow for bedroom. I think you gave me the bug! LOL

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