What is Upholstery Vinyl?


What is Upholstery Vinyl?

Upholstery is a practice to wrap furniture with a cover. It includes adding pads, webbing, and other reinforcement systems inside the furniture. One of the most common materials for upholstery is a vinyl-coated fabric that provides more extra protection and durability than the non-coated one. Here are the things you need to know about upholstery vinyl!

With a wide selection of upholstery vinyl fabric, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect match for your next decor project. Upholstery vinyl comes with a wide variety of colors and textures to revitalize the look and feel of your new creations or old furniture.

Upholstery vinyl fabric is ideal for covering chairs, stools, couches, benches, headboards, and more.
An economical choice of upholstery vinyl fabric will fit within any budget. Vinyl upholstery material is a great way to give your décor a budget-friendly makeover.
Easy to care for, simply spot clean when necessary to keep the vinyl fabric looking its best.

History of Upholstery Vinyl

Take a look at your car seat and run your hand on the faux leather. Have you ever wondered what it is made of? You may be surprised that it is made of the same material as that of plastic pipes you see around. This material is called vinyl or PVC (stands for polyvinyl). It was discovered by a German chemist who accidentally found a new substance while carrying another experiment. More than a decade later, it was then mass-produced and mixed with other additives to make it more flexible and applicable.

Later on, the versatility of the substance found its ways to wearable and furniture industries like fashion and upholstery and started using it as fabric coating. PVC coating helps fabric fight against water, stains, and even UV rays. Manufacturers can modify the polymer count to achieve certain results like mimicking a leather look and feel or adding some waterproof attribute while embedding the substance onto the fabric. The result is a material that is both durable and aesthetical.

Why choose upholstery vinyl?

Leather-look never goes out in fashion, but there are regulations and ethics to get your hands on it, plus it is not cheap to purchase. If you are against animal cruelty, vinyl fake leather is a cheap alternative you can use to upholster your furniture or vehicle cabin. It is probably not the best solution due to the toxic materials used in its production, but it can be a stepping stone before choosing a more expensive option like PU or polyurethane—a type of plastic that is more expensive but more eco-friendly.

Vinyl can also be dyed in different colors and formed into a cast. This means manufacturers can produce a vinyl-coated fabric that has the look and feel like fancy leather with an amazingly close resemblance. Upholstery vinyl is often used for car seats and interior, boat cushions and cabin lining, and pet-friendly furniture. The vinyl backing of the fabric allows the material to be used both indoors and outdoors thanks to its water-resistant and UV-ray blocking nature.

Types of upholstery vinyl

There are different types of upholstery vinyl for every purpose. Generally, they are divided into two types: expandable and non-expandable upholstery vinyl. Car seats and furniture at home usually use expandable upholstery vinyl to protect it from dust and tear. This type has vibrant colors and textures to make a piece of furniture pop. The semi-stretch trait allows this type of upholstery to endure more pulls and will not crack easily. It is the same type as the one used on marine vehicles. The upholstery vinyl backing is furthermore reinforced to prevent the color from fading and withstand harsh weather.

The non-expandable upholstery vinyl is frequently used in making a purse, travel luggage, or furniture that is seldom used. Umbrellas and raincoat also find this material effective to repel water when it’s embedded into high thread-count nylons. The drawback of this type of vinyl is that the fabric tears easily due to the lack of flexibility. That is why it is best to use it on a surface that does not flex much.

Upholstery Vinyl Color Options

The benefit of upholstery vinyl is you get virtually limitless options of color to choose from. Here are the most popular colors people choose for their furniture:

Grey vinyl fabric

Gray is the most popular color among other colors because it goes along with many colors. This neutral color is perfect to contribute either warm or cool hue to a room, so no wonder many choose this as their go-to furniture color. Office room and industrial-style interior prefer darker gray vinyl fabric due to the rustic feel it gives, while lighter grey vinyl is perfect for a minimalistic look in your living room. Gray is also a factory-default color for car seats.

White vinyl fabric

White vinyl fabric is simply elegant and prestigious. Some types of fabric are slightly higher than the other colors because the manufacturer has to add extra protection against dust and stain. The white vinyl fabric also tends to change color easier when exposed to sun rays and dirt, making its maintenance troublesome. The reason why people love furniture with white vinyl fabric is that keeping it in mint condition takes time and effort, and that is the impression they want to give.

Lavender vinyl fabric

Lavender is when muted light purple mixed with a hint of a blue tint. From a distance, it almost looks as if it’s grey. Lavender vinyl fabric is perfect for homes because it has everything that grey color gives but with added life from the purple-blue tint. Purple has a long history before gaining its popularity. It was once used only by royalties because it used to be difficult to dye anything purple. You will not find this color to any flag because it was not meant for mass-production. Our perspective about this color family persists until today. A piece of furniture with lavender vinyl fabric gives out an impression of warmth and sophistication. Use this color choice to decorate the living room or children’s bedroom.

Red vinyl fabric

This color choice is for the passionate and fiery personality. It is suitable to apply on master bedroom walls or any accentuated furniture in your grey-hued living room. The red vinyl fabric simply draws the eyes and balance less-intense colored furniture. This is also a popular choice among sport car enthusiasts. They often upholster red vinyl fabric onto their racing seats and steering wheel. Red vinyl fabric is best complemented with black vinyl fabric, white vinyl fabric, or blue vinyl fabric.

Black vinyl fabric

This option is the second most popular color options after the grey vinyl fabric for car seats. In many cultures, black is associated with evil and death, but in modern days, black shouts elegance, boldness, and power. Another reason why it is so popular is that it is hard to spoil with dirt or stains. Use black vinyl fabric on furniture that is often used in the living room. It will save you a lot of maintenance time.


Upholstery Vinyl is a type of fabric that is embedded with vinyl and then used as furniture upholstery. This material is popular due to its durability and cleaning ease. Some upholstery vinyl also has mildew/mold protection. The versatility of this material allows it to be shaped into a cast and give out the look and feel of real leather. Upholstery vinyl is ideal in a range of uses from car seat upholstery to boat cushions. It looks lustrous and fancy without the price of one.

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