The Benefits of Using Canvas For Upholstery and Furniture

Throughout the world, most people toss out or give away furniture that is worn out, but is this the best option? An average of 5.25 billion trees are estimated to be chopped down each year, and 37% of those trees become timber for making paper products, building homes, structures, and furniture. The more people can retire, the better it is for the environment. 

When it’s possible to reupholster furniture instead of buying new pieces, it’s better for the environment. It’s also possible to take old furnishings and upcycle them into new ones. All it takes is a little creativity and some technical ability. Canvas is a leading choice for upholstery due to its many benefits.

What Is Canvas?

Do you know what canvas is? It’s a breathable, durable material that’s made from woven threads of cotton or linen. As far back as 1500 B.C., canvas was made with strands of hemp fiber. As cotton became readily available, the switch from hemp to cotton became prevalent.

What happens is that medium-weight threads are woven together using a plain weave technique with vertical threads being crossed both over and under with horizontal threads. This builds strength and forms the fabric that can be used to make canvases for painting, fabric for clothing, and upholstery.

Some newer forms of canvas are also being made by weaving PVC plastic threads. What’s more important is the tight weave that provides incredible strength. Canvas withstands heavy use due to this weave and doesn’t stretch out or tear with repeated use.

Canvas can be treated or untreated. Untreated canvas will absorb water. Some canvas is treated with a flame retardant to prevent the material from catching fire. Typically, colored or natural canvas is desired when it comes to upholstering projects, but personal taste is most important. 

Canvas Provides Many Benefits When It Comes to Making or Reupholstering Furniture

Why choose canvas for your upholstery and furniture? There are several reasons that canvas is a popular choice for upholstering. These are the top ten reasons to cover your furniture with canvas.

  1. Affordability

One of the leading reasons to use canvas for upholstery is that it’s affordable. You get the durable cotton fabric for a fraction of the cost of leather. Duck canvas won’t cost much more than $100 for ten yards in a 5-foot width. You can also get extra-wide canvas and not have to piece the material together at the top of the sofa back, which may be easier for someone who is new to reupholstering. 

  1. Breathability

Cotton canvas is a breathable fabric. Air flows through it, which speeds up drying times after you’ve cleaned it. Breathability also helps prevent mold or mildew growth in a humid climate. This also protects the wood framing under your table, chair, footstool, or sofa as it won’t get moist and develop mold and dry rot.

  1. Durability

The average sofa fabric lasts about seven or eight years. Canvas has been found to last 12 years on average. You can heighten the lifespan of your canvas upholstery by choosing a thicker fabric.

Canvas Tarpaulin: Canvas tarps take a canvas that’s coated to make it mildew and water-resistant. It’s a canvas designed for outdoor use, which makes it a perfect choice for upholstering outdoor sofas, sectionals, and chairs. It comes in a variety of weights starting at 10 ounces and going up to 18 ounces.

Colored Canvas: Colored canvas comes in 10-ounce, 15-ounce, or 18-ounce weights. This means it weighs 10, 15, or 18 ounces per square yard. The heavier the weight, the thicker the canvas.

Duck Canvas: Duck canvas is a natural off-white color and comes in 11.5-ounce and 14.75-ounce weights.

Economy Canvas: This is the least expensive canvas and is very lightweight. It’s 7 ounces per square yard. The natural color fits into any design, and it’s a good choice for furniture that’s used occasionally, such as a formal dining room.

Extra Wide Canvas: Extra wide canvas comes in natural or white and is lightweight at 9 ounces. It can come in a flame-retardant material, which makes it worth considering if you’re putting a sofa in a room near a fireplace or wood stove.

  1. Easy to Clean

Proper care of your sofa fabric does matter if you want to get the longest life from it. Canvas is very easy to clean if you need to. Use a solution of white distilled vinegar and water at a one-to-four ratio. Add that to a steam upholstery cleaner and keep the fabric in like-new shape. 

If you get crumbs on your canvas upholstery, vacuum it off or use a brush and dustpan for a quick cleaning. It’s an easy fabric to clean and it’s not going to stretch out and wrinkle when you do.

  1. Water Resistance

Canvas tarp is water resistant. You can spill a drink on it and have plenty of time to clean it without damaging the wood frame or cushioning inside the sofa or chair. This also helps if you have outdoor patio furniture that’s exposed to the elements. If a sudden storm appears and you don’t have time to cover your furniture with tarps or furniture covers, it’s not going to lead to costly damage or loss.

  1. Versatility

Do you have a specific design theme you’re trying to match? Do you want a beach cabin theme in your den and want furnishings in sandy earth tones and ocean blues and greens? Canvas is extremely versatile because it comes in a range of colors, including natural tones. You’ll find it’s a perfect match for a variety of decorating styles. Plus, you can always purchase white or natural canvas and dye it to match whatever you need if you can’t find exactly what you want.

It’s also suitable for a variety of projects. Use canvas to upholster your chairs, sofas, and footstools. Repurpose an old dresser into a changing table by adding a memory foam pillow, safety straps, and a water-resistant canvas tarp. Use canvas over a piece of plywood and create a decorative headboard for a low-cost bedroom makeover. 

Canvas is your best choice for upholstery and furniture projects. As it’s durable, breathable, water resistant, and very affordable, you can reupholster old sofas and chairs and give them a whole new life. Don’t overlook this fabric when you’re looking for the best fabric from furniture upholstery. 

Head to Chicago Canvas & Supply for the best prices for canvas that’s made in the USA. We offer color canvas in three weights and more than ten colors. You might want a canvas that hides stains or one that’s pale and reminiscent of a day on the beach. No matter what your design vision entails, our color section, including natural canvas, is designed to make every customer happy.

Reach out to Chicago Canvas’ experts about special orders or for guidance in choosing the best canvas for your needs. The canvas you’re using on a dining room chair may not need to be as durable as the canvas upholstery on your sofa. We’ll help you choose the right options for your needs and budget.