The sofa is the centerpiece to any family room. Needless to say, as the primary seating of the home, sofas often endure a significant amount of wear and tear. The sofa is where your family will enjoy some of its fondest memories, where your children will play, and where your guests will sit. No matter where it is placed in the home, a sofa's fabric will eventually be so worn that owners will either want to replace or re-cover it. It is essential to be educated on the facts of sofa fabrics so that you may be able to choose the best type of fabric for your new sofa or sofa covering. Below you will find a guide that addresses a number of factors concerning sofa fabric selection.
The location of your sofa will directly affect the level of use it will experience, thus determining the type of fabric it will need. A sofa located within a high traffic area of the home will need to be strong, sturdy, and easy to clean, while a sofa located in a less used/quiet room can utilize a fine and luxurious upholstery. It is best to determine your sofa's true purpose before heading out to make a permanent purchase. Is your sofa the beautiful showpiece of your living room? Or is it the central seating area for your large family? Do your pets call the sofa their napping area? All are great factors to consider before selecting your next sofa or sofa fabric.
Fabric #1 Leather
Not only is leather one of the most classy, timeless, and comfortable sofa fabrics, it is also the most pricey for its limited durability. Although leather may offer easy cleanup of stains and spills, it can be quickly ripped, scrapped, or cut. Common everyday items like keys, belt buckles, and other metal objects can unfortunately rip leather with little to no force at all. Plus, leather can tend to feel uncomfortable and sticky during the hot summer months.
However, because of leathers ease in wiping, sweeping, or brushing away of dirt and stains - it is the ideal sofa choice for households upbringing smaller toddlers, babies, or pets with the understanding that it is not a forever sofa. The leather fabric offers a level of protection against the interior padding of the sofa allowing it to be more resistant against liquid damage, grease, or filth that could eventually cause the sofa to stain internally and smell. Leather sofas typically never give off foul odors even after years of utilization. Faux leather is a great alternative to real leather as it is just as strong and attractive as the real thing with about half the price tag.
Fabric #2 Vinyl
Vinyl is a synthetic material that can be utilized as a sofa cover. Vinyl is supple yet elegant and is quite similar to leather. Because of its leather like surface, Vinyl is especially easy to clean and rarely stains, if ever. Although the material can still be torn or ripped by sharp objects, Vinyl is known for withstanding the test of normal wear and tear for years without becoming noticeably worn or aged.
Fabric #3 Cotton (textured)
To be quite honest, textured cotton fabric sofas should never be placed in a high traffic room. Unfortunately due to their textured quality, any worn areas acquired will show up much more quickly on this type of sofa than any other. Plus, textured cotton tends to accumulate dust, dirt, and grit in its tiny grooves and crevices if not cleaned frequently and deeply. These small bits of dust, dirt, and grit can also cause your textured cotton fabric sofa to stain permanently and smell over time. Cotton textured sofas may be extremely attractive but their true utilization is as a showpiece not meant for daily usage.
Fabric #4 Cotton/Polyester (blend)
A cotton and polyester fabric blend is great all-around choice for heavily used sofas. Polyester, a synthetic material, offers strength and minimal wrinkling, while cotton, a natural material, adds comfort and physical appeal. Buyers tend to prefer a sofa covered in a cotton and polyester blend that is able to withstand the daily rigors of life, comfortably, in that of an average household.
Fabric #5 Microfiber
Home decor experts regard microfiber as their go-to fabric of choice. Microfiber is one of the softest sofa fabrics and feels like suede or velvet to the touch. The polyester in its fibers provides durability while the materials soft design allows for maximum user comfort. Not to mention, if one of your guests accidentally spills a drink on your microfiber sofa surface, the material will dry quickly allowing for a thorough cleaning. Due to the fabrics closely-woven nature it also avoids unwanted accumulations of lint and dust. Thus, microfiber is a perfect sofa fabric for homeowners who suffer from dust sensitivities or allergies. Although it is not as stain proof as leather, microfiber is half the expense.
Fabric #6 Nylon
Nylon is quite the controversial sofa fabric. While nylon can be utilized as a sofa covering, it is not the most pleasant to look at. Plus, the color of a nylon sofa is susceptible to fade easily when placed in direct sunlight. On the bright side, nylon is a durable fabric that can take a beating - think pet clawing, spilling, staining, and scraping resistant. Nylon is typically utilized to cover an older sofa that is being placed in a basement recreational area or dorm room.
*Bonus* Additional Fabric Options
Buyers not reupholstering or purchasing a sofa for a high traffic room may consider other fabrics such as silk, chenille, wool, linen, or velvet. These fabrics were not discussed above because of their limited availability, durability, and difficulty level involved in cleaning. Most buyers typically desire a sturdier material for their every day sofa but these options are great for a showroom, dining room, or fancy fantasy room.