Buying a new sofa is a large and important purchase. Your sofa should be both beautiful and functional since it will not only the focal piece of your living room set but also a place to relax with a book, cuddle up with a loved one or gather with friends and family. With so many styles and price ranges to choose from, where do you start? How do you decide on a sofa fabric that will provide lasting beauty for your home and durable comfort for your family to enjoy for years to come?
Leather: Genuine or Faux?
– Genuine leather is the most durable of all the natural upholstery materials available. Expensive, yes, but it’s also comfortable, versatile, and durable.
– Faux leather (usually made from a Polyamide blend microfiber) can be an alternative for those who like the look of leather but want to be more animal-friendly. Most microfiber blends are soft and easy to clean (though not as breathable as real leather) and come in a variety of colors. Less popular is PVC fibers; it has been found to be neither healthy nor environmentally friendly due to the toxic chemicals released during the construction-or destruction-phase.
Fabric: Natural or Synthetic?
– Natural upholstery fabrics include linen, cotton, wool, and silk. Take into consideration:
– Silk and linen, while most elegant, are not recommended for daily or heavy use due to the fragility of the fabrics and the difficulty in removing stains.
– Wool and cotton are both beautiful and kid-friendly materials. Both are hardy fabrics that don’t pill up or wrinkle easily making them good for frequent use. Wool has a somewhat natural stain-resistant quality to it. 100% cotton is the softest, but is prone to stains and shrinkage whereas cotton blends, while still quite soft, are more shrink and stain-resistant).
– Synthetic fabrics (or microfibers) are man-made fabrics created from plastic-type fibers from PVC, Polyamide (strong, used in carpets and outdoor furniture cushions) or Polyester (softer, used in upholstery and clothing). PVC is not popular as it was found to be environmentally unhealthy due to the toxic chemicals released during the construction-or destruction-phase. The most commonly used synthetic fabrics include polyester, nylon, and acrylic which can be used alone or blended with other natural or man-made fibers.
– Microfiber can be quite soft and easy to clean and is available in a wide variety of colors and styles.
– They can be produced to look almost exactly like natural fibers-like wool-but tend to be stronger and more durable.
– Synthetics are more popular in heavy-use areas (such as homes with children or teens) as they can withstand a lot of use.
– Many times, synthetics or synthetic blends are treated during the weaving process to make them extra resistant to spills, stains, and fading.
In conclusion, whatever your budget, whether you’re looking for playroom furnishings or heirloom pieces, your options are as endless as your imagination!