Whether you’re a large theatre with fixed seating or a small office looking for a few new chairs, a key part of the purchase decision is fabric and colour choice. With so many different options available, we take a look at some of the most popular fabrics and colours and how they can work in different environments.
What Fabric Type Is Best?
With a vast range of textures and finishes on the market, how do you know which one to choose for your seating? Sometimes the nature of your business can dictate what’s most appropriate – such as anti-microbial vinyl in a healthcare establishment – but if you just want a good quality fabric, where do you start? Evertaut offers a core range of fabrics which we can recommend from years of experience and we are also able to source something different if you have a specific requirement.
Below is a quick round-up of the most popular fabric types and links to swatch cards from some well-known suppliers of seating fabrics.
If you want something hard wearing that looks smart in the office or stylish in the theatre, a good quality contract fabric such as Mainline Plus is suitable for a wide range of applications.
If you prefer a smoother finish to your fabric, Xtreme is lightly textured with a crepe effect. This modern fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester and is very popular for task seating in offices and schools.
This is a popular texture in theatres where a more luxurious look and feel is often required. The Sunbury Madison and Zurich ranges are ideal choices. Madison is a soft velvet available in a range of classic and bright colours whilst Zurich is an acrylic pile velvet with a matt finish. Both are designed for severe contract upholstery to withstand high frequency usage in a range of venues.
If you need your seating upholstery to be easy-clean then vinyl is a great choice. Chieftain Just Colour is a high-performance vinyl available in a substantial colour palette. It offers the benefit of being inherently anti-microbial and whilst it has long been used in hospitals and healthcare establishments it is now also a popular choice for use in all types of establishments. It is also UV resistant making it ideal in football stadiums where seating may be subject to sun exposure.
Which Colour Should You Choose?
You may have a fabric colour in mind before you start your search for seating but whether you’re thinking red, blue, green or black, there’s a wide selection of hues within each colour family and across the different fabric ranges. Alternatively, the fabric range you choose may actually be dictated by the shade you prefer.
A popular choice in theatres and independent cinemas, red is a classic colour that always looks stylish. Whether your auditorium is traditional or modern you can use a rich red velvet to add a touch of glamour or choose a plain weave fabric for a smart, modern look. A bold red can also brighten up an office or reception area.
With this cool colour you can opt for muted tones for a calming effect or make a bold statement with a vibrant royal blue. Alternatively, a darker navy blue is a smart alternative to black which can help project a serious, professional image in establishments where you don’t want the seating to stand out.
A colour associated with nature, green is also known to have a calming influence. From pale pastels to vibrant citrus shades and from earthy tones to deep jade, there’s a very varied palette to choose from. Green looks great on everything from fixed seating in a lecture theatre to loose chairs in a reception area.
Neutral colours such as black or grey work well on seating in a range of establishments. These dark colours can help create a very smart, business-like or serious look. They’re also good for places where stains and spillages could be a problem as you won’t see all the marks in the way you would on a paler fabric. Whilst shades of cream and white can look expensive and stylish, you have to think carefully as to their suitability to the environment as these colours will obviously not stay looking pristine for long in high traffic areas.
No matter what the type of venue, you don’t have to choose just one fabric colour. With fixed seating you can mix things up and add interest by alternating colours or choose a few different colours and position them in a random pattern. This idea is very popular in university lecture theatres where colour choice can transform a bland lecture room into a vibrant teaching space. This idea can also brighten up a waiting room or make an office space more colourful.
Article updated November 2020. Original publication date below.