Upholstered furniture. What material will work best?

16 of January '24

A comfortable sofa is the most important place in almost every Polish living room. The ideal piece of lounge furniture must combine two key functions: decorative and purely utilitarian. This is why most of us rely on upholstered furniture. A comfortable and functional corner sofa works perfectly as the center of family life, an additional place to sleep and eat meals. With such intensive use, it is important that your sofa has a durable and easy to maintain upholstery material. Every family's requirements are different, but the goal essentially remains the same: the couch is to serve us in impeccable condition for many years. Which upholstery fabric will work well in your living room? We suggest what to pay attention to!

How to wisely choose fabric for a sofa and corner sofa?

The choice of upholstery fabric for lounge furniture often drags on endlessly and is subject to many doubts. Why? On the one hand, furniture stores tempt you with thousands of options and offer a huge selection of fabric patterns for each sofa. On the other, you are aware that you buy living room furniture once a decade. The upholstery of a sofa can get faded, off-white or damaged in many other ways. There's a reason the question „which upholstery fabric is the best?keeps you awake at night.

To make the best decision, think about what you require from your lounge furniture and set your top priorities:

  • parents of young children will appreciate a fabric that is resistant to dirt and easy to keep clean,

  • allergy sufferers should avoid textile upholstery with long fibers that collect dust,

  • if you are a fan of timeless classics, choose durable upholstery in a classic shade,

  • the fabric for a corner sofa with sleeping function should have high abrasion resistance,

  • in homes full of pets, smooth and strong upholstery materials will work best.

These are just a few of the most important tips that can be a starting point in choosing an upholstery fabric. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of upholstery fabrics, it is useful to know their most important characteristics.

Meble do salonu kupujesz raz na dekadę. Warto zastanowić się, czego od nich wymagasz i w jaki sposób będą używane

You buy living room furniture once a decade. It is worth considering what you require of them and how they will be used

Photo: Sven Brandsma © Unsplash

Is leather a good upholstery material?

Leather and eco-leather are two types of upholstery that share a smooth texture with a soft sheen. But that's where the similarities between them end — the properties of each of these materials are quite different.

Natural leather

This is one of the most expensive upholstery materials, it is even considered a sign of luxury. A leather sofa is pleasant to touch, resistant to discoloration, moisture, mechanical damage and heat. Natural leather is also an ideal material for allergy sufferers: it does not cause allergies and does not have fibers that could accumulate allergens. However, you need to know that the purchase of leather furniture involves the obligation of regular maintenance. Only careful cleaning with the right products will keep the leather in excellent condition for many years. Unfortunately, leather upholstery can be easily damaged by the claws and teeth of domestic pets.

Eco-leather

This is a synthetic material that can deceptively resemble real leather. Leather-like upholstery (also known as skai or derma), is a product made of polyester, covered with a layer of vinyl. Synthetic furniture upholstery has its advantages: it is resistant to stains and damage, easily washable, and much cheaper than its natural counterpart. The main disadvantages of eco-leather, however, are air impermeability and low durability. You will quickly see peeling upholstery on heavily used skai furniture. When is it worth opting for artificial leather? It's a good choice if you reckon with the risk of rapid wear of furniture by small children and unruly pets.

Naturalna skóra to stylowy i elegancki materiał tapicerski. Ze względu na gładką powierzchnię, jest doskonałym wyborem dla alergików

Natural leather is a stylish and elegant upholstery material. Because of its smooth surface, it is an excellent choice for allergy sufferers

Photo: Cater Yang © Unsplash

Which upholstery fabric is best?

Upholstery fabrics are a rich family of materials, made from modern nylon fibers. Depending on the weave and technology used, they will differ in appearance and properties. A common feature of these fabrics is a soft and pleasant to touch surface. The fabrics do not stick to the skin when exposed to heat, are air permeable and easy to clean with standard chemicals.

