Samples are important when choosing fabric (online) to upholster your new sofa. It is so important to test them out for a few days before ordering the fabric. Besides checking the actual colour, here are a few other reasons why:
1. Colour changes in different spaces
Its nice to have a sample, but fabrics have a sneaky way of changing colour, depending on factors like lighting and other existing colours in the room. This is especially true for greys. It is very rare to find a neutral grey. Most greys are either warm (they have a pink or cream/brown undertone) or cool (they have a purple or blue undertone). Placing the sample in your selected space will make sure that your colour and tone are correct.
Also, when choosing fabrics online, what you see on the screen may not be exactly what the fabric looks like in real life. So its always best to double check!
2. Sample fabric weight is important
By seeing an actual sample, you can feel the weight, or thickness, of a fabric. If you are upholstering a couch, your sample should ideally have a backing. If you are looking to make up curtains, you will be able to tell if the fabric needs a lining and, if so, what kind of lining is required.
3. You will save money in the long run by ordering samples
If you don’t order samples and buy fabric without seeing it first, you may find that you have not ordered the appropriate fabric. Many online shops do not offer returns based on cut length, and you may have to reorder more fabric.
4. Extra information comes with samples
Any reputable fabric supplier will have important information printed on the actual sample. If you are ordering fabric online, the information should be indicated with the fabric on the website. This includes the fabric design name and colour (if you need to order that fabric), fabric width (to calculate more accurately the quantity needed) and rub count (the fabric’s durability – see my blog post all about rub counts).
5. Shrinkage and care-testing
By ordering a sample, you can easily test washing conditions yourself. This is especially important with natural fibres (i.e Cotton). For this, you would need to order two samples, and they would need to be bigger than your standard swatch size. One would be your test sample, and the other would be your control sample. This is especially useful when testing shrinkage and colour fastness.
In an age where online shopping is becoming more convenient, it is crucial to order samples where you can. Although a courier fee may apply, it is a lesser price to pay that ordering the incorrect fabric.
The Fabric Fox offers a service of ordering samples before purchasing fabric online. In fact, it is encouraged to do so for the reasons mentioned above. Although this extends the buying time of the actual fabric, it is worth it in the end, where purchasing fabric is safe, convenient and oh so easy!