Polypropylene Fabric for Upholstery


Polypropylene Fabric: Revolutionizing Upholstery with Durability and Style

There are plenty of fabric options out there, and as our technology and our manufacturing process improves, we make even more leaps in this area. Some of the fabric options out there are some that you may not have ever heard of before– such as polypropylene, for example. This is one of our synthetic, man made fabrics.

If you are about to embark on an upholstery project, you will want to take a look at all sorts of different fabrics to make the choice that best fits your needs. Read on to learn more about polypropylene and whether or not it is a good choice for your furniture upholstery. 

What Is Polypropylene Fabric?

Of course, the first thing you are going to want to know is what polypropylene is. It is made from synthetic fabrics known as type of thermoplastic called polymer polypropylene, or PP for short. This polypropylene plastic is the second most produced in the world! It was originally developed in 1951.

This synthetic textile application of polypropylene, however, was not developed until much later as people began to learn more about and experiment with the plastic. Polypropylene fabric can now be found in upholstery and textile applications such as luggage, upholstery, tote bags and even items of clothing

Advantages of Polypropylene Fabric

Polypropylene has a unique set of advantages that can make it a great choice for your upholstery project.

Take a look at the below pros to learn if this textile is a good option for you.

Easy to Clean

One of the great things about polypropylene fabric is that it is easy to clean. It also does not have active dye sites, so it can be cleaned with bleach without concern for damaging or ruining the fabric.

If you live in a home with children or pets, or where spillage is a constant concern, this can be a very important property for your furniture.

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Another advantage of this synthetic material is its durability. It is known for being strong and durable, which means that it will not break down or wear over time as quickly as other types of fabrics might.

When you are choosing fabric for upholstery and plan to use it on furniture that sees lots of use, it is important to seek out one that can hold up against that everyday wear and tear.

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Resistant to Pests and Mold

As you now know, polypropylene is made from synthetic materials. This makes it a stain resistance fabric and is also resistant to damage from pests– like moths or other insects– as well as mold and mildew that can develop due to moisture on your furniture or humidity in the air.

Due to its moisture resistance, it is less prone to mold, mildew, and is stain resistant, which can be particularly advantageous for outdoor upholstery.

Polypropylene Fabric Upholstery - Calgary Interiors

Disadvantages of Polypropylene Fabric

Of course, just as this fabric has its advantages, it has its disadvantages, too. It’s important to take the disadvantages into account, too, when you are making a fabric choice.

Poor Dyeability

Polypropylene fibres do not dye as easily as natural fibres, requiring the use of colourfast pigments during the manufacturing process if coloration is desired. This can limit the range of colours and the vibrancy achievable with polypropylene fabrics.

Sensitive to Heat and UV Light

Polypropylene is susceptible to degradation from prolonged exposure to UV light, which can lead to brittleness and loss of strength over time. It has a relatively low melting point compared to other plastics which can be a drawback in environments where heat resistance is necessary. This limits its durability for outdoor furniture unless it is specially treated with UV stabilizers.

This is important to keep in mind when you consider the location of the furniture or temperatures in your area. For instance, this may not be a good choice for a chair that sits in direct sunlight by the window.

What is woven polypropylene?

Woven polypropylene is a textile made by weaving polypropylene fibres, which are thermoplastic polymers derived from the polymerization of propylene gas. This process involves interlacing polypropylene yarns in a loom to produce a fabric that is strong, versatile, and highly durable. Woven polypropylene is distinct from non woven polypropylene fabric, which is made by bonding fibres together, typically through thermal, chemical, or mechanical means, rather than weaving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is polypropylene fabric good for?

Polypropylene fabric can be used for many purposes, including upholstery and both industrial and manufacturing applications. This is because it is soft, but also very strong, and can even be cleaned with bleach if needed. Dark coloured polypropylene can still be cleaned with bleach because its absence of active dye sites means that it will not bleed.

Which is better fabric polyester or polypropylene?

Which fabric is better will, of course, depend partially on the purpose you are using them for. They both have their own set of pros and cons. For instance, polyester fabrics are a lot easier to care for than polypropylene fabrics are. Polyester fibers have better UV resistance than polypropylene synthetic fibers. However, polypropylene materials hold in heat better than polyester does, making it better for cold weather.

When you are making a decision between the two, you will need to look at the properties of each and compare them to your needs for the project you’re doing the research for– whether it is upholstery or something else. 

What is a polypropylene fabric?

Polypropylene is a textile, and it is made from PP. PP is the name for a thermoplastic polymer that we see often in plastic furniture, food packaging, films, and more. It is a linear hydrocarbon polymer that is a popular choice due to its low cost and ease of manufacture.

Polypropylene fabrics are any fabric that is made from this synthetic thermoplastic polymer polypropylene. It is known for characteristics such as its strength and being easy to clean, and is actually more versatile than you may have expected a textile such as this to be. It can be found in suitcases, upholstery, and even apparel. 

Which is Better nylon or polypropylene?

When you are looking at more than one fabric, it helps to take a look at the pros and cons of each, and then your particular needs. One fabric may be better than the other for one project, and then for the next project, you may actually need the other fabric.

Polypropylene is stronger than nylon, for instance. However, nylon is more malleable and can withstand higher temperatures than polypropylene is able to. If you are looking for strength and durability, for example, then polypropylene would be a better choice.

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 a very important to you when choosing an upholstery fabric, visit Upholstery Fabric Durability Ratings.