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Best Type of Fabric for Dining Room Chairs: A Complete Guide

Best Type of Fabric for Dining Room Chairs: A Complete Guide

When picking the best type of fabric for dining room chairs, you want to choose one that is durable, easy-to-clean, and fits with the style and décor of your home.

There are plenty of options to choose from, so we’ve done a little research for you to help identify the best one for your home. 

Best Types of Fabric for Dining Room Chairs

The dining room is where friends and family gather to eat good food and spend quality time with one another.

It is a high-traffic area that can encounter spills and messes, particularly if children and pets are involved. 

It is also an essential room in the home that can create a welcoming vibe that guests and family alike will appreciate when well-designed and appropriately decorated.

Keep reading to learn about the best dining room chair fabric options. 

1. Vinyl

Image illustrating one of the best types of fabric for dining room chairs, vinyl, with a dining room set with blue vinyl next to a white table


Vinyl is a multi-purpose plastic fabric that has the added benefit of looking sleek and modern. It is incredibly durable and will resist dirt, fading, and stains. 

Vinyl is a more affordable fabric option when compared with leather or suede and is also easy to clean. It is so easy, in fact, that almost any cleaning product will suffice. 

Although vinyl can be a great informal option for your dining room, particularly if you have small children or pets, if a cheaper vinyl product is chosen, you run the risk of experiencing cracks in the upholstery over time.

2. Faux Suede

Faux suede, one of the best fabric types for dining room chairs, shown from above with the chair pushed up against a dining room table


Faux suede is made of 100 percent polyester and mimics the look of real leather without actually being an animal by-product. 

Because of this, it is durable and easy to care for when compared with real suede, and it has the added bonus of being more affordable. 

This fabric is perfect for the dining room because it is resistant to water and dirt.

As an artificial fabric, it is tightly woven, which easily prevents stains from soaking into the material and damaging it as an artificial fabric.

3. Velvet

Velvet, one of the best types of fabric for dining room chairs, displayed in a modern euro-style dining room with white walls and grey accents


Velvet fabrics not only provide a pleasurable texture to your dining room chairs, but they are also strong, heavy-duty fabrics that can withstand frequent use and the occasional spill or stain. 

Velvet is double-woven and made from silk, cotton, or synthetic fibers. It is soft to the touch and generally adds a rich, elegant vibe to any room.

Velvet dining room chairs come in hundreds of colors, patterns, and style options, which means they can fit in with almost any décor style.

Although a beautiful fabric, velvet upholstery is notoriously challenging to clean when it comes to stains.

General dust, dirt, and food crumbs can be removed from dining room chairs with a vacuum, while stain removal would require a steam cleaner. 

4. Cotton

White cotton slipcover on a set of dining room chairs in a classily decorated dining room


Cotton is a soft, natural fiber commonly used for its durability and ease of cleaning. 

When made into upholstery, this fabric resists pilling, fading, and obvious signs of wear, making it perfect for high-use pieces of furniture like a dining room chair.

Cotton also keeps you cool and absorbs a lot of moisture without feeling damp. Cleaning cotton is usually a simple process.

This fabric responds well to spot cleaning with a mix of water, mild dish soap, and paper towels.

Depending on the chair style, most cotton slipcovers can be removed and thrown directly in the washing machine. 

Keep in mind that the cotton fabric in your dining room chairs can easily absorb the dyes from clothing or other fabrics it comes into contact with. 

5. Leather

Grey leather, one of the best types of fabric for dining room chairs, on a dining set around a fake wood dining room table

Kuprynenko Andrii/Shutterstock

If you’re a purist when it comes to quality fabrics, leather is an excellent option for your dining room chairs. It is a versatile fabric that can work with modern, minimalistic, boho, or farmhouse décor styles.

It also comes in various colors and grains, meaning you are guaranteed to find something that suits your tastes. 

Leather is also a tough fabric that can handle long-term use and general wear and tear. It is also incredibly easy to clean. Light vacuuming or wiping with a damp cloth usually does the trick. 

That being said, the genuine leather fabric does require a little upkeep. If you choose leather for your dining room chairs, it is important to treat the fabric with a leather conditioner regularly to keep it looking nice and make it last.

6. Linen

Dining room chairs made of white linen for a piece on best fabric for dining room chairs

Russ Witherington/Shutterstock

For a classic, fresh look, linen upholstery is a beautiful option for dining room chairs. Linen fabric is made from natural flax fibers, which are strong and will last a long time.

It is also a sustainable, eco-friendly fabric with a soft, breathable texture that is comfortable to sit on.

It has the added benefit of being hypoallergenic. Although linen is not stain-resistant, it is easy to spot clean, making it a contender for dining room chairs. 

To remove a stain on linen, simply soak the spot in a mix of water and a small amount of detergent, white vinegar, or baking soda as soon as possible. Blotting the stain with your cleaning mix and a soft towel will help alleviate the stain. 

Linen tends to be a more expensive fabric option than its cotton cousin due to where it grows, how it is harvested, and the lengthy weaving process. 

7. Wool

Dining room table surrounded by chairs covered in wool, one of the best types of fabric for dining room chairs


Wool is a popular upholstery choice because it is soft, breathable, and comfortable. It repels moisture and therefore resists mold and mildew.

In addition, wool is naturally flame-resistant. It also fits in perfectly with modern furniture and décor styles. 

There are different styles and blends of wool fabric, some of which can instigate allergies in certain people or result in an itchy feeling on bare skin. In general, softer wool fabrics tend to have fewer negative effects.

When it comes to keeping wool dining room chairs clean, regular upkeep must be completed to maintain the look and feel of the fabric.

It should be regularly vacuumed to remove damaging dirt and dust, and spills or stains should be attended to by a professional cleaner. 

Things to Consider 

  • Make a note of the thread count. The thread count of a particular fabric describes the number of threads per square inch. In general, a higher thread count means the fabric is more tightly woven, which equates to a higher-quality fabric. This also means that the fabric will withstand wear better, which is an essential factor for dining room chairs. 
  • Consider a stain-resistant finish. Although some fabrics are more stain-resistant than others, it’s never a bad idea to purchase an upholstery protector like Scotchgard to help keep your dining room chairs clean and extend their life. 
  • Can it be cleaned easily? Certain fabrics are easier to clean and maintain. Ensure you have the correct tools and know-how to correctly and safely clean your dining room chairs’ upholstery.
  • Budget. Some fabrics come with heftier price tags than others. Think carefully about what you want to spend before falling in love with a specific fabric type or dining room chair. 
  • DIY Upholstery. DIYing the reupholstery of your existing dining room chairs is often more affordable than purchasing a set of brand new chairs. Going this route is also helpful if you have the means or would simply like to learn a valuable new skill. 
  • Don’t forget to play with style. It is crucial to choose a dining chair fabric that will last a long time and resist stains. However, it is also good to choose a fabric that fits your style and goes with the décor throughout the dining room. Play with texture, color, and pattern for a truly expressive chair you’ll love sitting in. 

So, What’s the Best Fabric for Dining Room Chairs?

Now that you know more about the best fabrics for dining room chairs, we hope you’ll find it easier to choose a stylish and durable option that will look great in your dining room.