Acrylic Fabric for Upholstery

Acrylic Fabric for Upholstery

Upholstering your furniture is a significant project that demands both durability and style from your chosen fabric. Enter acrylic fabric: a versatile and resilient option that promises to meet the demands of both functionality and visual appeal in any upholstering task. Whether you’re refreshing a cozy chair or reimagining a spacious sectional, acrylic fabric offers a blend of endurance and elegance that can transform your space.

Curious to discover how this textile can elevate your upholstery project? Dive into our guide to acrylic fabrics and uncover the perfect blend of practicality and aesthetics for your furniture makeover.

Advantages of Acrylic Fabric for Upholstery

Acrylic upholstery fabrics do have some great advantages when you are choosing it for an upholstery project. Read on for a more detailed view of some of these advantages.


First things first, acrylic is a durable fabric option. Durability is key for any piece of furniture that is going to see a lot of use, especially if you have pets or children in the home that are going to be rough on the furniture. Acrylic may not be the most durable option on the market, but it is still a good choice as it is fairly resistant to wrinkling or creasing– which is always a threat if you are going to be sitting on the furniture a lot! Acrylic upholstery fabrics are also quick drying and tend to repel water fairly easily.

Acrylic Upholstery Fabric - Calgary Interiors
Fade Resistant

Acrylic is also fade resistant. This is similar to its claims of durability, but fading is less so caused by wear and tear, and more so by environmental factors. For instance, sunlight is often something that causes a lot of fading to fabric or furniture. It can be hard to avoid the sunlight if your furniture is in a room with any sort of windows or skylights, which is why fade resistance is an important characteristic to keep in mind. 

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Not Itchy

Most acrylic fabric does not feel itchy. Textile sciences have invented methods to make an acrylic fiber super fine, soft, and comfortable. It is made to look like imitation wool, so you get the advantages of having an acrylic upholstery look like wool but not feel itchy like wool can.

Lots of Options

Of course, you also want your upholstery project to look good once it is complete! You’ll want to ensure that you like the finished result and that the piece of furniture fits in with the decor in the rest of the room where it is being placed. Acrylic fabric comes in plenty of colour options, as well as different patterns and prints. This makes it very easy to find a colour-way that fits your aesthetic and will look right at home in your space– something that is not quite as easy with certain other fabric options. 

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Disadvantages of Acrylic Fabric for Upholstery

Of course, just like acrylic fabric has its advantages, it has its disadvantages, too! You will want to weigh both pros and cons carefully in order to make your final decision when it comes to acrylic upholstery. Take a look below at some of acrylic’s disadvantages.

Not Sustainable

Acrylic is a synthetic, man made fabric. This does unfortunately mean that it is not a sustainable textile choice. Acrylic is also often treated with certain chemicals to enhance certain features, such as making it fire retardant or making it water resistant in the case of outdoor acrylic fabric.

Many homeowners are choosing to work with eco friendly fabrics and other building materials, which means that acrylic may not be a good choice for them if sustainability is a key concern and they are looking for a fabric that isn’t made from synthetic fibers. Plus, these chemicals found in acrylic fiber can be an irritant to someone who is highly sensitive. 


One of the biggest drawbacks for acrylic fibers is that it is, in fact, highly flammable. Once ignited, acrylic fabric can burn very rapidly, and will also melt and drip like plastic would. This is because it is a synthetic fiber. If you were to come in contact with burning acrylic fabric, you could be very seriously burned. It is for this reason that it is important for you to shop for acrylic upholstery that has been treated to make it flame retardant. 


While acrylic is a fairly durable textile option, as time goes on, low quality acrylic may encounter certain issues with quality. One such issue is pilling. Pilling is when abrasion and resistance cause the acrylic fibers to ball up into what is known as pills– similar to the little fuzzy balls that appear on your sweaters after too much washing or wearing. It is possible to find abrasion resistant acrylic fabric, which can help you to avoid the pilling issue, but it is certainly something to be aware of when researching different options. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is acrylic good for a couch?

Acrylic can be a good choice for a couch, especially if you have pets or small children, as it is one of the more durable upholstery fabric options. It resists wear and tear, and is fairly resistant to sun fading, too. This makes it a good choice for a couch near the window or under a skylight. It also comes in many different colors and patterns, giving you lots to choose from!

Is Acrylic a woven fabric?

Yes, acrylic fabric can be woven. Acrylic fibres are synthetic fibres made from a polymer (polyacrylonitrile) and can be spun into yarns that are then woven into fabric. The weaving process allows for a variety of textures and weights, making acrylic fabric versatile enough to mimic the feel and appearance of natural fibres like wool and cotton. Additionally, woven acrylic is known for its durability, softness, and resistance to fading and staining, which makes it a popular choice for upholstery, outdoor fabrics, clothing, and other textile applications. The ability to weave acrylic fibers into different types of fabric also means it can be designed for specific uses, including lightweight, breathable items as well as heavier, more durable goods.

What is the most durable fabric for upholstery?’

The most durable upholstery fabric is microfiber, but leather is another very durable option– microfiber is often the more affordable of the two options. You will want to ensure that the microfiber fabric that you choose is 100 percent polyester, however. This fabric is so great because it does not stain, fade, or leave water marks or water stains if you have any spills– and chances are, if you have children, there may be some spills in the future!

Is acrylic a good fabric?

Acrylic can certainly be a good fabric choice, depending on your particular needs. It is one of the more durable options, and it is affordable, too. However, it is a synthetic fabric– which contributes to its affordability– so it is not the most eco friendly option out on the market. /If you are searching for sustainable upholstery fabric, acrylic is not the fabric for you. However, if that is not a concern, it can be a great choice.

What material is better acrylic or polyester fabrics?

Depending upon your individual needs, acrylic or polyester could be the better fabric for you. For instance, polyester is more breathable and more durable, too, than acrylic fabric is. However, polyester is also much harder to clean than other synthetic fabrics, so if that is a concern, acrylic may be the better choice for your upholstery project. 

Is Acrylic good for outdoor furniture?

Yes, acrylic fabrics are an excellent choice for outdoor use. Its durability, resistance to fading, and ability to withstand various weather conditions make it a popular choice for outdoor furniture, cushions, awnings, and marine upholstery. Here are some key features and benefits of using acrylic fabric outdoors:

  1. UV Resistance: Acrylic fabric is highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which means it retains its colour and strength even after prolonged exposure to sunlight. This makes it ideal for outdoor furniture and accessories that are exposed to direct sunlight.
  2. Mold and Mildew Resistance: Acrylic fabric is treated to resist the growth of mold and mildew, which are common problems in outdoor environments with moisture.
  3. Water Repellent: While not completely waterproof, acrylic fabric is water repellent. It dries quickly, reducing the likelihood of water damage or staining from rain and spills.
  4. Durability: Acrylic fabric is strong and durable, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of outdoor use. It maintains its shape and does not easily tear.
  5. Easy to Clean: Outdoor fabrics need to be easy to maintain, and acrylic fabric fits the bill. It can be cleaned with mild soap and water, and it’s resistant to staining.
  6. Comfort: Acrylic fabric has a soft, wool-like texture that is comfortable for seating and lounging, making it a great choice for outdoor cushions and pillows.

If you would like to learn more about other upholstery fabric options good for both indoor and outdoor furniture, visit our post on How to Choose Upholstery Fabric.