Fabrics For Headboards

What is the most practical fabric for a headboard?

There are no hard and fast rules for what type of fabric is suitable for your new headboard or bed.  The properties of headboard materials should stand up to the type of treatment you’d expect your items to receive. For example, a linen fabric headboard may be quite unsuitable for a child’s room whereas an easy clean fabric, like faux suede, will be more durable.

A lot of the decision comes down to your personal preference.


Is there any fabrics I should avoid for my headboard?

At The Headboard Workshop we can use most fabrics on your new headboard or bed, and, we are happy to take a look at your material first to discuss with you its suitability before you commit to it.

We recommend avoiding satin or silk as the fabric is often too fragile for upholstery, which to do properly, involves using tacks and tension.  Oftentimes, silk or satin cannot withstand the modern upholstery process and is better suited to curtains and bedding instead.

Instead, try to choose material for your headboard that is classed as ‘upholstery weight’.


What fabrics do you suggest for my headboard?

We recommend, weaves, linens, velvets, leather, faux leathers or wool and offer over 150 different fabrics on our website.

We also accept customers own material for upholstery.

All of our upholstery fabrics have a Martindale Rub Count suitable for heavy domestic use and above, making them ideal for headboards and beds.

What is a ‘Martindale Rub Count’?

The Martindale Rub Count is a test that measures the durability of a material from abrasion. The higher the number of ‘rubs’ the better the fabric is likely to withstand wear and tear.  It’s an internationally recognised system of scoring and counts how many times the material can be ‘rubbed’ before it starts to show a change in its appearance.


What Martindale Rub Count should my headboard fabric be?

Ideally, a Martindale Rub Count of over 25,000 and above is most desirable for these high traffic items of furniture.

Are natural fabrics or manmade fabrics better for a Headboard?

You may prefer to sleep next to a fabric that you know is 100% natural. However, man made fabrics are not as they used to be.  In the past, they have had a bad reputation for being ‘shiny’, plasticky and cringeworthy to the touch.  Things have moved on significantly since then and these days a manmade fibre can be as convincing as its natural counterpart, adding many benefits.

Many natural fabrics now contain a small amount of polyester to strengthen them, increase their longevity and provide better durability, making them washable and more resilient to staining.

Is linen hard wearing?

100% linen is made from flax and is hugely popular.  It tailors well and is available in endless colours and patterns.  Linen is perfectly suitable for your new headboard.

Our House Linen is a linen blend with a small amount of polyester to make it even more suitable for upholstery.  Our Brushed Linen collection is a washable linen union as seen below.

Iona Headboard – Brushed Linen Iora, 45ins, Swarovski Crystals.


What fabrics can be cleaned?

Most materials can be cleaned, some will need a professional approach in situ.

If you’re looking for a washable headboard cover, our headboards with optional removable covers (Harris and Caldey models) can be taken off and laundered.  We recommend dry cleaning.  Our Coll Bed is built with removable covers to the head ends and is especially suited to holiday lets and boutique hotels.

We are ready with helpful advice on how to clean your chosen headboard fabric -please ask.

For extra peace of mind, fabric protection can be applied to your finished items in our workshop to help guard against spills and accidents.

We also carry a number of materials that are treated with Aquaclean technology and Fibreguard.

Caldey Curved Headboard in Basket Textured Weave Blue Duck Egg

The popular Caldey Headboard has the option of a fixed or removable, washable cover


What is fabric protection?

Fabric protection is a clear, water based solution that is sprayed on your finished headboard, bed, ottoman or valance that provides a spill resisting treatment to the material.

It does not smell, change the look or feel of your fabric and is virtually undetectable.

It prevents liquid spills from penetrating the fibres of the fabric, providing a window for you to grab a cloth and remove the spill before it can set in.

Fabric protection can be added to all of your ordered items with us, by simply selecting it on the product page as part of your headboards essential add-ons.

To find out more about our Fabric Protection, click here.

Which Fabrics Are Fibreguard Treated?

Our Easy Care Bouclé is treated with fibreguard.


Which Fabrics Are Aquaclean Treated?

Our faux suede is treated with Aquaclean and stands up to the ‘pen test’.  Simply draw on the material with pen and wipe with soapy water on a rung dry cloth – see the pen disappear!  Faux suede is a fantastic choice for a child’s room or a commercial property


What should I look for when supplying my own material for a headboard or bed?

When supplying us with your own material, look for something with a high Martindale score, that is not silk or satin, that is not heavily beaded or embellished/embroidered.

If in doubt, send us an email with a link to your material and we will take a look and offer our opinion before you purchase the fabric.