Like with most fabrics, upholstery fabrics are divided into two, natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics.
Natural fabrics include cotton, cotton blends, linen, vinyl, silk, wool, etc. Cotton is comparatively durable, is resistant to wear and fading. Cotton can survive rough use, but it is not resistant to wrinkle or dirt. If what you need is an upholstery that will remain crease-free, then go for wool or cotton blends and stay far away from linen. Linen is highly prone to wrinkles, but is equally resistant to wear. If durability is what you are looking for, then don’t think twice about choosing leather. Leather is highly durable and will give your living room a lux look. It can withstand years of rough use and only gets better with age. For a high-maintenance luxurious look, silk is your best option. You can use silk in traditional rooms that are very rarely used.
Synthetic fibres like nylon, rayon and polyester are known for their durability. Like with cotton, rayon is a strong fabric whose only vice is wrinkle-susceptibility. Polyester was a fibre developed to solve this issue. Although polyester is rarely used alone, it is extensively used in combination with other fabrics to improve wrinkle-resistance. Nylon is another wrinkle-resistant fabric which is also incidentally one of the strongest synthetic fibres in the market. Acetate and Acrylic were developed as imitation silk and wool respectively. Olefin is another great choice for your upholstery as it has heavy wear-resistance.
So next time you need a furniture revamp, try a new upholstery instead of replacing all your existing furniture. Why waste resources, if you can be more economical this way?