A Memorable Wedding Gift

5 Fabulous Fabrics To Consider For Your New Furniture

by Michelle West

What fabric you choose for your new sofa or upholstered chair depends on many factors. If your new sofa is going to be used in a formal living room that doesn't get more use, you will have more options available to you. A couch or chair that will need to stand up to heavy use, children, or pets will require a more durable choice. Each fabric has different virtues. Some are more stain resistant or fade resistant than others. Here's a look at the top five upholstery fabrics to consider, depending on your needs.  

Natural Materials

  • Leather. Not only is leather a strong and durable choice, it is easy to keep clean. It can also last a long time if cared for properly by applying a leather conditioner once or twice a year to keep the leather supple and prevent cracks. Over time, leather will develop a nice patina as it ages, becoming as comfortable as a well worn pair of blue jeans. If you have small children, sticky handprints and spills can easily be wiped away. While leather is tough, it can be punctured by sharp objects, which includes cat claws.
  • Linen. Lightweight and similar to cotton, a linen sofa or chair lends a sophisticated look to a room. It is not very resilient to stains or wear, so it is best reserved for a formal room where it will get minimal use. It is not suitable in households with children and pets.

Synthetic Materials

  • Microfiber. Made from polyester, this fabric is extremely pet-friendly, making microfiber a popular choice for animal lovers. It is soft, relatively easy to spot clean, and its close-knit weave makes it difficult for pets to do any damage with their claws. Microfiber is also good for allergy sufferers. It doesn't attract dust, pet hair, or lint like other fabrics do.
  • Faux Leather. Having many of the qualities of real leather, imitation leather is even more durable, making it a good choice if it will get heavy useage or you have cats. It's less expensive, and for those who are involved in animal rights, faux leather is the better choice.
  • Acrylic. Wool-like fabrics are made from acrylic and acrylic blends. They are durable, very soft, affordable, and easy to spot clean. Acrylic is also fade resistant, making it a good choice for sunny rooms.

Your furniture store may offer other fabrics as well, but be sure to consider your home and family's needs before choosing to avoid disappointment down the line.