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A Complete Guide to Upholstery Fabrics at La-Z-Boy Ottawa & Kingston

May 18, 2023

la-Z-Boy Upholstery Grade Fabrics

Est. Reading Time: 7 Mins

Choosing the perfect living room furniture for your home involves more than just considering its shape and design – the fabric or leather used to cover it plays an equally important role. 

In fact, the type of fabric can significantly impact your overall satisfaction with the piece. 

Say you were trying to find the best fabric for your sofa. From the texture and temperature to the look and durability, there are a variety of factors to evaluate when selecting the right upholstery for your furniture.

Whether you have a clear vision in mind or are still exploring your options, La-Z-Boy Ottawa and Kingston have got you covered. With a wide variety of styles, fabrics, and designs to choose from, our local furniture stores in Ottawa and Kingston are sure to help you find something to suit your unique taste.

While we're confident that we can help you find the perfect fabric for your furniture, it's important to understand how La-Z-Boy's upholstery fabric grades work and how they impact the price, quality, and overall style of your living room furniture. 

That's why we've put together this article – to help you better understand the different fabric grades offered at La-Z-Boy and make an informed decision on what’s the best fabric for your sofa and other La-Z-Boy furniture pieces!

In This Article…

  1. Understanding La-Z-Boy’s Fabric Grades
  2. Which Fabric Grade is Right For You?

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Understanding La-Z-Boy's Fabric Grades

If you’re reading this article, you might already know what determines the grade of upholstery fabric. If not, some of the determining factors are the type of materials and construction of each type of fabric.

Each level of fabric grade constitutes a different level of quality, durability, weave type, or way of construction. While these factors are different from one another, they also determine how expensive the cost of each fabric is.

In La-Z-Boy’s case, this fabric grade system is very similar to the aforementioned determining factors. 

Grading System


In any Ottawa and Kingston showroom, you will find a Design Centre with a wall of fabrics ready to be put on a La-Z-Boy furniture piece. With the guidance of an interior designer, you can determine which upholstery cover is the best fabric for your sofa.

La-Z-Boy places its upholstery fabric grades in a lettering system. As of now, the lowest grade of fabric is a B-grade while the highest is a Q-grade.

Cecile Panet-Raymond is the head of merchandising and knows everything about La-Z-Boy’s fabric grading system. She says, “While there are B-grade fabrics still available, there are not as many as our next lowest grade, which is C. That is why you might hear design consultants refer to a C-grade fabric more than a B-grade fabric.” 

Because B-grade fabrics are the lowest grade available at La-Z-Boy, they are some of the least expensive fabrics you can add to a furniture item. This would mean that Q-grade fabrics would be the most expensive.

However, it's important to note that while B-grade fabrics may be the most affordable, they are not necessarily low in quality. La-Z-Boy's fabric grades are determined by the materials used and the weaving and manufacturing techniques employed. 

For example, a C-grade fabric will feel different in texture compared to a B or a D-grade fabric, even though they are close together in scale.

Wearability is another crucial factor that distinguishes different types of fabrics from their fabric-grade counterparts. For instance, you may have a particular fabric in mind that you'd like to use on a specific furniture frame that has caught your eye. However, the wearability of the fabric may not be suitable for that furniture frame, which could limit your options.

Wearability may not affect the cost, but it does separate the fabrics even more than just their level of grading. For example, some C-grade fabrics may have a normal wearability level, while others may have a medium wearability level.

There are also certain fabrics that may not be available for a specific living room furniture piece, simply because it does not go with the frame. For example, La-Z-Boy recliner fabrics may not match with all upholstery fabrics, due to their flexibility and wearability.

But what does normal and medium wearability mean? La-Z-Boy divides its fabrics into three different types of wearability to help you choose the best fabric for a sofa or other furniture frames:

  1. Normal Wearability: These fabrics are recommended for use on all La-Z-Boy upholstered furniture.
  2. Medium Wearability: These fabrics are recommended for use on sofas, sleeper sofas, Duo furniture, Designer’s Choice furniture, and other stationary furniture pieces. Not available for reclining furniture.
  3. Performance: High wearability is recommended for use on all La-Z-Boy upholstered furniture. Performance fabrics are similar to normal wearability but have a higher chance of avoiding fabric pilling, abrasions and fraying.

It is also important to remember that upholstery fabric options may be discontinued or unavailable without prior notice. We recommend contacting your local Ottawa or Kingston La-Z-Boy location by phone or in-person to confirm availability. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by any changes to our upholstery selection.

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Select Fabrics

Have you ever come across the term "select fabric" while shopping for furniture in Ottawa? This is another category of materials that you might want to consider for your upholstery cover. Let's explore what select fabrics are and what they can offer for your furniture piece.

A Select fabric is a collection of choices listed for a specific furniture frame with no added cost. These types of fabrics are married to specific furniture frames for best-priced value. 