Plush – upholstery material for corner and couch

Plush is one of the most popular upholstery materials with a characteristic soft and fluffy texture. This type of fabric is made from pile, which is trimmed to the appropriate length at the last stage of production. It is worth knowing that plush is a general name for a group of fabrics that can be divided according to the technique of manufacture:

  • velvet has a pile of silk up to 3 mm long,

  • velour has a warp pile,

  • velvet has a weft warp.

All plush fabrics are soft, abrasion-resistant and extremely durable. However, is it the ideal upholstery fabric for a couch in any home? Unfortunately, the texture of plush acts like a magnet for all kinds of pollen, dust and pet hair. So it's worth arming yourself with patience and a handy vacuum cleaner.

Flock – the best upholstery fabric for pet owners

Flocks resemble plush fabrics in appearance, but they are distinguished by their manufacturing technique. Flocking involves thermal bonding of the fleece to the base fabric. Thanks to this process, flocks gain extraordinary density without losing their soft and pleasant structure. A piece of furniture upholstered with flock becomes resistant to pulling, which is very much appreciated by pet owners.

Wszystkie tkaniny pluszowe są miękkie, odporne na ścieranie oraz niezwykle wytrzymałe. Niestety, trzeba je regularnie odkurzać, gdyż łatwo przyciągają sierść i alergeny

All plush fabrics are soft, resistant to abrasion and extremely durable. Unfortunately, they need to be vacuumed regularly, as they easily attract dander and allergens

Photo: Tucker Good © Unsplash

Chenille – a beautiful and resistant finish for any piece of furniture

Chenille fabrics are distinguished by their exceptionally fleshy texture. Their name comes from the French chenille, meaning caterpillar. The chenille weave resembles the striations of exceptionally thick corduroy with a high weight, which gives it extraordinary strength and tensile resistance. It is a fabric with a slight sheen, which changes shade when touched by the hand. Due to its decorative properties and functionality, chenille is a great material for upholstery of a corner, armchair, sofa, as well as poufs and chairs.

Noble and stylish jacquard

Jacquard may not be the best material for a corner in the family living room, but for a stylish sofa? Absolutely! Jacquard fabrics are created on special looms and are distinguished by a slightly raised, intricate pattern. It's a beautiful finish for antiques and classic-style furniture, which, skillfully added into a modern interior, also looks fantastic. Jacquard's dense weave makes it an extremely durable fabric. Its disadvantages, however, include a high susceptibility to pulling.

Microphase – a practical fabric for the corner

This is a flexible, soft and slightly shiny fabric, widely used in the upholstery industry. In this group of fabrics, the most popular are upholstery with a hydrophobic coating, which prevents water from penetrating deep into the furniture. Modern technology means that moisture, retained on the surface of the upholstery, can be easily removed. The smooth structure of microfiber is easy to maintain and pleasant to the touch, but you have to reckon with its rapid mossing.

Braid – a fabric for the family sofa

Braid is a durable upholstery fabric with a distinct, regular weave. The structure of the fabric is formed by two threads of two different colors, crossing at right angles. The surface of braided fabric may be slightly rough to touch, but the strong weave gives it exceptional resistance to friction, tearing and pulling. It is counted among the most durable upholstery fabrics, which will perform well on any piece of furniture, even under heavy use.

Plecionka to jedna z najbardziej wytrzymałych tkanin tapicerskich. Jej charakterystyczną fakturę tworzą nici krzyżujące się pod kątem prostym

Braid is one of the most durable upholstery fabrics. Its characteristic texture is formed by threads crossing at right angles

Photo: DESIGNECOLOGIST © Unsplash

When choosing the of material for upholstery of lounge furniture, take into account the decor of the entire room. A corner or sofa are the elements that first attract the eye and determine the style of the interior. Sofa upholstery material can therefore be used to build a climate and cozy atmosphere. The right shade will brighten up the interior and a distinctive motif will chase away boredom from a monotonous space. Most upholstery fabrics can also be used to sew curtains, pillowcases, napkins and other decorations. It is worth asking about this possibility at an upholstery store or furniture store.

Many interesting ideas for upholstered furniture arrangements can be found on our portal in the home furniture section.

Compiled by:MAŁGORZATA URBAŃSKA

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