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Fabric Sofa Buyers Guide

Fabric sofas come in various names - divan, sofa, settee, Davenport and every family needs and have one. Not only is this piece of furniture reflective of your style, your house ambience and personal taste, it also helps offer lumbar support.

Because of these reasons, choosing the one which is right for you can be challenging. That’s why in this comprehensive guide, we will help you find the most supportive and comfortable fabric sofa for you and your family.

Fabric Types

Natural Fibers

Two of the most used materials in the construction of sofas are linen and cotton, while other choices include wool and silk, which bring a more contemporary and luxurious feel to the piece of furniture.

You may already know or have heard of these materials since they are commonly used in the creation of clothes and other festive garments. If you’re already familiar with the properties of these fabrics, then the overall making of the sofa won’t cause much surprise. Cotton, linen and wool are considered the most durable fibres, but the problem comes when in contact with the sun or excessive moisture.

Although the name defines them as "natural," you’ll need to check with the manufacturers to ensure that there are no chemicals or synthetic components – especially if you suffer from allergies.

Synthetic Fibers

Typical synthetic fibres are polyester or polypropylene, nylon, acrylic and olefin. Although you might be able to find sofas which are solely made out of synthetic components, there is a high likelihood that they are a combination of natural and less-than-natural fibres.

There is also the option of microfiber fabrics, which are typically made of polyester. In comparison to conventional materials, these fabrics have a suede feeling and yet, are incredibly durable. Preferred by pet owners due to their durability and resilience, they are an ideal choice for you and your pups.

Leather

Leather sofas have gained popularity due to their luxurious look and feel, resembling a 21st-century modern delight for homeowners. There are three types of leather fabrics you should know about:

  • Top-grain materials use the thickness of the hide for added warmth and comfort, revealing the skin surface.
  • Suede leathers and split-grain are thinner and can also be dyed in a variety of colours, making them as natural-looking as possible – ranging from dark browns to light tans.
  • Composites, commonly called bonded leathers, use artificial leather which is obviously an ideal choice for animal advocates who embrace the lavish look of leather, but without the real element of it. The downside is that these products are more difficult to repair when damaged, but they tend to last for a long time.

Fabric Patterns

Motif

Typically known as textile printing, motif fabrics feature a wide range of designs and patterns that future owners can choose from. Long-lasting and stain resistant, a motif is an overall great choice.

Damask

This type of fabric has an elegant history dating back to 14th century France. Originally offered as monochromatic, damask is both a stylish and traditional-like choice, with motifs including flowers, fruits and other designs.

Geometric

As the name suggests, this pattern features geometric shapes which repeat along the entire sofa. Of course, the avant-garde design is a contemporary choice for lovers of modern culture.  

Plain

Plain fabrics have their unique beauty, especially since they can complement virtually any environment. Due to the numerous colour schemes available, the visual effect is more than simply plain.

Check

Crossed vertical, horizontal lines, or a combination of the two – this is what you get when purchasing such a fabric pattern. In some cases, people associate the check design with a long-standing Scottish tradition, especially if the red and green colours are present.

Stripe

Coloured bands typically complement striped sofas and the thickness and colour can widely differ. Similar to the geometric design, this design has a modern feel and look despite having been used in clothing for hundreds of years.

Factors to Consider

Durability

This aspect is essential, considering the big financial investment you are making. When analyzing durability, think of it in relation to personal aspects such as children, pets and how often it will be used. For example, dense fabrics are thought to last for a long time, but microfiber is a great choice for the potential wear and tear effect pets have.

Style

The sofa you choose should complement your existing furniture and the overall décor of your family home. The choice will ultimately depend on your style, but we would recommend staying away from merging two different styles – unless it visually appeals to you.

Fabric style allows you to add your personal touch to the space. For example, if you’re delighted by French design, choose damask and that will echo throughout the home.

Size Of The Pattern

By choosing a large and extravagant fabric pattern, you can enlarge a small space, while a small one will shrink it, in comparison.

Colour

The chosen colour will directly impact your overall décor and how everything fits together. Thus, you have to make sure that you and your family can harmoniously live with the choice for a long time. In comparison to the size of the pattern, bold colours will make your space seem smaller, with neutrals being the ideal choice when in doubt.

Care and Cleaning

When it comes to the cleaning process, you should follow the instructions of the manufacturer, using the products they have recommended. It’s also important to turn or plump the cushions as a daily maintenance tip, as they will wear and tear more easily otherwise.

Dust should be on the back of your mind, as well, therefore, use a vacuum attachment which will make your job a lot easier – keeping dust and biscuit crumbs away. Avoid brushing the fabric unless specified in the instructions and remember to outsource a professional cleaner at least once per year.

Depending on whether the sofa is designed using natural fibres or not, avoid extended sun exposure for preventing colour variations.

Stains

Spilling a drink should mean that you blot up the excess as soon as it happens. It’s not advisable to rub it too much or use harsh detergents, as they can easily stain. If the spot changes colours after having dried, contact a professional for an expert cleaning.

Seat Cushions

Hollowfill Fiber

These types of cushions are soft and have a luxurious feel, allowing you to beautifully sink into the sofa. Although you’ll be required to turn and plump them a couple of times per week, they are durable and highly ergonomic.

Molded Foam

Considered the firmer option, moulded foam cushions are believed to maintain their shapes for years and years. The result of using them is having a beautiful space in which you get smooth finishes and clean lines.

Conclusion

An important piece of advice is to visit your local stores and see products in both natural and artificial light. Also, take some fabric samples with you and don’t make a rushed decision – if you like a colour or fabric days later, you have the right one for you.