Shabby Chic and French Furniture Upholstery Fabrics

French furniture is known for being charming and elegant. The upholstery fabric used in it is intricate, easy to live with and it exudes comfort while simultaneously oozing in character and style. Shabby chic or vintage chic furniture creates a style that can work in nearly any room. It too creates a soft and laid back feel in the home.

These fabrics now have to be much safer for homes and regulations for this have been listed here > European Fire Standards

Both French furniture and shabby chic furniture are made with vintage fabrics, some of which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. These fabrics accentuate and complement the quality wood products used to create the furniture. Both looks are achieved using the different types of fabric listed below:

1. Toile de jouy

This fabric is made of linen and is the canvas material. It features vintage floral patterns and faded leaf prints. It is a signature French furniture fabric characterized with repeating patterns that portray simplicity. Since it’s made of linen, it’s a strong material with inherent woven fibres in its yarn. It absorbs dye incredibly well and so it’s the best print fabric for French and shabby chic furniture.


  1. Jacquard
    It shares a name with the machine used to make it, the Jacquard machine. It’s a special type of fabric invented in 1804 by Joseph Marie Jacquard, who was inspired by the earlier inventions of Frenchmen from the 18th Century. It’s one of those fabrics that is unique because of how it’s made. It features a raised pattern woven into the fabric instead of printed on it to give it a classic vintage look. It usually comes in 3 popular designs: geometrics, florals, and damasks and it drapes very well making it an excellent furniture cover.


  1. Corduroy

    This fabric though used for trousers, shirts, and jackets is also a great upholstery fabric. It is made up of twisted fibres that lie parallel when woven. Some people believe that the name came from the French word ‘corde du roi’ meaning ‘cord of the king’ but others believe it originated from England. It is a great upholstery fabric because its texture features a channel between its tufts making it less slippery than most regular fabrics. In fact, it’s considered a rigged version of the velvet fabric.


  1. Twill

    Twill fabric is made from a type of textile weave with parallel diagonal ribs. The characteristic diagonal pattern of the twill fabric is as a result of passing the weft thread over one or two warp threads, followed by passing it under two or more warp threads. The process involves leaving an offset between the rows. This method of weaving creates a fabric with a front and back. The front is more durable and attractive than the other side and thus creates an incredible and classic design for French and shabby chic furniture.


  1. Brocade

    This is one of the most richly decorated fabrics made with silks and sometimes gold and silver threads. It’s a great fabric for fine French furniture upholstery. It is woven using a technique called supplementary weft. This means that it is woven be adding another non-structural weft to the standard weft. This gives the fabric an embroidered look – characteristic of vintage upholstery fabrics.



Upholstered furniture (Meubles rembourrés) also comes in many forms of contemporary styles in France.

Here are some reputable suppliers:


Here are some inspiring ideas for different types of upholstered furniture




Shabby Chic and French Furniture Upholstery Fabrics Read more on: COATSVIY


Choosing plus size coats are easy when you know how. Follow our helpful guide to choosing the best plus size coats this season!

Belted Plus Size Coats

First on our list of top coats to choose from is the mid to long length belted coat.

A belted coat is a great alternate to buttoned or zipped up coat. It provides a looser closure and therefore more room and comfort.

Belted coats come in many different styles. These include timeless trench coats, double breasted and fashion forward oversized lapel coats.

If you’re on the shorter side, stick to mid length belted coats. The longer lengths tend to dwarf a short stature. Above the knee or just below the knee is ideal.

For those who are taller, longer lengths work best, as shorter lengths tend to create an imbalance in proportion.

The best part of a belted coat is that it cinches in the waist, creating a great hourglass figure. Choose a vibrant color from this seasons color palette to be on trend. Otherwise pick a more demure color to stand the test of time.

Plus Size Belted Coat 02Plus Size Belted Coat 03Plus Size Belted Coat 01


Leather Jacket

A style that never waivers and is always in fashion, every woman needs a high quality leather jacket.

Be sure to choose a short or cropped length, unless you are very tall. One with cropped sleeves will help to elongate your arms.

Leather jackets come in every color – choose a black or earthy color to get the most wear out of your jacket.

Leather jackets with panels will provide the best fit. If it’s a little more room you’re looking for, a trapeze shape will suit you best.
Plus Size Leather Jacket 02


Cropped Jacket

A casual cropped jacket is not only stylish but also very practical.

Easy to throw on to take the dog for a walk or pick up the kids from school, the short casual jacket is the answer.

To get the most out of the style, choose one with a drawstring or belted waist will help to achieve the ideal hourglass figure.

A slight A-line shape will help to balance out full hips and thighs.

Meanwhile, choosing one with exaggerated shoulders will create the perfect proportion for those who have narrow shoulders.

