Using Upholstery Fabric for Clothes: Can You Use It?

Ever since Scarlet O’Hara made a dress out of drapes in Gone With the Wind, people have been making clothing out of upholstery fabric. It is a stylish and great idea as upholstery fabric may be more durable than regular clothing fabric.

Can you use Upholstery Fabric for Clothes? Yes you can use upholstery fabric to make clothes. It may take a little longer sewing and a tougher needle but it can be done. As long as you get the right lining behind it so you don’t get scratched or itchy, you should be able to make a lot of clothes out of upholstery fabric with ease.

To get the low down on this topic just continue to read our article. It explores the issue to get the right information to help you be more creative in your clothes making. Plus, the information her may save you a little money as well.

What Kind of Fabric is Used for Upholstery

There are two general categories that cover the realm of upholstery fabrics. The first category is synthetic, and the second is natural. These two categories are then filled with subsections.

Silk, which can be used for clothes, is a very good natural upholstery fabric. The only trouble with this variety is that it needs professional cleaning but other than that it is a beautiful delicate fabric to use.

Like silk, leather comes in both synthetic and natural versions and both sides of the fabric look good when placed on furniture. They both wear well and are easy to keep clean. Also, like silk, synthetic versions of leather are much cheaper than the natural style but they may not have the durability of real leather.

Then there is wool which is often blended with nylon to improve durability and make it tougher to wear down. Wool has a natural beauty, but it is not as tough as nylon is. Canvas is often used for informal items and it is tough enough to handle any camping or hiking trip you go on.


If you dislike the harshness of canvas, you can always opt for the softness of velvet. But even though it is soft, velvet can be very durable. Its main drawback is that it may be a bit old-fashioned in the looks department.

More modern upholstery fabrics can be made from microfibers. This construction material keeps the costs down making using it inexpensive while having longevity. You may need to clean it with your vacuum more than the other fabrics because microfiber’s main drawback is that it attracts dust.

We are not going to talk colors and patterns here as there are just too many to describe. Suffice it to say, that all the fabric offerings mentioned above come with a variety of both to meet your interior design preferences.

Can Upholstery Fabric be Used for Clothes


It is quite possible to use upholstery fabric to make clothes. One lady used brushed denim upholstery fabric to make herself a nice pair of jeans. The pants were stiff at first but after a good washing; they softened right up and became a perfect pair of jeans.

Also, cotton sateen and cotton velvet have been used to make different types of coats. The former was used to make a trench coat while the latter ended up being a jacket. It will be up to your creativity how you use upholstery fabric when you want to make clothes for daily use or special occasions.

Two of the characteristics that make using upholstery fabric for clothes are their ability to wear well and get rid of dirt quickly. The drawback to using upholstery fabric would be the style of weave it had.

If the weave is not as tight as clothing fabric then you run the risk of snagging it a lot when you go through doors, sit in chairs and so on. The other challenge or concern would be if you could find compatible fabric as a lining.

Upholstery fabric is not always the smoothest cloth around and it may make your skin itchy or scratch you as you walk or run. Draperies also make could clothing fabric and those come in some great colors and patterns normal clothing fabric may not have.

Using Upholstery Fabric For Clothes


When you use upholstery fabric for clothing, there are some things you need to make it all happen. First, you need a good pattern to follow. Here just about any pattern will do and you have a lot of freedom in choosing the right one for you or your family members.

Second, you would need a strong thread to hold it all together. The upholstery fabric may be a bit stronger than regular clothing fabric and it can pull weak thread quite easily. The last thing you want is someone pulling a broken thread and have half your outfit fall off at the wrong time.

Third, since upholstery fabric is usually thicker and tougher than normal clothing fabric, you need to make sure you have a strong needle. As you sow, you do not need the needle bending or breaking before you finished your outfit. A strong needle also helps cut your sewing time down as it can get through the fabric faster.

Finally, you need a good sewing machine. Not all sewing machines are made the same. That means that you may not own a model that can handle the tougher fabric or higher sewing demands upholstery brings to your sewing time. Make sure your machine can handle the fabric you intend to use.

On a side note, watch the patterns and colors you use. Your tastes may not be in tune with the tastes of your teenage daughter or son. While you like the pattern or the bright colors, they may be embarrassed and teased by them.

A little design taste will go a long way.

Home Decor Fabric for Clothing Advantages

There are a few advantages of using home decor fabric for creating some great clothing outfits. Using them over normal clothing fabric can broaden your options so you can be more creative and innovative.

Here are some more advantages:

  • Colors: the colors may be brighter, more decorative than normal clothing fabric. They may also be more muted avoiding the problem of clashing colors.
  • Designs: you get a lot more design options to choose from. These designs can bring a post modern look to your clothes or a more elegant classy look that will impress those that see you in them.
  • Comfort: many natural home decor fabrics are soft and allow a person to remain comfortable no matter which position they strike.
  • ​Cool & breathable: you remain cooler in these types of fabrics and your body can breathe a lot easier.
  • Soft and absorbing: home decor fabrics absorb heat better while remaining soft to the touch.
  • Easier to care for: synthetic fabrics are much easier to keep clean. You also do not need to do a lot of maintenance on them. They are sturdy and durable.
  • Resist moisture: when you live in a wet climate this is a good attribute to have in your clothes. You and your family stay dryer longer.

Can You use Curtain Fabric for Dressmaking

Yes, you can. In fact, it is done more often than you may think. Curtain fabrics bring their own personal qualities to your clothing or dress that may not be available in normal clothing fabric.

Two such qualities are design patterns and colors. You have a large range of both to work with to make that ideal dress for the prom, wedding or a social event. Here are some tips to look for in selecting a good drapery for your next party dress:

  • Thread count: the higher the better and most drapery fabrics come with a high thread count already so they last longer than normal fabrics.
  • Weave: you want to make sure it is tight and difficult to snag on sharp edges, nails, etc.
  • Width: the wider it is, the easier it will be to make that dress. You can get draperies in widths ranging between 72 and 110 inches. In comparison, normal fabrics are only between 42 and 60 inches wide.
  • Weight: you do not want a drapery fabric that is too heavy to wear.
  • Texture: make sure the texture is right for your or your family’s skin.

Some Final Words

Fashion items are not always that inexpensive. The going thought guiding fashion prices is that the woman wants to feel good about wearing the dress or whatever. The higher the price the better a woman feels, for the most part.

If you do not go along with that thought, you may be looking for ways to cut your costs. Using upholstery fabric instead of normal clothing options may be just the ticket.

Upholstery fabric should be stronger, more durable while not sacrificing quality or looks. They may be a bit cheaper to wear in the long run as the may last longer than cloths made from clothing fabric.

There is nothing wrong with using upholstery fabric for clothing. Many people already do it.

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