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Tips to choose fabric for sofa

Tips to choose fabric for sofa


What fabric you choose for your custom sofa matters as much as the size, shape and cushion choice.  Here we’ll detail our top choices for the best sofa fabrics to help you ensure your sofa meets all your comfort and practicality needs.

Sofa Fabric 1: Cotton

The natural fiber cotton is a staple for sofas for a number of practical reasons. First, cotton is among the most cost-effective options available – always a plus. Second, cotton takes patterns and colors well, making it highly versatile. Its colors and patterns range from crisp white to deep indigo, leopard print to cabana stripe. Cotton also resists fading, which is important if your sofa is going to be exposed to direct sunlight.

To keep your cotton sofa looking fresh, you should get it professionally treated before you bring it home. Cotton is susceptible to stains, which is why we recommend getting it professionally treated before you bring it home. You can also choose a pattern that's stain-resistant simply because it's an expert concealer.

Sofa Fabric 2: Linen

Despite its characteristic texture that can vary from smooth and lustrous to chunky and nubby, linen has a slightly looser weave compared to cotton. This sofa fabric, much like linen clothing, is susceptible to wrinkling and staining. However, for high-traffic areas such as sofas, our preferred option is performance linen. This durable sofa fabric is perfect for households with kids, pets, or messy eaters who may cause stains. Not only does it hold its shape better than regular linen, but it also provides comfort due to its structured nature.

Slipcovers made of linen are also common due to their durability and style. Not only does linen offer the convenience of easy care, but it is also easily customizable should you wish to experiment or change things up seasonally.

Sofa Fabric 3: Velvet

Velvet is sumptuous, silky and fabulous to the touch. It takes color exceptionally well, producing uniquely rich hues with lots of depth and richness. The downside of expensive silk velvets is that they stain easily and are, well, expensive. For velvet sofas in pretty much anyone’s home that will get regular use, we love tight weave performance velvet, which stands up to everyday wear and tear. Specifically look for velvets that are woven of cleanable, high performance polyester to resist fading, crushing, stains and heavy traffic. All the tactile benefits, none of the headaches.

Sofa Fabric 4: Chenille

Although chenille is soft and cushy to the touch, it is chunkier than velvet and offers additional durability. It is a cousin of velvet. In the same way as velvet, we recommend a performance chenille for stain resistance. However, cat owners need to be aware that the tufted pile of chenille can be easily snagged by scratchy cats (or dogs!).

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Sofa Fabric 5: Microfiber

If you love the feel of suede, microfiber is an excellent alternative fabric for sofa choice that is both cost-effective and highly stain resistant. It is one caveat that it can be a magnet for hair and fur, so unless you enjoy lint-rolling your sofa several times a day, it's not the best piece of furniture for pet-friendly homes.

Sofa Fabric 6: Leather

A top-notch leather sofa is the ultimate choice in luxurious fabrics. It's no surprise that many iconic furniture designs feature leather as their main suede sofa material. Not only is it elegant, but it also boasts durability and stain resistance. Leather's versatility makes it a suitable option for any type of home decor, whether it's ultra-modern or classic traditional. What's more, leather ages gracefully, becoming softer and developing a beautiful patina with each use, much like a beloved leather jacket. Additionally, its allergen-resistant properties make it a great choice for those who suffer from allergies in your household.

Despite this, leather is more expensive than fabric. If you have a limited budget, this is something to consider (faux leather may be a good choice). Leather upholstery will cost much more than fabric if you want to change out your décor every few years. Leather also has fewer colors available than fabric.

Other Upholstery Fabrics

Two options we don’t recommend for everyday sofas:

Wool is very durable and can look stunning (a flannel gray couch is always a winner in the looks department), but it does have that characteristic scratchiness. When it gets wet, it can hold on to the wet wool smell for longer than you’d like, just like a winter hat after a snowstorm.

If you plan to sit on the sofa more than once a year and only when you are wearing clean clothes, it will be a visual knockout. So you won't be afraid to sit on your sofa, choose a fabric for sofa that won't snag from the choices above and save silk for scarves.

Still need more guidance?

To find out which sofa fabric for sale is the best, order a handful of different swatches. We recommend viewing anywhere from 3-5 swatches in different light sources throughout the day, and testing against your lifestyle. Make sure that the sofa material exceeds your expectations by rubbing it on the back of your dog or yourself.

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