Plus Size Cropped Jacket 01Plus Size Cropped Jacket 03


A Line Coat

The classic A line coat, no matter what the style, is an all round crowd pleaser.

The naturally flattering silhouette skims over the hips, and the flare at the hem comes from the waist, gliding over the stomach area.

For a stylish and classic look, keep your A Line coat fairly simple – a couple of pockets and an interesting collar.

Mandarin or shallow funnel neck coat will elongate and draw attention to a slender neck. Meanwhile, a two piece tapered sleeve will provide a fashion forward look.

The fit and comfort of your coat can be perfectly measured by following a few simple rules.

With your coat on, give yourself a hug.

If its uncomfortable, or there is tension, take a size up. Your sleeves should be no more or less than an inch past your wrist. This allows your coat to keep you warm as you move, and it won’t look like it’s drowning you.

Finally, don’t forget that you should be wearing layers before pulling a coat into the fitting room. You want to make sure even with your winter layers on, that your coat still feels great and isn’t being pulled out of shape.

Plus Size Coats - A-Line 02



Fore more articles on fashion, clothing and fabric follow

The article CURVY GIRLS GUIDE TO PLUS SIZE COATS Read more on: Coats VIY Clothing Blog

3 Secrets on modern power dressing we learnt from wildly successful women

3 Secrets on modern power dressing we learnt from wildly successful women

When thinking of fashion, images of glamorous models prowling on the catwalk or ‘smizing’ into a camera may come to mind, but this is only a small part that the fashion industry plays in our day to day lives. For many of us, fashion is a powerful tool used to express everything from our gender and identity, to our beliefs, social standing and authority level.

In the corporate environment, clothing can communicate power and personality, command authority and give you a confident stance that ensures your presence is felt whenever entering a room.

Below, we share some of the secrets to successful power dressing from the women who have become masters at this art.

In what is a male dominated world, these women boldly own and embrace their femininity, showing us how to play (and win) the game without losing our own identities.

When we look up the word “power” in the Oxford Dictionary, one of the definitions that comes up reads as follows:

“The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events” – now surely that is something we would all like to be a bit better at?

Lessons on Power Dressing for the Modern Woman

Amal Clooney: Know your Tribe, Dress for the Occasion

Keeping the definition given by the Oxford Dictionary in mind, the first secret of power dressing is simple: know who you want to influence (your tribe).

Amal Clooney may have landed on the red carpet due to her marriage to a film star, but if there is one thing we have learnt from this amazing women (if you’re not on the Amal train yet, just watch her moving speech on ISIS and the protection of women here) it is the importance of dressing for the occasion (and your audience).

Amal Clooney Power Dressing secrets

Whether gracing the pages of Vanity Fair’s ‘Best Dressed List’ or speaking on behalf of the various causes and people she represents as an international law and human rights lawyer, she is respected and venerated by all who come into contact with her.

She always dresses for the occasion, keeping the people that she will meet that day in mind. When delivering a speech to a crowd on women’s rights and how best to fight ISIS, we see her taking a powerful stance on stage in a conservative pinstriped dress. When she swoons next to her husband on the red carpet to promote his latest film, she does so in floor length gowns which ensure that their image graces the news columns (which, if not familiar with the inner workings of Hollywood, is good for his career and pay-check).

If you’re reading this and thinking, should it really matter what she wears? Shouldn’t her credentials and competency speak for themselves? We agree with you – unfortunately, this is not the world we live in.

From judges to journalists, old-school Etonian businessmen to Venture Capital entrepreneurs, whatever industry we work in: those around you form opinions and they care. This may not be the best thing for the workings of this world, but it is the world we have been given – so work with it.

If you want to direct others decisions and sway them in your favour, just ask yourself, WWACD? (What Would Amal Clooney Do). When meeting with investors, research them: will them feel more comfortable accepting you into their tribe if you wear a hoodie or a suit? If you are meeting your future employer, should you do so in a no frills business dress or something with more pizzazz to show off your creative flair? Whatever the purpose of your power dressing day may be, remember to always keep your audience in mind.


The secrets of power dressing

Christine Lagarde: Stand out in a sea of grey, add a touch of personality

If Amal Clooney teaches us the importance of dressing for the occasion, Christine Lagarde reminds us of the importance of adding a personal touch. As one of the most powerful women in global finance, Lagarde is often photographed amid a sea of grey and navy suits. While she respects the conservative dress code of the industry, Lagarde always remembers to use her personal style to assert her individuality and power. It is with good reason that this successful female leader has also won over the hearts of the fashion industry, having landed both on Vanity Fair’s ‘Best Dressed List’ and appearing in Vogue.

