The Use of Textiles in Interior Design and How to Choose the Right Fabrics for your Home

Think Interior
7 min readFeb 19, 2023


The use of textiles in interior design is an essential part of creating a comfortable and inviting space. Textiles such as fabrics, draperies, and rugs can significantly impact the look and feel of a room. However, choosing the right fabrics for your home can be challenging. You can learn about using textiles in interior design through schools, colleges, and academies that offer fashion and interior design courses that cover topics such as textiles, color theory, lighting, furniture, and other aspects of interior design. Additionally, this article will discuss the use of textiles in interior design and provide tips on choosing the right fabrics for your home.

Understand the Purpose of the Space

The first step in choosing the right textiles for your home is understanding the space’s purpose. For example, if you are designing a living room, you may want to choose soft and comfortable fabrics, such as a plush sofa or a cozy throw blanket. On the other hand, if you are designing a dining room, you may want to choose durable and easy-to-clean fabrics, such as vinyl or leather chairs.

Consider the Style of the Room

The style of the room is another important factor to consider when choosing textiles. For example, if you have a traditional style room, you may want to choose fabrics with classic patterns, such as stripes or floral prints. In contrast, if you have a modern style room, you may want to choose fabrics with geometric patterns or bold colors.

Look for Quality Materials

When choosing textiles, it is important to look for quality materials. High-quality fabrics are more durable and will last longer than cheaper materials. Additionally, they will look and feel better, adding to the overall quality of the space.

Consider the Color Scheme

A room’s color scheme is another important factor when choosing textiles. Ideally, choose fabrics that complement the room’s existing color scheme. For example, if you have a room with neutral-colored walls, you may want to choose fabrics with bold patterns or bright colors to add interest and visual appeal.

Think about the Texture

A fabric’s texture can also significantly impact the look and feel of a room. Textures can range from smooth and silky to rough and rustic. When choosing textiles, consider the texture of the fabric and how it will contribute to the overall look and feel of the space.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures in a room. For example, you can combine a smooth leather sofa with a fluffy faux fur rug and a woven throw blanket. It creates a more interesting and dynamic look that adds depth and visual interest to the space.

Consider the Cleaning and Maintenance

It is essential to consider the cleaning and maintenance of the textiles you choose. For example, if you have children or pets, you may want to choose fabrics that are easy to clean, such as microfiber or leather. Additionally, it would help to consider how often the fabric will need to be cleaned, as some fabrics may require more frequent maintenance than others.

Layer Your Textiles

Layering textiles is another effective way to add depth and texture to a room. For example, you can layer a rug on top of a carpet or add decorative pillows and throws to a sofa or bed. Layering textiles can make a room feel cozier and more inviting.

Use Textiles to Define Spaces

You can use textiles to define different spaces in a room, such as a sitting or dining area. For example, you can use a large area rug to define a sitting area or use curtains to separate a dining area from the rest of the room. This creates a more organized and visually appealing space.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Statement

Textiles can be an excellent way to make a statement in a room. For example, you can use a bold patterned wallpaper or choose a brightly colored rug to add a pop of color to a neutral room. Don’t be afraid to choose bold textiles that reflect your style and add personality to the space.

Consider Durability

When choosing textiles for a high-traffic area or a household with pets or children, it’s important to consider durability. Look for stain-resistant fabrics, easy to clean and can withstand wear and tear. Materials like leather, microfiber, and performance fabrics are good options for these spaces.

Think About Scale

When choosing patterns and prints, consider the scale of the design. Large-scale patterns can be overwhelming in a small space, while small-scale patterns can get lost in a larger room. In general, it’s best to choose a mix of pattern scales to create a balanced and harmonious look.

Play with Color

Color is an essential element of textiles and can greatly impact the mood and ambiance of a room. When selecting textiles for a room, consider the existing color palette and choose fabrics that complement or contrast it. Additionally, consider the impact of different colors on mood — for example, cool colors like blue and green can create a calming effect, while warm colors like red and orange can be energizing.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors in your textiles. Consider using complementary or analogous color schemes to create a visually interesting, cohesive look. You can also use color to create focal points or draw attention to specific areas of a room.

Experiment with Textile Art

In addition to practically using textiles, consider incorporating textile art into your interior design. This could include tapestries, quilts, or woven wall hangings. Textile art can add a unique, handmade feel to a space and act as a conversation starter.

Use Textiles to Add Texture to Walls and Ceilings

Textiles aren’t limited to upholstery and window treatments — they can also add texture to walls and ceilings. For example, you can use woven grasscloth wallpaper to add texture to a room or hang a draped fabric ceiling to create a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

Consider the Season

When choosing textiles for a room, consider the season and how different fabrics can impact the temperature and overall feel of the space. For example, in the winter, you might want to incorporate cozy and warm fabrics like wool or faux fur, while in the summer, you might prefer lighter-weight fabrics like linen or cotton.

Add Layers of Lighting

Lighting can greatly impact how textiles look in a space. Consider layering different types of lighting to create a variety of moods and enhance the beauty of your textiles. For example, add task lighting to showcase a piece of textile art or accent lighting to highlight the texture of a woven rug.

Choose Eco-Friendly Textiles

If sustainability is important, consider choosing eco-friendly textiles for your home. Materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and linen are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Additionally, look for fabrics free of harmful chemicals and dyes to create a healthier living environment.

Personalize Your Space

Textiles offer an opportunity to infuse your style and taste into your interior design. Whether you prefer bohemian, minimalist, or traditional styles, textiles can help you achieve the look you want. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns, textures, and colors to create a space that reflects your unique personality and taste.

Don’t Forget about Window Treatments

Window treatments are an important aspect of interior design that can greatly impact the look and feel of a room. When choosing window treatments, consider the fabric, color, and pattern and how they can complement the other textiles in the room. Additionally, think about how much natural light you want to let in and how much privacy you need.

Use Textiles to Soften Hard Surfaces

Textiles can help soften the space and create a more inviting atmosphere in spaces with lots of hard surfaces like concrete or tile. Consider adding a plush rug or cozy throw to create a more comfortable and cozy space.

Consider Texture and Pattern in Upholstery

When choosing upholstery fabrics, consider the texture and pattern in addition to the color. A textured fabric can add depth and interest to a piece of furniture, while a bold pattern can make a statement and add personality to the room.

Layer Textures for a Cozy Feel

Consider layering different textures in your textiles to produce a comfortable and pleasing atmosphere. For example, you might layer a soft blanket on top of a plush rug or add textured pillows to a smooth leather sofa.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Mixing and matching different textiles can create a visually interesting and dynamic space. Don’t be afraid to pair different patterns, textures, and colors to create a cohesive and personalized look.


Textiles are an essential element of interior design that can add color, texture, pattern, and comfort to a space. You can create a functional and visually appealing space by considering the season, lighting, color, sustainability, and personal style. Whether you choose bold patterns or subtle textures, natural fibers, or synthetic blends, the right textiles can help create a comfortable and visually appealing space that reflects your style and taste. So feel free to try and have fun with different textiles and patterns to create a unique space.

Some academies offer specialized interior design diploma courses or programs focused on textile design for interiors, which would provide more in-depth coverage of the topic. These programs may include courses on textile manufacturing processes, fabric selection, analysis, and design principles and techniques specific to textile design.



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