Silk Upholstery Fabric

Silk Upholstery Fabric

When you are planning to upholster your furniture, there is a myriad of options out there for you to choose from! One option is silk– you may think of silk as a textile for clothing, but that is not always the case! Silk can be a beautiful choice for your couches, chairs, and cushions, though it does come with some downsides as well.

Read on for a breakdown of some of the advantages and disadvantages of upholstering with silk.

Advantages of Silk Upholstery Fabric

The appearance of silk is one of its biggest pros! However, it is also a strong fibre and does not wrinkle easily. Take a look below to learn more about why this fabric can be such a great choice.


Silk is a strong fibre, both among other natural fibres and manmade fibres, too. The fibres that make up the fabric are very strong and are able to resist warping when they are all woven together into a textile. This means that silk upholstery fabric can stretch or pull without tearing. Since the process of upholstering requires rough handling of the fabric, silk can be a good choice because it will not rip as easily as other options might.


The appearance of silk is one of the main reasons that it is chosen to upholster furniture pieces. After all, we usually gravitate towards what we like, aesthetically, and then look at its characteristics to see if they match up with our lifestyle.

Silk upholstery can come in many different colours, as well as different textures– it is not always slippery and satin smooth. For instance, sometimes it has more of a nubby texture, in the case of silk dupioni.

Anti Wrinkle

Many natural fibres wrinkle easily, but silk is one that does not! This is certainly good for upholstery, since sitting on the furniture could cause wrinkles easily. Since silk resists wrinkles, it also is resistant to the crushing and crumpling that could occur, too, meaning that it is able to look more presentable over time than other options might!

Silk for Upholstery - Calgary Interiors

Disadvantages of Silk Upholstery Fabric

Of course, all fabrics have their own set of disadvantages, too. Silk, for instance, is not one of the more durable textile options for upholstery, so it will not stand up as well to wear and tear.

Read on to learn more about some of the disadvantages of silk upholstery. 


While the fibres of silk are tough and make it a strong fabric, silk is still not very durable when holding up against stains, wear, or tear. This can obviously be an issue after you have upholstered your furniture and are using it in your everyday life. A good way to anticipate and deal with this is to only use silk to upholster furniture that is not used very often.

If you do want to use it on furniture that sees frequent use, try using silk for throw pillows to accent this furniture piece instead!

Read Also – Durability Ratings for Fabrics

Sun or Water Damage

Unfortunately, silk is sensitive to the elements, so it can become damaged easily by the sun or by any spills of water or other liquids. Sunlight can even weaken the fibres and make the fabric tear more easily. Silk should always be cleaned by a professional, too, so that you can avoid water damage. 


Silk upholstery is also one of the more expensive fabric options out there, especially if it is not blended with manmade fibres. This is something you will need to take into consideration to ensure that your upholstery project is within budget. If you like the look of silk, but it is too pricey, there are plenty of silk blends or manmade textiles to look like silk that you can choose instead. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is silk fabric good as an upholstery fabric?

Silk fabric is very attractive and can be aesthetically pleasing in living spaces. You will want to opt for silks that are tougher and sturdier so that they can hold up against wear and tear. Stay away from lighter, sheer silks.

Silk fabrics are not as durable as some other upholstery fabrics, so this is important to note if you are considering upholstering your furniture with silk. It is more susceptible to sun and water damage and can tear more easily than other fabric options, too.

Can you upholster with silk?

Yes, silk fabrics can be used as an upholstery fabric! Along with velvet, it is a popular option for those who like a luxurious vine in their home. The very light and sheer silks, however, should be avoided. These are better suited for curtains or certain items of clothing. Typically, people use silk dupioni, silk shantung, and other sturdy silk blends for upholstering their furniture.

These come in slightly different textures and weights, and also come in plenty of colours and patterns to match the aesthetic of your space! 

Silk for Upholstery - Calgary Interiors (1)

What is the most durable fabric for upholstery?

There are plenty of different textiles that can be used for upholstery, and it is important to look at the pros and cons of each when you are planning to upholster or reupholster your furniture. If you have pets or children, for instance, you will probably want to use one of the more durable fabric options. Microfiber and leather are two of the most durable upholstery fabrics.

When it comes to microfiber, though, you should check to ensure it is 100 percent polyester– this will make it so that the fabric will not stain, fade, or show water stains.

How is silk used in upholstery?

When silk is used as an upholstery fabric for furniture, it can be an accent piece– for instance, a chair or sofa– or can be used on all of the upholstered pieces in a room to give off a vibe of opulence. The silk fabric is typically used to cover the cushions and cushioned parts, like the armrests, of a piece of furniture. Silk can also be used to create accent pillows for a chair or sofa, or to create floor pillows to sit on! 


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