On Durability

elworthy Native Embers (Stone) fabric.jpg

At a recent event, an interior designer asked about the durability of our printed textiles.  She wondered how they might look in five years time.  I loved this question and thought it would be useful to share my answer (and elaborate on it) here.

The short answer- it really depends!  Here is the part where I elaborate...

To capture the unique textures and details of our designs, we utilize digital printing.  With this printing method, the inks sit on the surface fibers of the fabric.  Over time, the surface fibers of the fabric may start to break down and show signs of wear and fading. 

There are a multitude of factors that play a role in the durability of digitally printed textiles:

  •   Ground material- Textured weaves allow for more movement of surface fibers, and may show wear more quickly than a fabric with a tightly woven surface. 
  •   Ink coverage and colors- Prints with a dark colored background (printed onto a light ground material) would show wear more quickly than a tonal print.
  •   Application-  Our fabrics are perfect for residential window treatments, light/medium upholstery, and accent pillows.  I wouldn't recommend using them to upholster the main sofa in your client's family room, and untreated, they are not suitable for commercial use.   The end use creates a ton of variability. 

Some anecdotal evidence for you:

When I launched two years ago, I had a set of chairs reupholstered for our San Francisco showroom.  For the past two years, they've been used extensively and the fabric shows no sign of fading or wear.  I also had an accent chair in my home reupholstered in our Desert Alchemy fabric.  Aside from some small white spots where my cat has done some scratching, the fabric looks perfect.  Below is an image of the seat of the chair with a brand new memo of the same fabric placed for comparison.


There is much to consider when choosing the right fabric for your projects.  Fortunately, it is entirely possible to protect fabrics through post printing treatments, making them suitable for any end use.   Waterproofing, stain resistant finishes, and UV protective coatings are just a few of the treatments out there.  

We are always happy to chat further about choosing the right fabric.  Just drop us a line at info@elworthystudio.com!