When one says upholstery fabric one is usually refering to wovens, as the design is woven into the fabric. They can also be a heavy weight fabric with a printed design. Or they can be embroidered. Crewel work fabric and the embroidered seahorse fabric are examples of these. But, no matter how the design added to the fabric, when most people think of upholstery fabric they are thinking of heavy weight fabric that will stand up to a lot of wear. But, with new technology there are now many fabrics that are lighter in weight, that will also stand up to a lot of abuse.