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Upholstery Types: How to Choose The Right One

The type of upholstery you choose for your furniture is one of the most obvious signs of style and class, and one of the parts to show wear and tear the quickest. Before buying your new sofa or chairs, there are a few facts to consider like the amount of usage it will receive, the presence of pets or kids, and how often it will be cleaned.

If your furniture will be used moderately, then you can choose between a wider range of fabrics, including the less durable ones. But for heavy, daily wear it is best to rely on more durable and tougher fabrics. Tightly woven fabrics are the best choice and you may recognize them by their thread count, or the number of threads per square inch.

Learn more about each type of fabric below and decide which one suits your lifestyle best.

Types of Natural Fabric

Leather: This type of upholstery is not the easiest to maintain, since it is tougher to clean and without regular conditioning, the eventual cracks that develop will be difficult to repair. Leather demands extra care, including damp cloth wiping, leather conditioner and gently vacuuming on a regular basis. Pets are prohibited.

Wool: Resists fading and soil. Wool is strong and durable, but often is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to avoid felting the fibers. Tends to pill.

Cotton: It is difficult to clean soiled cotton. In addition to that, it resists fading and holds up well to light wear and tear. Burns easily and its durability depends on the blending with other fibers. If cotton is blended, it can become way more sturdy and wear-friendly.

Linen: Soils and wrinkles easily, so linen is more likely to be used in formal living rooms or adult-only areas. It won’t resist neither heavy wear and it will fade and pill. If your linen furniture gets soiled, you should clean the upholstery with the help of professionals, in order to avoid shrinkage.

Silk: I don't think there is any need to cover how fragile of a fabric silk is. Only professionals should clean it and it is meant only for formal areas that are used exclusively by adults.

Types of Synthetic Fabric

Vinyl: Vinyl is nothing but a PVC plastic with a chemical polymer mixed in, or just a less expensive variation of leather. Vinyl sofas are susceptible to cracking and wear, so if you are going to buy vinyl, it better be accent chairs or accessories like pillows.

Nylon: It is used often to blend with other fabrics to make them stronger and easier to maintain. Blended with velvet, nylon helps avoid crushing  the napped fabric. Fades easily, hard to soil.

Rayon: Originally developed as an imitation of silk and linen, rayon provides durability and recently it became more practical because of the development of high-quality rayon fabrics. Too bad it wrinkles easily!

Acrylic: Developed to imitate wool, acrylic fibers are good at resisting wear, fading, soiling and wrinkling. Look for a high-quality acrylics, since they pill less than natural wool or low-quality ones.

Polyester: Just like nylon, polyester is often blended with other fibers to reduce fading, add wrinkle resistance and eliminate crushing of napped fabrics. Eliminates pilling problems when blended with organic wool.

 

Image courtesy of: linenbeauty.com

allexandramiles

About allexandramiles

A spirited young women, who believes that the core of happiness is your family. Interested in healthy living, cooking and everything else related to home and family. Long walks on the beach are a fave

allexandramiles

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