Even though there is no cost associated with their married frames, this does not mean they can be put on other furniture items. However, should you choose a fabric that is not a select fabric for a furniture piece, there will be an added “custom fabric” charge, depending on the fabric grade.

Further, a select fabric does not mean that these fabrics are the lowest quality or constructed upholstery covers available at La-Z-Boy. According to Cecile, sometimes a Q-grade fabric can be considered a select fabric if predetermined by La-Z-Boy’s corporate team.

La-Z-Boy also has select leathers available. When it comes to select leathers, though, they cannot be put on anything else but the frame they are married to. To learn more about La-Z-Boy’s Leather Selection, take a look at this article.


Performance Fabrics

Finally, La-Z-Boy offers other specialty fabrics that excel in certain areas of expertise. Depending on the type of fabric you choose, an upholstery cover may add even more value to your furniture item than expected.

Performance fabrics help in many different ways, including cleaning your furniture with ease, creating less wear and tear on your furniture, preventing the spread of certain bacteria, and even restoring unused energy back into your body.

La-Z-Boy classifies performance  fabrics into five different categories, each with its own varying degree of fabric grading. Just see below for yourself! 

Stain Resistant Covers

Innovative iClean Technology surrounds each fabric and leather fibre, creating a barrier that repels spills before turning into stains.

Pet Friendly Fabric

Tested and formulated to withstand the scratches and wear that a pet can cause to ensure a durable and easily washable fabric.

Antimicrobial Covers

Antimicrobial properties surround each cover to protect against mould, mildew, and odour-causing bacteria.


Conserve Sustainable Fabrics are soft, durable and made from recycled water bottles.

Energy Restoration

Restore by Nanobionic® features a mineral-based fabric coating that transforms natural body heat into energy using infrared technology.

Combining performance fabrics is an option and can enhance the performance and functionality of your furniture cover. For instance, you can choose an iClean fabric that is also pet-friendly, providing both stain resistance and durability. However, not all combinations of performance fabrics are possible. If you are interested in a specific combination, it's best to speak with a design consultant to clarify its feasibility.


Which Fabric Grade is Right For You?

Now that you have a better understanding of the different fabric grades and options available at La-Z-Boy, you are equipped to make an informed decision about what type of fabric will work best for your needs. However, with so many choices to consider, it's natural to still feel uncertain about which upholstery fabric to choose.

To help you out with your fabric choice, here are some factors to consider before making your definitive decision. 

One of the main factors to consider when selecting a fabric is its cost. As previously mentioned, select fabrics are a more budget-friendly option when choosing upholstery for your furniture.

However, you might feel like your select fabric options are limited. After all, the average choice for a furniture product is around 4-6 select fabrics. Compared to the other 800+ choices, it feels like a drop in the bucket of how many fabrics you can go for.

If you decide to go anywhere outside the select fabric choice, remember that additional fees will be associated with Custom Fabrics. It is also always important to look out for which fabric grade you’re choosing as well, since the lower you go down the alphabet, the higher your price range will be.

Cost also matters when choosing the type of furniture frame. The amount of fabric by the yard used with also affect your cost. If you decide to go for a bigger living room furniture frame like a sectional sofa, you’re going to be paying for more materials, and more fabric by the yard.

Another important factor to consider is the level of functionality you might need from your fabric choice. Are you someone with a busy household and want a fabric that’s more durable? Or do you prioritize style more than practicality? Or do you see yourself owning La-Z-Boy recliners with fabric? Consider these questions!

If you frequently host parties or have children who are accident-prone, an iClean cover might be a wise investment. For pet owners, pet-friendly fabrics offer excellent durability against wear and tear. Those who prioritize environmental sustainability can opt for Conserve fabrics, which can help reduce their carbon footprint.

WO4b_Alexandria_Conserve_630-682_E165327_023By determining your living room furniture needs, you can make an informed decision about whether you require specialty fabrics that offer additional features.

Finally, choosing the right furniture also depends on how the upholstery fabric feels. If you’re trying to find the most cost-effective decision and suffer from decision paralysis, you may feel inclined to stay within the select fabric options. 

But if you are looking to create a more personalized look for your furniture, perhaps looking farther out of the select options is better. This is why La-Z-Boy offers free fabric swatches that you can order, so you can decide at home which fabrics could be suitable for you. 



What's Next?

La-Z-Boy values furniture customization, which is why there are numerous fabric upholstery covers available to choose from. This not only offers customers a wide variety of options but also enables them to personalize their furniture and create a unique piece for their stylish home.

If you’re still having a hard time making your decision, this is where a design consultant or an interior designer may come in handy. Our designers are always eager to lend a helping hand, especially when helping you choose the right fabric or leather cover for your furniture. 

To speak to one of our consultants or designers today, visit us at any of our local Ottawa & Kingston locations. You can also book an appointment online before coming in.

If you’re interested in learning more about our La-Z-Boy products, check out some of these articles:

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Related Articles:

How to Choose the Right Sofa Colour

How to Mix Fabric & Leather Furniture

Furniture Care Tips

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