Tips + Tricks

How to Choose the Right Sofa Fabric for You

The fact that the look and feel of your sofa can be less than inviting can completely change the ambiance of a room. Taking cues from demands of modern shoppers for comfortable, yet stylish upholstery, there are a variety up options for sofa fabrics that can complete your space. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to choose the right sofa material for your sofa.

Fabric Durability

Fabric durability is an important consideration for selecting a fabric for your sofa. Before you decide on the style of fabric, you should consider who will use your sofa. This is especially important if the sofa will be placed in a high­traffic space in the home. If you have children or pets, you must select a fabric that will maintain its original shape for as long as possible.

Pet Problems

When you have pets in your home that have access to the sofa, some common problems you
may encounter include:
1. Scratches, bite marks and claw marks
2. Dirt and stains
3. Pet hair

These issues can be somewhat minimized by carefully selecting a sofa fabric that is pet­ friendly . If you have pets, you will want to make sure that you do not use delicate fabrics that are textured. Silk and other expensive fabrics are also not recommended for sofas in homes that have pets because they can be easily soiled or torn and may be quite costly to replace. For homes where the sofa is expected to withstand a lot of wear and tear, fabrics such as cotton and linen are good options. However, you will also need to select a fabric with a tight weave to ensure that the fabrics will not snag. Other options include microfiber, which is stain­resistant. Cotton and linen tend to be less easy to clean and may pill after some time. If avoiding stains is your primary concern, then leather and faux leather are quality options. With leather, spills and stains can generally be cleaned with ease so that you can maintain the original look of your sofa.


If the space in which the sofa will be placed will receive direct sunlight, you must also make sure that you pay attention to whether or not the sofa material is fade­resistant or not. Some fabrics are more prone to fading than others. Cotton, although prized for its soft texture, fades quite easily. However, synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, polyester, and nylon are generally more
resistant to fading than natural fibers.

Generally, printed fabrics, fabrics that feature a design on the surface of a pre­woven fabric, are more likely to fade because the print dye is usually only on the surface of the fabric. Therefore, printed fabrics should not be placed in direct sunlight. If you want your sofa upholstery to last, it is important that you select a fabric that has the right durability features for your sofa.
By selecting a fabric that is highly durable, you can maintain a new look for your sofa for years to come. This will not only help to save on the costs of repairing the upholstery for your sofa, it will also keep your home looking great as well.

Fabric Style

Although fabric styles may be completely subjective, your fabric choice should generally approximate the style and character of the sofa that it is being used to cover. Some fabrics are better suited for sofas that offer casual style, while other fabrics are preferred for more formal décor.

For example, a traditional fabric would look better on a traditional style of frame. Some fabrics appear casual, while others might look more formal. Choose a fabric that echoes the style or theme that you have established throughout the home. Fabrics that are textured and feature ornate patterns are generally used for formal settings. As a rule, a large pattern fabric is a good idea for a sofa that will be placed in a spacious room. However, if the space is more intimate, use a sofa material that has a smaller pattern. Following these rules (and ordering fabric samples ahead of time) will ensure that the sofa does not take away from the other elements of the room.


If you tend to suffer from allergies, you will want to make sure that you select a sofa material that won’t make your condition worsen. For people that have indoor allergies, leather and faux leather are generally recommended for sofa materials because they do not attract as many dust mites in comparison to fabric. In addition, pet dander will not stick to leather and faux leather,
which means that overall your sofa is less likely to harbor allergens than a sofa that is covered
with fabric.

If you do opt for fabric for your sofa, cleaning your sofa on a regular basis is enough to eliminate the majority of allergens, including pet hair. You should pay careful attention to your select of a sofa material if protecting your health is a top priority.

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