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How to Choose the Right Office Chair Fabric


Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Office Chairs

There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to selecting the perfect fabric for your office chairs. However, the wide selection of material types now available can be both a blessing and a curse: while there’s something to suit every workplace, it can be a challenge to narrow your choices down so that you end up with chairs that really meet your needs.

Before you make any decisions, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type of material type. So that you have the right information to hand when you go shopping, we’ve dived into the details of the main fabric types we offer for offices chairs at BFX.

Understanding your options

  1. Fabric Office Chairs: Office chair fabric comes in a plethora of colours, patterns, textures and material types such as heavy-duty polyester and nylon, with enough variety to ensure that chairs can be customised perfectly to any décor. Fabric offers great comfort and breathability with a softer, more cushioned feel, making it suitable for long hours of sitting. Unfortunately, some types of fabric are not particularly stain resistant and may require more maintenance to remain clean and odour free. (Take a look at our Riva Max Ergo Chair)
  2. Leather Office Chairs: Leather exudes sophistication and professionalism, making it a popular choice for executive offices and conference rooms. While there are fewer colour and texture choices than fabric or vinyl, there are still plenty of options that will fit seamlessly into any décor scheme. Leather office chairs tend to be very comfortable, but not terribly breathable in summer or in hot climates. While it’s durable and simple to wipe clean – ideal for high traffic areas like waiting rooms and meeting rooms – it can scratch easily. (Take a look at our Executive Chair range)
  3. Vinyl Office Chairs: A low-cost and more durable alternative leather, vinyl offers a greater choice of colours and textures. It’s easy to clean and resistant to stains, and can be treated with antimicrobial agents, making it an excellent option for high-traffic areas and environments where cleanliness is paramount, such as healthcare facilities or laboratories. Vinyl is available in a variety of colours and textures, making it possible to achieve your desired aesthetic without compromising on practicality. Unfortunately, being a plastic material, vinyl isn’t breathable like fabric which can get uncomfortable during extended use and in warm weather. (Take a look at the Core Full Ergo Chair in black PU leather)

What to Consider When Selecting Fabric for Office Chairs

When choosing the right fabric for your office chairs, several factors should influence your decision:

  • Durability: Consider the chair’s intended use and how much wear and tear it’s likely to endure. If your chairs are in high traffic/use areas, look for fabrics with high abrasion resistance ratings to ensure longevity. Leather and vinyl are particularly durable options that can withstand heavy use without showing signs of wear.
  • Comfort: If someone is sitting in a chair for eight hours per day, comfort is crucial. Look for fabrics that provide adequate cushioning and breathability to keep users comfortable throughout the workday. We also suggest considering the climate of your workspace (completely air-conditioned, partially airconditioned e.g. warehouse) and how it might affect the comfort level of the fabric. Breathable fabrics like mesh or cotton blends are ideal for warmer environments, while plush fabrics like velvet or leather provide extra cosiness in colder climates.
  • Aesthetic value: The fabric you choose should complement the overall design aesthetic of your office space. Carefully consider colour, pattern, and texture to ensure the chairs enhance, rather than detract from the look you are trying to achieve. Durability also plays a role here as fabrics that wear badly will affect the appearance of the space.
  • Maintenance: of maintenance is crucial when choosing office chair fabric for environments prone to spills or accidents. Opt for fabrics that are stain-resistant and easy to clean like leather and vinyl which can typically be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Fabrics may require more frequent vacuuming or spot cleaning but there are ranges available that are antimicrobial, anti-dust mite and stain resistant to reduce the amount of maintenance required.
  • Budget: The more durable the fabric, the less you’ll have to replace the chairs, saving your money in the long run, so we recommend choosing the most durable fabric that fits within your budget. Keep in mind that while leather may be more expensive upfront, it could offer long-term cost savings due to its durability.

Don’t forget about customisation

You don’t have to limit yourself to ranges of ready-to-purchase chairs, many of our chairs can be customised with your choice of fabric or vinyl.


We use Warwick Fabrics who manufacture several types of fabrics with different levels of durability and textures in literally dozens of colours. You can also introduce a unique, Australian flair into your workspace with our Ninderry range. Check them out


Today’s vinyl options extend beyond the traditional shiny version you remember to fabric-like textures, matte and leather-look varieties. Take a look

The Last Word

While often overlooked, the fabric you choose for your office chairs can have a big impact on the comfort and durability of your chairs, and the visual appeal of your office. By considering the type of workspace you have, and the intended use of the chairs, then weighing up the factors discussed above, you’ll be able to choose material for your office chairs that looks great, feels great and stands the test of time. Our team is here to help, contact them today to discuss your needs.

Choice of ColoursExcellentExcellentLow
Choice of TexturesExcellentLimitedVery Limited
Fabric customisation available?Y - Limited to certain modelsY - Limited to certain modelsY - Limited to certain models
Stain ResistanceLimited-GoodExcellentExcellent
Level of Maintenance RequiredHighLowLow
Anti-microbial treatment available?YesYesNo
Suitable for Clinical Settings?NoYesNo
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