Friday, September 03, 2010

New Furniture: Linen Selection & Dye Lot Differences

After much deliberation, I think we've finally picked out a fabric for the new sofa and armchair.   David referred to all the linens I brought home as "beige" and "crunchy" so it was hard having a discussion with him about which he preferred, or rather didn't hate.  

He is also worried about all the "beige" in the room when we replace the green furniture, so it took a lot of convincing that "beige" or off-white will actually be more versatile and will let me add coloured pillows (golden yellow, dark green, blue, pinks) that I couldn't do quite as easily with the sage green furniture.

In the final analysis, we also decided to upholster BOTH pieces in the SAME fabric, for a coherent look since we already have two odd chairs in the room and don't want all four pieces to differ.  The new furniture does not match (but has similar characteristics), and once covered in the same fabric, I hope it will look coherent.  I'd love to do a matching pair of chairs and a new sofa, but it ain't happening budget-wise!

So...drum roll please:

The fabric we selected is the off-white linen on the left, which also feels quite soft:  
I think it will look beautiful on this:
Here is another photo of the same fabric in late afternoon light.  It looks very pale in sunny daytime light but darkens as the light fades:

Here is the chair again, which will be done in the same fabric:
Unfortunately this is a very expensive fabric.  The otherwise fairly-priced sofa will cost $1000 more in this fabric than in the runner-up fabric.  Woe is me.

On that note, the runner-up fabric  has me rather perplexed. I picked up samples at two different shops because they looked different to me.  And sure enough, when I got them home, I could see that they were in fact different.  

In the photo below, the two swatches on the left are the "same" runner-up fabric, with obvious dye-lot differences (the 1st place fabric is on the right): 
David's right - they're  all just "beige"!!!

Here's the runner-up fabric again on two swatches, which show dramatic dye lot colour AND also texture differences.  Though they bear the same name, the fabric on the left is greyer and quite rough while the fabric on the right is beiger and softer:
I was surprised to see such dramatic differences in mill runs.  I would expect variations but not this much (I wonder now what the fabric I have chosen might end up looking like!). I wonder if this is real, or if one of these is mis-labelled?

On a final note, regrettably, I've also eliminated the brown stonewashed fabric you all liked:
I love it so much, for both the texture and *gorgeous* colour, but honestly I'm afraid it will look too casual and disheveled for the sofa (since now we're doing matching pieces).  It might be okay on a tightly upholstered chair, but I'm afraid it will look unkempt on the long bench seat of the sofa.

 And since it is the highest grade of all the fabrics I've chosen, it would be a VERY expensive experiment. 

Ok, that's my update.  What do you think of my selection of the lighter, softer linen? What about matching fabric on the two pieces?


  1. whatever you do, make sure you ask for them to reserve the metrage you need and send you a stock cutting for approval, so you know exactly what you are getting!

    Best of luck, its gonna be gorgeous :)

  2. Oh I am so out of my element. The last time I had slipcovers made, they were a wedding gift the first time around umpteen something years ago. I chose a patterned Waverly fabric in autumnal colors and it was so beautifully busy. Anyway, what I really think is that you have such a careful eye for detail that you don't need us until it's a done deal when we'll all stand around and ooooh and ahhhh. It will be beautiful!

  3. I agree with Vanya there Terri.
    Good luck with it all.
    Ness xx

  4. Anonymous6:57 am

    It is going to be gorgeous and I am so jealous. I think your choice is perfect and matching the fabric is the best way to go. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  5. hi terri,

    this is going to be beeeeeautiful. so you.


  6. Dear Terri! I am so longing to Paris, but now we have to change the date dough my cousins daughter must do an ear operation just tat he time we planned to leave. So Paris here we come in november instead :-)

    Many hugs

  7. Vanya is right. It is what all designers do but the average buyer doesn't think of it.

  8. Just a note regarding Vanya's comment. I talked to my Lee retailer and Lee does not provide "for approval" swatches to customers in Canada. In other words, you get what you get.

    Once again, another retailer gives the middle finger to Canadian shoppers. Makes me not even want to buy their stinking product.

  9. I so get you! I can debate various shades and dye lots of white, ecru and natural linen for weeks! I'm still trying to choose just the right shade for my window treatments!

    With how precise you are about the exact color of "beige," I'd definitely order fabric from someone who will provide a cutting from the exact bolt your yardage will come from. I skipped that step once and will ever do it again.

    How's your head these days?

  10. Wishing you well in your dilemma. I love the idea of matching the two pieces of furniture. I did that because I am a design nut and like variety - i.e. to change out my pillows and move accessories around. Sometimes I wish for some fabulous fabric on my sofa and chairs, but then remind myself I couldn't afford to change them like I can pillows. Good luck!

  11. I love that, beige and crunchy! They actually look soft and lovely, and I agree, neutral is nice so that you can do colored pillows and accents! Lovely little world here, so happy to find you and be your newest follower!

  12. I think you are on the right track. I love the linen fabrics. It is going to look fabulous on those pieces. I agree in matching them and being able to add cushions and accessories when you need a change. Such a shame they do not reserve fabric for you. I would!
    Good luck! Axx

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