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Textiles: Using Fabrics in Your Design

The first step of interior design is selecting the color and style of textiles for your office furniture. Thanks to our partnership with MillerKnoll, Office Interiors’ customers have a wide variety of design options to choose from.


However, as we approach 2023, there are certain textiles and design patterns that are particularly favored for their versatility, durability, and high quality. From office spaces to medical services, discover which favored Office Interiors’ textiles will best suit your brand.

What are Textiles?

Commonly recognized in the design or fashion industry, textiles are fabrics frequently used for furniture upholstery. From home offices to corporate conference rooms, textiles cover a wide variety of office furniture and provide protective qualities to suit almost every industry. But how do textiles impact office design? Clients often judge a company visually first; therefore, when looking to draw in clientele or retain customers, its crucial businesses consider the proper textiles and colors that will suit their company’s image.

Rolled in several meters of fabric called bolts, Office Interiors’ textiles come in a wide range of colors, which can be selected or customized to match specific colors from dyes. Since these color vats must be made in bulk, at least a bolt worth of textile material must be ordered to acquire these textile customizations.

Textile Styles and Quality Testing

Without textiles, office furniture holds little to no aesthetic appeal for clients. Since first impressions are made by viewing an establishment, textiles help provide comfort and aesthetic unity to your company brand in a way that words alone cannot accomplish. Textiles help businesses implicitly express their brand image in a uniquely creative style to attract the right customers.

While vendors test and rate which materials go best with various products, our design team also evaluates the quality of materials based on:

  • Strength: how much weight can a textile withstand before breaking or tearing under pressure.
  • Mobility: to what degree can the fabric stretch, shift, and adjust to give the user freedom of movement throughout the workday.
  • Durability: how much the textile can endure movement and weight long-term before wearing down. Designers test textile durability through a double-rub test, wherein a machine pushes on the fabric a thousand times to simulate a repetitive sitting motion from users.
  • Cleanability: how well a material can withstand stains or cleaning chemicals. While our services include Crypton coating to insulate against stains, textiles can also be applied as “naked” onto furniture, and thus require a natural defense against bacteria or damage.
  • Flame-retardancy: By law, materials used in healthcare require a certain degree of flame-resistance to protect patients and medical workers. Many of Office Interiors’ favored textiles are fire-proof, guaranteeing tested protective qualities to all local medical personnel.
LIS 36589 20171204120258923 G
Office Interiors' furniture can be custom made in a variety of textiles, such as fabric, leather, silicone, or vinyl. One staple piece, the Eames lounge, which can be draped in a range of fabric textiles.

Favored Textiles at Office Interiors

Aside from aesthetics and comfort, a notable recent design trend favors sustainable textiles. Since the pandemic, more businesses are trying to incorporate eco-friendly, protective textiles into their office renovations. Here are some favored textile choices that fall into this category:


Despite being a fiber sourced primarily from sheep and other animals, wool offers numerous design benefits as a furniture upholstery. Not only does wool create warmth during the winter, but this textile is naturally fire-retardant despite being a cloth. Due to its tight weaving, a large amount of oxygen is needed for wool to burn, thereby making this material practical in several ways. While wool textiles do require stain protection top-coating, customers who select wool for their office renovation will not be disappointed.


Made primarily of polyurethane, vinyl is a synthetic material that’s turned into non-woven plastic textiles, which attempt to mimic leather yet create a stiffer pattern. Due to the synthetic nature of this material, vinyl creates an uninhabitable environment for bacteria, making it not only safe to use but easier to clean than an organic textile since most cloths cannot be bleached. As a result, many hospitals use vinyl to ensure safety and limited cross-contamination between patients within close quarters. Although its popularity has grown over 50% in many non-medical fields, the downsides to vinyl are its lack of durability and environmental issues. Since it quickly breaks down over time, vinyl textiles tend to not last long, thereby creating more waste as non-biodegradable plastic.


Surprisingly, the use of silicone textiles has expanded across many industries this past year. Combined with other synthetic plastics such as polyester and spandex, silicone is much like vinyl aside from its eco-friendly properties. Boasting higher durability and antibacterial cleaning properties, silicone textiles are much softer than vinyl material yet bear little risk of breaking down. As soft as leather yet more sustainable for the environment, silicone is predicted to become one of the top material choices for 2023. However, since silicone textiles are slick, this material isn’t recommended for nursing homes, where slipping can cause slipping and severe risk injury.

Finding the right textile for your office furniture requires consideration of pattern, color, and purpose of the furniture within the workspace. Together, these factors and the quality of material may impact the grade and overall pricing of your design order. When it comes time to renovate your office, rely on Office Interiors’ designers to provide the best guidance and expertise on MillerKnoll textiles. Visit Office Interiors today to start your renovation.

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