Christine Lagarde finance minister power dressing

The style icon uses accessories such as bold and brightly coloured silk scarves to emphasise her individuality and brighten up what would otherwise be a mono coloured outfit. As per Mirella Zanatta, associate director of programs at brand consulting company Corporate Class Inc in Toronto, Ontario: “Wearing the right scarf in the right way will make you appear to be a refined person who has put thought into your outfit”. Further to this, adding a personal or eccentric accessory can become a status signal: you are high up enough not to have to conform to what everyone else is doing.

Power Dressing Secrets for modern Business women
Diane von Furstenberg: Choose comfort

Diane Von Furstenberg created the classic 70s wrap dress that celebrates all things feminine, accentuating curves in the right places and prints that compliment all skin tones. Her recognition of a woman’s need to not only look but also feel good is what makes her creation, the wrap dress, so relatable and popular among working women.

Diane von Furstenberg power dressing secrets

The lifestyle and status of Diane von Furstenberg herself soon became synonymous with the easy glamour of the wrap dress: she was part time globe trotting business woman, part time mother, and part time New York socialite. The sleek wrap dress ensured women could look effortlessly chic without having to change wardrobe when transitioning from corner office desk, to glitzy dinner dates.

Being uncompromising in comfort and ease ensures that you feel confident throughout your busy day, after all a comfortable woman is indeed a confident woman – and nothing says power like confidence.


What are your power dressing secrets? Share in the comments below!

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3 Secrets on modern power dressing we learnt from wildly successful women was first posted by

The blog post 3 Secrets on modern power dressing we learnt from wildly successful women was originally published on COATSVIY


I’ve oooh’d and ahhh’d over Mark Hearld‘s fabric designs for a while now – they are just beautiful. So when a client asked me to help her find a chair and said she wanted to use Mark Hearld’s Harvest Hare fabric, I was very excited!!

This is the chair we found… A really lovely shaped tub chair wearing rather tattered 1970’s William Morris fabric. I’m sure we had curtains a lot like this when I was growing up…

This was a recover rather than a total upholstery rebuild, so I added some lovely cotton wool felt for extra padding. The seat has been repaired from the underneath too.



After much pattern matching, here she is, in all her corn-colored glory..

Staring at hares

Our workshop is based at the Phoenix Brighton and have three huge windows through which passersby from the street often have a good look at our current projects. While I’ve been working on this chair, lots of people have stopped to peer in at the harvest hares! One chap even stopped to take a photo – cheeky!

Something special

Every now and then you get to work on a chair that is a bit special… I’m with my daughter on this one, she said: “I love the birds and the hares – I wish we could keep it.”  This is going to be a bedroom chair – what a lovely thing to wake up to every morning.. It would simply be rude not to stare.

If you’d like to learn more about Mark Hearld’s work and some of the other artists who are part of St Jude’s, you can visit their website.


Its rude to stare but…  was first seen on

IT’S RUDE TO STARE BUT… was originally published on Coats VIY Clothing

Handmade Fabrics Versus Machine Made Fabrics

Handmade Fabrics Versus Machine Made Fabrics

When it comes to upholstery, the fabric dilemma makes you think over and over again. Whether to go for the finesse of handmade fabric or to select a machine made uniform cloth. However, it is unfair to compare a handmade fabric with a machine-made fabric. Both of them have certain distinguishing aspects and it entirely depends upon the choice and taste of a person.


The traditional upholstery included covering and padding sofas and chairs. The handmade fabric was the only choice before the advent of machines and factories. But the one thing that still attracts the masses is the quality of the handmade fabric. Every handcrafted fabric speaks volume about the efficiency of the labor. The main focus in assembling a handmade fabric is on care and on the assurance, that the best product will be delivered to the buyer. The handcrafted fabric is meant to last for a lifetime.

Machine-made fabric is created in factories. It doesn’t mean that quality is not their priority, they too have quality standards and they stick to them. Machine-made fabric is made under the supervision of the quality controllers. They are checked for their durability and tensile strength.


Handmade fabrics are unique. Not just in their appearance, but also in their stitching patterns. They usually have the most exclusive designs. Every print has its own individuality. Their uniqueness is the most irresistible element. Everyone loves a design which is rare.

Mass produced fabrics are available almost everywhere. They lack the element of surprise.


Consumers simply adore fabric on customized shabby chic furniture just like the range at Homes Direct 365 for example. The biggest advantage of a handmade fabric is that you can order the design of your choice. Innovative and bizarre ideas in fabric is the most happening trend when it comes to customized fabric on shabby chic  furniture like a chaise longue.

It is almost impossible to get a customized fabric for upholstery from a factory. Mainly because factories do not take orders, as they make fabric in bulk. Secondly when they do, it’s for those who can give big orders.


Handmade fabric is usually weaved from wool and linen. Some of the finest silk comes from handcraft method. Handmade leather is used for upholstering. Smooth velvet and cotton velvet are also very famous among handcrafted fabrics.

Machine-made fabrics come in all types. But mostly they are synthetic, as the raw materials are collected from different areas.


Everything depends upon what’s in your pocket. People usually consider machine-made fabric cheaper and affordable. Although it is true to an extent as they are produced on a large scale. But when it comes to the beauty, significance and quality, handmade fabric seems a better choice.


Handmade fabric is delicate. The cloth needs to be managed with a lot of care. Wool and silk are harder to clean, and therefore a set of instructions should be followed to preserve the upholstery for a longer period of time.

Machine-made fabric is relatively easier to maintain. They can be cleaned with solutions and chemicals. They come with manuals for fast cleaning.


To keep up with the recent trends, empiricism has engulfed all the fabric industry. Factories are looking up for new designs for their fabrics.

But for handcraft fabric industry, the blend of the authentic and the ingenious is the key to a successful product. A new idea is invented every day.

Tips for Upholstery

Upholstery should depict elegance of your home. When it comes to the choice of fabric, some things should be kept in mind.

If you’ve a house decorated in a different and unique way, then handmade fabric suits you best.

A house with kids need sofas and chairs with fabric that is darker in shade and easy to clean.

Choose the fabric for the upholstery that goes best with your home décor.

Indian Ikat Upholstery Fabric on Etsy. Designer, Modern & Unique Collection!

Also check out this great Hollie Dolly Post handmade clothing

Handmade Fabrics Versus Machine Made Fabrics was originally published on COATSVIY

How to Choose the Right Upholstery Fabric

Two furnishings experts offer tips to ensure a match made in design heaven

A new sofa or armchair is a big investment—you don’t want to be second-guessing it a few months after it arrives on your doorstep. Choose the wrong material and you’ll find yourself battling snags and stains. Make a mistake on the color or pattern, and the whole room suffers (or you’ll wind up splurging to have the piece reupholstered). As you shop for an upholstery fabric, let your practical needs lead, advise Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, co-founders of the eponymous home-furnishings company. “First, consider how you live and who will use the piece,” says Williams. “This will help guide you on the type of material to choose.” Here, the duo explain how to zero in on a choice you’ll be happy to live with for years.


Kids? Furry friends? You still have great options

“Growing up, my brother and I weren’t allowed in the living room; it was for company only,” says Gold. Today, though, there are plenty of upholstery materials that match good looks with durability. “For children and pets—and maybe red-wine lovers—we like the easy care of a faux suede or the durability of a Sunbrella indoor-outdoor fabric,” he says. “We’re also big fans of slip-covered upholstery. And distressed leather is great—you don’t have to worry about the occasional scuff or scratch.” If you have a busy household, stay away from delicate or textured options, like silk, which could pull and aren’t as forgiving stain-wise.

Go luxe

If messy children and pets aren’t a worry, “you can really flaunt your freedom,” says Gold. His top decadent picks: fluffy Tibetan wool (“it feels so indulgent, but it’s not a great place to eat peanut-butter crackers”) and Belgian linen. “While linen is very durable, in lighter colors it doesn’t offer the level of stain resistance that a kid-friendly household might need and may not have a crisp wrinkle-free look after a lot of lounging,” he says.

Take the long view

A big mistake people make, Williams says, is not considering how a fabric or leather may age over time. Check the label and ask questions at the showroom to find out about the material’s content and cleaning needs, then think about how much maintenance you’re prepared to do to protect your selection. “How will it look in five years?” asks Williams. “Will you still love the leather as it develops a nice patina from everyday living? Will you vacuum the upholstery fabric regularly? Will you close the drapes when away or not using a room to avoid some of the fading that naturally occurs from exposure to sunlight?”

Consider shape and scale

If you’re upholstering a curvaceous piece, Williams recommends sticking to solid-colored fabrics. “Patterns or textures with a distinctive direction may not upholster well.” Take the size of the furniture into account, too. “We like larger pieces, such as a sofa, in a rich solid color or classic neutral so you won’t tire of it over time,” says Williams. “Liven things up with smaller pieces—for instance, a great statement chair in a bolder shade or pattern.”

Get up close and personal

“The easiest way to be sure you’ll like an upholstery material on a certain frame—and like how it feels when you sit on it—is by going with something you see in the store,” says Williams. If you fall in love with a fabric that’s not shown on the floor, ask for a swatch you can drape over a furnishing to get a better idea of how it will look.

How to Choose the Right Upholstery Fabric was first seen on