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What Is the Best Sofa Fabric for My Needs?

What Is the Best Sofa Fabric for My Needs?
Update Time:2018-03-27

What Is the Best Sofa Fabric for My Needs?




The sofa is typically the centerpiece of a living room or a family room. As the primary seating for the home, sofas will often suffer significant wear and tear. Guests sit on them, children play on them, families relax on them for hours as they watch a movie or enjoy a video game on the console of their choice. Wherever it is placed in the home, the sofa's fabric will eventually be worn so much that users will want to re-cover or replace it. Whether users plan to buy a new sofa or they plan to reupholster their old one, they will need to know some essential facts about sofa fabric so that they can choose the best type of fabric for their specific needs. This guide will explore a number of factors that can affect fabric selection for a sofa, and it will suggest some places to buy either a new sofa or the actual fabric for a reupholstery project.


Placement and Purpose

As buyers shop for their new sofa, they will first want to consider the location of the sofa that they are replacing or re-covering. The sofa may be a beautiful showpiece in the living room of a retired couple, or it may be a central seating area in the living room of a large family. Perhaps the sofa is in the basement or family room, where teens and their friends lounge on it, balancing pizza and drinks as they share laughs over a favorite TV show. Maybe the sofa is in the apartment of a few college students who own pets. The sofa's location typically affects the level of use that it will experience. A sofa in a high-traffic area will need a sturdy, strong, easy-to-clean fabric, while a sofa in a quiet room (such as a little-used sitting room or guest bedroom) can boast fine and luxurious upholstery.


Common Types of Sofa Fabric

The range of fabrics that is used as sofa coverings is vast and varied. However, a number of fabrics can be classified as common materials used to reupholster sofas. These include leather, faux leather, vinyl, microfiber, textured cotton, cotton polyester, and sometimes nylon.


Leather

Leather sofas are classy, timeless, and generally comfortable. If buyers are considering the purchase of a new leather sofa, or if they want their old, worn sofa re-covered in leather, they should first think about the expense that is involved. Leather is one of the most costly types of material that can be used for a sofa. It offers limited durability, allowing for easy cleanup of spills and most stains. However, it can be scraped, ripped, or cut by common items like pocket knives, keys, belt buckles, and other metal objects. It also tends to feel sticky and uncomfortable during hot summer days. Since leather sofas are easy to brush, sweep, or wipe, they are considered an ideal choice for households that have babies, toddlers, or pets that shed a lot of hair. The leather provides a certain level of protection for the interior padding of the sofa, making it more resistant against water damage and against embedded dirt or grease that might eventually cause the sofa to smell. Leather sofas usually give off little or no smell, even after years of use. Some sofas employ faux leather as a stronger, cheaper alternative to real leather. Artificial leather is almost as attractive as the real thing, and it provides great value and durability for the price.


Vinyl

Vinyl is a synthetic material that is sometimes used as a sofa covering. Its supple, elegant look is similar to that of leather. Vinyl is easy to clean and is rarely susceptible to stains. Although it can be ripped or torn by sharp objects, it can withstand years of normal wear and tear without becoming noticeably worn.


Textured Cotton Fabric

Sofas that are covered with a textured cotton fabric should not be placed in a highly trafficked room. Because of their textured quality, worn patches will begin to show up more quickly on a textured sofa. Textured cotton also tends to accumulate dust, grit, and dirt in its tiny crevices. If the sofa is not cleaned frequently and deeply, these miniscule bits of dirt will eventually cause stains and possibly even smells. While textured cotton sofas are attractive, they are generally considered showpieces rather than pieces that are intended for heavy daily use.


Cotton/Polyester Blend

A blend of cotton and polyester is a good all-around choice for sofa fabric. The synthetic polyester element strengthens the fabric and minimizes wrinkling, while the natural cotton element adds the comfort and eye appeal that buyers prefer. A sofa that is covered with a cotton/polyester blend should be able to withstand the rigors of daily use in the average household.


Microfiber Fabric

Microfiber has recently become a go-to favorite for home decor experts. Microfiber is softer than many other sofa fabrics. It feels almost like velvet or suede to the touch. Its miniscule polyester fibers provide durability while the soft design of the material lends itself to user comfort. If a guest spills a drink on the sofa, the microfiber surface allows for quick, thorough cleaning. While it does not clean quite as easily as leather, it is much less expensive. The closely-woven nature of the fabric also lessens the accumulation of dust and lint, making this fabric an excellent choice for users that suffer from dust allergies or sensitivities.


Nylon

While nylon can be used to re-cover a sofa, it does not typically provide a classy look. The color of a nylon-covered sofa will likely fade in direct sunlight. It does, however, offer durability against scrapes, pet claws, stains, spills, and other damaging events. This type of upholstery may be best suited for an older sofa that is becoming part of a teen's bedroom or a basement recreation area.


Additional Options

In addition to the fabrics that have already been discussed, buyers might encounter sofa fabrics such as chenille, silk, wool, velvet, linen, and others. However, due to their limited durability and the difficulty that is involved in cleaning them, these fabrics are typically not an option for the average household. Most buyers will want to select sturdier materials for their sofa.


Colors and Patterns

The new sofa, or the fabric used to re-cover the original sofa, will need to coordinate with the current decor of the room in which it is placed. Homeowners whose furniture frequently suffers spills may want either a leather sofa or a sofa fabric with a bold pattern that can conceal stains and spots. Buyers who have incorporated European decor throughout the room will want a sofa that complements their other furniture. If buyers are placing the sofa in a room that is full of unique art or beautiful family photos, they may want a fabric that is less ornate (in a dark or subdued color, for example) so that the sofa will not detract from the important pieces in the room. In essence, a casual room will need a more casual sofa, while a more elegant space requires more expensive sofa fabric. Sofas with bold, large patterns generally look best in spacious rooms, whereas sofas with small patterns work well in settings that are more intimate.


If you are purchasing an entire sofa instead of just the fabric, be sure to search for listings that offer free shipping or for listings from sellers that are in your area. You should also ensure that the listing includes a return policy and bears a Top Rated seller seal whenever possible. Top Rated sellers are sellers who have received very positive feedback from their previous customers and are likely to provide you with a worthwhile product and a satisfactory shopping experience. If you have any questions or if you need additional photos of the sofa or of the sofa fabric, just click Contact Member on the seller's profile page or click Ask a Question on the listing page.


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