Well-made sofas are the best investment for your living room. While construction is the most important aspect, the upholstery is equally significant. Sofas need a fabric that’s durable, comfortable and long-lasting. Neutral fabrics are a versatile choice, as they can easily work in any room.
Cotton and linen work well, as does stain-resistant synthetic microfiber. Silk is smooth but fragile, and fabrics that are a blend of natural and synthetic fibers are not durable either. The most ideal choices are wool and leather, however, they’re also the most expensive.
Aside from the cost, there are other challenges when you’re looking for the right fabric for your sofa. Finding all your favorite types of sofas under one roof can be difficult. Thankfully, if you shop at the right retailer, you can find the best sofa selection you will ever see at reasonable prices.
Here is an overview of the fabric choices to invest in:
Woven fabrics are created by weaving threads together, and the tightness of the weave determines the feel and durability of the fabric. Linens usually have a looser weave, which means they drape gracefully on your sofa. However, unless the linen has a heavy thread count, it can also wear out easily. Linen and polyester blends are more resistant to stains and are longer lasting.
Cotton weaves can usually be machine washed. It’s generally advised to check the rub count, which is determined by a machine that runs back and forth over a piece of fabric until it wears down. 20,000 rubs or higher is generally better for upholstery.
Fabrics that perform both indoors as well as outdoors are usually made of acrylic and are dyed all the way through. As they hold color through the thread, they generally don’t stain or get bleached by the sun. However, some indoor/outdoor fabrics contain harmful PFC chemicals. They can also be heard to clean in case of oily condiment spills like ketchup or mustard.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester, microfiber, acetate, polypropylene, nylon, olefin and acrylic tend to not be as soft and breathable as natural fabrics, but they also don’t break down as easily and are easier to clean and more resistant to stains than other options. However, they can attract pet hair, lint and debris, and can sometimes even perpetuate static electricity.
Leather upholstery is the most durable, stain-resistant and easy to clean upholstery. Leather sofas can last up to four times longer than fabric sofas. Tough and flexible, leather resists tearing and is strong at the seams. Leather upholstery also ages well, looking more inviting as it grows older.
Velvet sofas look luxurious but can only be cleaned professionally. Silk velvet is smoothest, but also the most delicate. Cotton velvets crush easily. Mohair is the most durable and dirt resistant but also the most expensive. Synthetic velvets made of polyester are the most common but also lack breathability and luxuriousness in comparison to other types.
These are some of the most popular types of fabric for your sofa. Picking the right one depends on your needs and your budget. It’s best to find a store that has many options so that you can experience them firsthand.