Our Ultimate Fabric Guide

Ballard Designs' fabric guide

Ballard Designs fabric guide

Ordering upholstered or slipcovered items online can feel daunting when you haven’t seen a piece in person, can’t touch the fabric, or even get a true read on the colors. And while we offer free swatches for all of our fabrics, we wanted to help you understand and shop for the right fabric for your piece! So, we put together this handy fabric guide to help you get a feel for the options we offer and what will work best for your next project.

Suzanne Kasler's Signature 13oz Linen

Suzanne Kasler’s Signature 13oz Linen

Suzanne Kasler’s linens are the perfect weight. They look lovely upholstered on a chair or headboard, but the linen has a fantastic drape for drapery too. Made from 100% linen and woven in colors hand-picked by Suzanne herself, you won’t regret bringing any of these fabrics into your home.

Ballard Designs' Microfiber fabrics

Easy-Care Microfibers

These suede-like fabrics are hard-working and are the ideal choice for heavy traffic areas! A little mild detergent is all your need to spot clean these fabrics, which is why Microfiber fabrics are great for homes with children and pets.

Ballard Designs' Danish Linen fabric

Danish Linens

Danish linens are blended with cotton to create a soft, supple hand. They’re also machine washable! We offer them in a variety of tried-and-true colors that will work for almost any home.

Ballard Designs Trilby fabrics


Our Trilby fabrics are at the top of our favorites list because they wear well, they’re backed for extra durability, and they get softer with age. Any of these go-with-anything neutrals will work in your home.

100% cotton twills at Ballard Designs


Our 100% cotton twills are a no-fail favorite. They’re easy to clean, soft to the touch, and give your furniture pieces a relaxed, casual style.

Ballard Designs' document fabrics

Document Fabrics

Our Document fabrics are one of our classic fabrics. Their pattern makes them a great choice for heavily trafficked areas (they camouflage stains!), and we love that vintage European look they can give a piece.

Ballard Designs check fabrics

Cotton Checks

You simply can’t go wrong with cotton. For table cloths, chair cushions, slipcovers, or upholstery, a go-anywhere classic cotton check is machine washable and soft to the touch. Plus, we love how forgiving this check pattern is on stains!

Ballard Designs Ticking Stripe

Ticking Stripe

There’s no denying the charm of a classic ticking stripe. No matter what color you choose, we love the look of Ticking on everything from upholstery to drapery to bedding!

Ballard Designs' everyday linens

Everyday Linens

These 10 ounce linens are a thick blend of cotton and linen. They’re go-anywhere fabrics that will work well in just about any application, and we love the subtle herringbone pattern of the natural color!

Ballard Designs' quilted fabrics

Quilted Fabrics

These quilted cotton blend fabrics are heaven to touch, and their quilted construction turns a sofa into the most comfortable spot in your house! Use these fabrics on slipcovers for an easy-to-care-for option.

Shop for all of our Fabric By the Yard options, as well as slipcovers and upholstered pieces.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    November 7, 2020

    I just bought the Allister counter stools .. what can I use to protect the fabric? Can I use a scotch guard spray?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 16, 2020

      You should be able to use scotch guard, but maybe try to test a small, inconspicuous patch just to check that it won’t alter the look of the linen. Good luck!

  2. Reply


    February 14, 2018

    I am looking at the pleated couture slipcovers. They are for my dining room chairs. We do not use the chairs a lot but we do have 6 kids. I am trying to decide between Twill or Trilby. Do you have a suggestion for which may work better? I am looking at the grey colors.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 21, 2018

      Both are great, kid-friendly choices. The Twill is super easy to throw in the wash, but the Trilby has more of a tooth to it, so it’ll stand up to wear and tear for a long time. It’s simply a personal preference!
      Good luck!

  3. Reply


    April 27, 2015

    I’m looking at the charcoal trilby tablecloth. I really don’t want something that is dry clean only though. This is for a side table in our living room, but I have pets and kids. Why is the only washable fabric quilted?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      May 1, 2015

      Hi Kristen,
      That’s a great question, and we understand your concern. I’ll mention to our product development team. Thanks for your feedback!!
      The How to Decorate Team

  4. Reply


    February 13, 2015

    Does the Susan Kasler linen hold up well with someone who has pets? Her flax color is gorgeous and exactly what I wanted, but the dogs lay next to the sofa with their backs up against it, so I was thinking Sunbrella, but none of the colors work as well as the Susan Kasler flax.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 27, 2015

      Hi Vivian,
      Thanks for your comment. We think the SK Linen in Flax could work if you get a slipcovered option. This way, you can easily remove the slipcover and have it either professionally cleaned or spot clean it, or simply vacuum it. It’s so hard to vacuum fabric when it’s on the furniture!! The flax color is pretty light, so it will be more work if you have pets, but we do think you could keep it clean if you’re willing to have it cleaned and vacuumed. Sunbrella would definitely be a much lower maintenance option.
      We hope this helps! Best of luck!
      The How to Decorate Team