Office chairs often have an upholstered foam seat cushion and either a mesh or upholstered backrest. To reduce perspiring commonly associated with leather and vinyl upholstery, office chair seats are usually covered with a breathable fabric. There are many upholstery fabrics available, and some are more suitable for office chairs than others. What is the best option?
Fabric options for office chairs
Wool is the most common natural fabric used for office chairs. However, due to the high cost of wool, most upholstery fabrics are synthetic, and are either acrylic or polyester, or are a blended combination of the two.
At Karo, we use polyester fabrics as a standard for our seating ranges.
Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate or PET) was discovered in a DuPont laboratory in the late 1930s. In 1941, a group of British scientists further developed this discovery and created the first commercial polyester fiber. Today, most polyester fabrics are made from recycled plastics.
In most cases where we upholster our office chair seats and/or backrests, we use the Vulcan range of fabric available from Weavers World.
Vulcan is a 100% polyester fabric that is manufactured in South Africa entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
Polyester is the most common upholstery fabric for office chairs. It’s low cost, strength, flexibility and stain resistance, are among it’s most significant advantages. Below are the important pros and cons.
Advantages of using polyester fabric for office chair upholstery
Disadvantages of using polyester fabric for office chair upholstery
Polyester is arguably the most common upholstery fabric for an office chair. The cost, durability, and ease of cleaning gives it the edge over natural fabrics like wool.
Published: 9 September 2021
Author: George Mashinini
Office Ergonomics Risk Facilitator at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd