Matelassé Fabric: History, Properties, Uses, Care, Where to Buy

Introduction to Matelassé Fabric

Matelassé Fabric is derived from the French word matelas, which implies cushion or pad in English and French. It is woven on a dobby or jacquard loom and has a textured design that creates the impression of quilting to decorative accessories and other home textiles. 

When it comes to home décor, Matelassé is widely used. It’s essentially a fabric created to make it easier to recreate the appearance of hand-quilted material. In many cases, the appearance is achieved by combining different types of strands.

What is the History of Matelassé Fabric?

In Marseilles, France, where the region’s renowned whitework quilting is famous, the textural techniques used to generate the designs of matelassé emerged. 

To replicate the hand-quilted fabrics made in France, which are made of three layers of fabric, one of batting and one of top fabric, the fabric was pieced together by hand stitching that went through each surface. 

In the early 1700s, a group of weavers in England succeeded in making this possible on a loom. Matisse textiles were created using whitework quilting procedures and textures to produce a woven tapestry. This approach was praised for mimicking the hand-quilted look on a loom. 

 When woven quilting methods were first placed available for sale commercially in the 1760s, their popularity exploded across Europe. The French word “matlasser” was adopted from the French word for quilting, from which the current name “Matelassé” comes. 

The garment was initially named “Marseilles cloth” in England. 

Properties of Matelassé Fabric

  • Has a puffy final appearance
  • It is a lightweight fabric
  • Is highly breathable
  • Doesn’t have high heat retention abilities

How is Matelassé Fabric Made?

The matelassé fabric composition combines meticulous attention to detail with great artistry and employs a complex weave design with several warp and weft sequences to create a textured appearance. 

Usually, three or four groups of warp and weft sequences are employed, with two of the bands consisting of regular warp and weft yarns and the additional groups comprising crepe or rough cotton threads, varying according to the size of the weave. 

Compared to simple looms, which are generally confined to simply one or two sets of knots, the intricacy of this structure is readily evident. The warp and weft threads in Matelassé fabrics interlock to create an overlapping motif that resembles quilting patterns. 

The face of the material has a velvety design that gives the impression that the fabric is cushioned. Cotton is the most widely used material in Matelassé’s, but the fabric can also be made using linen, wool, and even silk. 

The wide range of aesthetically appealing designs seen in Matelassé themes fabric includes everything from intricate patterns to simple geometrics.

Where is Matelassé Fabric Made?

The raw cotton is harvested from the plant, after which it is converted to yarn form in textile mills. The fabric is produced in France, Asian countries, and China, the market leader for textile in the current era.

Common uses of Matelassé Fabric

Matelassé is used for a wide variety of accessories and products. It has many in-house applications, making it a popular choice among consumers.

Daily wear

The fabric is used to make dresses and shirts in women’s and men’s apparel.

Home décor

Matelassé fabric is used on upholstery for slipcovers and pillow covers, and it is also used in bedding for duvet covers and pillow shams, among other applications. It is also utilized in the production of cot furniture and children’s bedding ensembles.

Sewing with Matelassé fabric

Matelassé fabric can be sewed using the right sewing essentials and sewing notions and supplies. The lightweight fabric can make customized napkins and table cloths, and dresses. You can sew and customize the dress according to your preference using hand-sewing needles.

Else, you can also sew it using a sewing machine like the Juki MO-1000, one of the best sewing machines available. Sewing patterns and designs on the fabric is also not difficult.

Dyeing with Matelassé fabric

Even though it may be unheard of, Matelassé fabrics can be dyed. Designers and consumers with distinct tastes and favored designs may find the approach valuable in their pursuits.

The Lace fabric can be dyed depending on the composition of the fabric. If made using cotton, silk, and other synthetic threads, the Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye can be used as the best fabric dye available.

How to care for Matelassé Fabric?

In terms of care and maintenance, matelassé fabric is not difficult to maintain; it can be washed and ironed without difficulty.


  • Use cold water to wash the fabric.
  • Avoid using harsh detergents; instead, use a gentle washing detergent for cleaning.
  • The machine setting should be set to a gentle or delicate cycle
  • Fabric softeners can be used
  • The fabric can be tumble-dried on a low setting, or you can even use the dryer in the machine.


  • Using a shark steam iron, press the fabric on the wrong side
  • Use a low heat setting and a press cloth
  • Use pins to ensure the fabric stays in place

Where to buy Matelassé Fabric?

Matelassé fabric can be purchased from fabric and garment retailers. Clients can also purchase Matelassé fabric from online stores and websites like and Amazon, which have the best Matelassé fabric available, such as the beautiful Kelly Ripa Home Style: Swoon.

It can be sold in several ways depending on the seller;

  • By yard
  • By Inches
  • Can be cut to order


Since matelassé fabric is available in such a wide range of high-quality levels and prices, it can range from incredibly affordable to extremely expensive, based on the material used and where it is acquired.


Matelassé fabric is a material that is more popular for usage in upholstery than in dresses. The unique pattern and nature of the fabric make it a perfect suit for such activities.


Matelassé actually refers to the pattern produced on fabric by a unique weaving or stitching technique. The fabric is usually either medium or heavier weight and has a raised patterned or quilted surface or appears quilted or padded. Matelassé fabric can be used for many different projects. Bedding, upholstery, window treatments, apparel items, and more can all be made with matelassé fabric.

Best Matelassé Fabrics

Here are our matelassé fabric reviews.

1. AbbeyShea Style: Vincent

This beautiful matelassé fabric has a quilted or patterned look, as is the signature of matelassé fabric. Matelassé is a versatile fabric that can be used for a wide variety of projects including home décor accents, slipcovers, and other upholstery projects, window treatments, apparel items, handbags, and bedding.

  • Fabric is dry clean only
  • This fabric is very heavyweight and is made from a blend of 68% cotton and 32% polyester
  • Comes in 55” widths
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2. Kelly Ripa Home Style: Swoon

This stunning line of matelassé floral print fabric features a quilted appearance in a geometric pattern. This fabric is very heavyweight, which makes it a good choice for all sorts of upholstery projects. It could also be used to make heavier window treatments, for accent pieces like pillows, and for bedding like duvet covers.

  • Dry clean
  • Fabric is a blend of 65% cotton and 35% polyester
  • Comes in 54” widths
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3. Splendid Home Style: Casey

This line of matelassé fabric comes in soft, pastel hues. The fabric has the signature matelassé appearance without actually being padded at all, though it is very heavyweight. This fabric would be a great choice for upholstery projects, accents like toss cushions, bedding, and more.

  • Fabric is 100% polyester
  • Comes in 54” widths
  • Dry cleaning is recommended to clean the fabric
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4. Stof France Baryton Velvet Matelassé

This unique matelassé fabric is quilted on both sides and feels soft and velvety to the touch. The fabric is very heavyweight and has an inner layer of polyester batting. Because of its unique construction, this matelassé fabric would be perfect for making blankets and other bedding, for quilted accessories like totes, and more.

  • Fabric is 100% polyester
  • Comes in 57” widths
  • Fabric can be laundered at home- machine wash, and tumble dry on low heat

Shop Now on Amazon for Fabric Check Today's Price on Amazon

5. Jennifer Adams Style: Andrea

This fabric has the signature matelassé padded look and is very heavyweight. The fabrics are available in this line feature neutral colors with a geometric print. This fabric could be a great choice for window treatments, upholstery, bedding, home décor accents, and more.

  • Fabric is very heavyweight and is made from 100% polyester
  • Available in 55” widths
  • Fabric can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth
Shop Now on Amazon for Fabric

Matelassé Fabric Buying Guide

Matelassé is a beautiful fabric with raised or textured surface. The fabric can be made from natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or a blend of both. Matelassé fabric is very versatile and can be used for a whole host of different projects. The fabric comes in many different colors and prints and is usually a medium to heavier weight fabric. Each line of fabric will have its own care instructions. Some are dry clean only, while others can be laundered at home, or just wiped down or spot cleaned with a damp cloth.

Cost of Matelassé Fabric

Matelassé fabric is more expensive than other fabrics, but considering that it is often a heavier weight fabric that is strong enough even for upholstery projects, the cost is often offset by the durability and the versatility of the fabric. The fabric is also generally quite uniquely patterned or quilted and is both elegant and beautiful, which also makes the cost of the fabric understandable. Matelassé fabric can often be purchased for anywhere between twenty-five to thirty dollars per yard, but is often cheaper when larger quantities of fabric are purchased.

A Fabric with Many Uses

Matelassé fabric is quite unique in that it can be used for so many different projects. It’s actually a little bit astounding how versatile matelassé fabric really is. Not many fabrics can be used both indoors and outdoors and are so versatile. Matelassé can be used for upholstery and slipcover projects, but it can also be used for many different home décor projects, window treatments, duvet covers, coverlets, apparel items, and fashion accessories, and more.

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