Why Natural Fabrics Are Making a Comeback in Furniture Design

Modern Sofas in Melbourne by Gainsville Furniture

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of using natural fabrics in furniture design. Consumers who value comfort, sustainability and style are increasingly gravitating towards furniture made from materials like linen, cotton, wool, rattan and even bamboo. This trend represents a departure from synthetic materials like rayon, polyester, acrylic and vinyl that dominated the industry for decades.

While synthetic materials have their benefits, notably in their ease of cleaning and cost-effectiveness, they are seldom recyclable and can have negative environmental impacts during production and disposal. This is a major reason why the environmentally conscious clientele of today prefers investing in quality, organic materials that are unlikely to harm the environment.

Let’s look at some more reasons why natural fabrics are making a comeback in furniture design and why you should consider them the next time you go shopping for luxury furniture in Melbourne:


Perhaps one of the most prominent reasons why natural fabrics are becoming increasingly popular in furniture design is the increased comfort they offer. Unlike synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon, natural fabrics like cotton and linen are breathable and can adapt to changes in temperature. They are also softer and more pleasing to the touch, making them incredibly comfortable to sit on.

Linen, for example, is a lightweight, breathable fabric that is perfect for the hot summer months of Melbourne because of its cool, crisp feel. On the other hand, the winter months of Melbourne demand heavier natural fabrics like wool and leather, which offer a soft, cosy feel that can keep you warm even on the coldest of nights.


Another major reason why natural fabrics are gaining popularity is because of their sustainability. It is estimated that over 85% of the furniture Australians dispose of yearly ends up in landfills instead of being recycled. Approximately one-third of this disposed of furniture consists of sofas and armchairs, whereas two-thirds is wooden furniture. A major reason behind this is the increasing popularity of mass-produced, cheaply-made furniture that becomes useless after a few years.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are typically made from petroleum-based materials, which are not sustainable. In contrast, natural fabrics, which are far more environment-friendly, are made from plants and animals. For example, cotton and linen are natural fibres derived from cotton and flax plants. Although these plants require water and nutrients to grow, they can be replanted year after year. Similarly, wool, which comes from sheep, can be shorn each year without harming the animal. They are also long-lasting, biodegradable, and compostable, which means they can be recycled or disposed of safely after they have outlived their use.

When it comes to wooden furniture, well-made, high-quality wooden furniture can last decades if cared for properly. Even when they have outlived their use or have broken, they can be repaired, recycled, upcycled, repurposed or even donated so another family can enjoy it.


A common misconception about natural fabrics is that they do not look as stylish as their synthetic counterparts. Synthetic fabrics are available in thousands of colours and styles, which means anyone can find something they like. But natural fabrics like leather, wool and cotton have a timeless, classic look that can add warmth, texture and a touch of luxury to any room they are placed in. Unlike synthetic fabrics, natural fabrics are unique and can make a space feel more inviting and comfortable.

Leather is perfect for homeowners who look for elegance and style when searching for luxury furniture in Melbourne. Linen, on the other hand, goes well with beachy or coastal-style homes because of its more relaxed and casual look, whereas wool suits cabins or mountain-style homes due to its traditional, cosy feel.

In addition to their organic look and feel, natural fabrics today also come in various colours and patterns. This means that, like synthetic fabrics, you can also find natural upholstery that will complement your existing decor or add a pop of colour to a neutral space.

Tips for Choosing Natural Fabrics

If you are interested in incorporating natural fabrics into your furniture design, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider how the furniture is likely to be used. If you are looking for upholstery that will be used frequently, look for durable fabrics like leather, wool or cotton. On the other hand, if the furniture is likely to be mostly decorative, linen or more luxurious fabrics like silk may be a good choice.
  • Look for high-quality materials. You want your furniture to last you a long time. Natural fabrics can vary in quality based on how they are processed and woven. Remember: the higher the thread count, the more durable and comfortable the fabric is likely to be.
  • Consider the care requirements. Natural fabrics like cotton or leather may have special care requirements, such as spot cleaning or dry cleaning. Ask your retailer how to care for your furniture when buying modern sofas in Melbourne.
  • Dare to experiment and mix and match. Natural fabrics can work well together, so don’t be afraid to pair that linen sofa with a wool armchair or chuck a woollen throw on that cotton armchair for those chilly Melbourne evenings.

Natural fabrics are making a comeback in furniture design for good reason. They are a great option for anyone looking to invest in quality, luxury furniture in Melbourne and across Australia. Whether you choose leather, wool, cotton or another natural fabric, you can feel good about your purchase knowing that it is environment-friendly and will last you years to come.

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