Denim Upholstery Fabric

Denim Upholstery Fabric

When embarking on an upholstery project, you will likely have to do some research in order to ensure that you are choosing a fabric that will fulfill your needs. After all, there are so many textiles out there to choose from! One of the options that you may come across is denim, which can be a great choice for upholstering furniture.

Read on to learn more about denim, and whether or not it is a good fabric choice for your upholstery project.

What Is Denim?

Of course, when you are considering denim for your furniture upholstery project, you will need to understand what exactly this textile is. Denim is a sturdy cotton twill fabric with a blue-black colour. It is typically used for jeans, shirts, and other clothing items. Denim is also often used for upholstery and other applications where a durable fabric is needed. It can be used to upholster a couch or chair or as a slipcover which you can remove and easily wash. Denim can also be used for decorative throw pillows, draperies and headboards.

Denim is available in a wide range of colours and styles, and can be easily cleaned. We all think blue when we think denim, but you can get denim in some beautiful neutral warm colours such as natural and white. When you are looking at different denim options, consider the weight and thickness of the textile, as well as how much stretch it has. This will help you to make your project easier to complete!

Denim for Upholstery - Calgary Interiors (1)

What is Bull Denim?

Bull Denim is made from 100 percent cotton and is often used for home decor and upholstery over apparel. It has a unique 3/1 twill construction (3 warps for every 1 weft). This heavy fabric takes dyes well and is machine washable at any temperature and you can expect minimal shrinkage.

Pros of Denim Upholstery Fabric

Denim fabric has its own special set of advantages, which can help you to decide whether or not it is a good choice for your project.


One of the best advantages of denim fabric is how sturdy and durable of a fabric it is. This makes it not only great for apparel but for furniture, too– especially when the furniture sees a lot of use or rough wear and tear. It has strong tear resistance and because it is made of 100% cotton, it is easy to clean. If you have small children or pets living in your house, durability is an important quality for your furniture, so denim upholstery would be a great option!


In addition to being durable, denim upholstery fabric comes in plenty of different options. It comes in different colourways, prints, and even thicknesses and weights. This means that you are sure to find a fabric option that matches your living space or meshes well with the general aesthetic of your home. You will not have to sacrifice style for strength and durability here!

Denim for Upholstery - Calgary Interiors

Cons of Denim Upholstery Fabric

Of course, as there are advantages to denim as an upholstery project, there are some disadvantages, too. Below, we will go over some of these disadvantages so you can be sure that you are making the right choice!

Difficult to Clean

While denim is sturdy and durable, it is not the easiest fabric to maintain or clean. Fabric-like denim does soak up moisture and messes quickly, which can then turn into stains that are difficult to wash out successfully. If you expect to be making a mess on your furniture or know that your lifestyle will be an issue with a material that is not quick and easy to clean, then denim may not be the best choice for you. 

May Fade

Another disadvantage of denim is that it may fade, especially if you always sit in the same spot on the couch– this spot may lighten with wear faster than the rest of the couch does. This is certainly something to keep in mind when considering denim. You may also want to opt for a colour where fading would be less noticeable like creams and neutrals.

Not Breathable

Denim is not one of the most breathable options out there, but if you choose a denim fabric that is blended with another fibre or textile, then you might find that that particular option is more breathable than other denim. As denim is not breathable, it does not wick moisture as well and can keep moisture sitting within the fabric longer, breeding bacteria or simply being wet and soggy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is denim fabric good for upholstery?

Denim may not be the first upholstery fabric that comes to mind, but it can actually be a great choice! Denim comes in more weight and colourways than just the thick denim your jeans are made out of. Plus, it is also very durable with a high tear resistance, meaning it will last you for a long while.

Is Bull denim good for upholstery?

Bull denim is a type of denim that is often used for apparel, and may often be found being used for upholstery, too. This is because bull denim is very tough and durable. It is made from a brushed twill weave, which helps to reinforce its strength. Like other denim, bull denim is tear resistant and can hold up to heavy use, so if you have a family or pets that are tough on the furniture, bull denim can be great for use on your ottoman, couch, chairs, or other commonly used furniture pieces. 

What is denim fabric called?

Denim is a fabric that is also known as cotton twill fabric. It can also be referred to as “jean” or “jeans”,  because it is the fabric that is used to make a pair of blue jeans or a jean jacket. Denim is an easily recognizable fabric, because it is one of the most commonly worn fabrics around. It is made up of cotton twill fabric, which is woven with yarn in shades of mottled white, grey, or indigo. It can also come in other colours besides this, though– there are plenty of other colours that you can dye cotton twill fabric.

Is denim a good fabric?

Whether denim is a good fabric will depend on the boxes you are trying to check, and what exactly you want the fabric to be good for. As it is sturdy and durable, denim can be a great choice for any apparel or upholstered items that will be coming into contact with any sort of rough conditions. It is also a dense fabric, adding to its strength and durability. If you are considering upholstering with denim, yes, it can be a good choice. One of the things to consider is the weight and thickness of the denim that you choose so that you do not choose an option that is too difficult to work with. 

If you would like to compare some other types of fabrics that are suitable for upholstery, visit our blog on How To Choose Upholstery Fabric. If durability is very important to you when choosing an upholstery fabric, visit Upholstery Fabric Durability Ratings.