Whether you rent an apartment or own your home, it’s likely that you have a sofa. And why wouldn’t you? If you think about it, the sofa is, more often than not, the most important piece of furniture in their living area. After all, it usually costs the most, is used the most, takes up the most space, and is the most comfortable. It also tends to serve as the primary anchoring piece within the room. I think it’s safe to say that the sofa is a pretty big deal!
And because of that, it’s also the piece that gets more wear and tear than any other pieces surrounding it. This is why it’s so important to have it covered in a fabric fit for the use that it gets.
Is the Fabric You Choose Really that Important?
In a word, yes. And here’s why. Often times, sofa fabric is looked upon as something that is only critical to visual appeal. While this is true, the fabric is also a critical part of the sofa’s comfort and lifespan. In addition to the guts of the sofa, the fabric is what literally holds it together.
Any piece of furniture, but a sofa especially, is a major investment— and one you may live with for decades. So, whether you plan to buy a new sofa or simply reupholster the one you have, it’s a good idea to have a better understanding of sofa fabrics before you take the next step.
When You Think Fabric, Think Longevity
As mentioned earlier, the guts of the sofa, as well as the upholstery fabric they’re covered in, will determine the longevity of your sofa. As you wade through your options, keep your eyes open for quality fabric that will stand up to all that goes on in your home.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you shop. The first one is that fabrics with woven patterns often hold up better than fabrics with patterns printed on them. The second thing is that raised, textural patterns wear down quickly with heavy use. The third thing is that a higher thread count means higher durability. Every fabric is created by weaving threads together, and the tightness of that weave can determine not just the way the fabric feels but it’s durability. Depending on how much use your sofa typically gets will determine whether or not any of these three things are important.
Steps to take when choosing fabric
1. Go for medium to heavyweight fabric.
Even if your sofa doesn’t get a ton of use, medium-weight fabric is a nice choice. The durability of upholstery fabric is based on how many double rubs it can sustain. Anything below 10,000 double rubs is considered lightweight and won’t handle much wear. Anything above 15,000 double rubs is considered heavyweight, so if your sofa is in a high-traffic family room, the higher the better.
2. Make the fabric color part of the decision process.
Think about where the sofa will be. If it’s in a room that gets frequent visits from small children or pets, then a white-colored couch isn’t really ideal. If there’s a certain mood you’re trying to create, find the color that will do it. Big transformations can occur just by adding a splash of color to your home.
3. Don’t be afraid of patterns.
Depending on the purpose of your sofa, a pattern can be just what you need. Solid sofas are fine but don’t shy away from patterns, or even bold patterns for that matter. Just make sure that the pattern doesn’t conflict with the shape of your sofa.
Common Sofa Fabrics
While you can cover a sofa in pretty much anything, there are some materials more popular than others. The most common sofa materials include leather, vinyl, microfiber, velvet, and cotton (plain, textured and cotton-poly blended). Another popular choice that offers a lot of variety are performance fabrics, that stand up beautifully to indoor and outdoor use.
Synthetic fabrics like rayon, acrylic, and polyester tend to get a bad rap, but they’ve come a long way. Not only are synthetic or synthetic-blend fabrics more affordable, but their threads also don’t break down as quickly as natural threads. This means they are even more durable, easier to clean, and more stain-resistant.
As with anything, each has its pros and cons but knowing where and how your sofa will be used should make the decision a bit easier. By taking the proper steps and carefully considering what will be best for your home can ensure that you end up with a sofa that won’t disappoint.
If you are looking for sofa fabric near you in Houston, we have just what you need! Come by our Interior Fabrics location on Fondren Rd. where you will find everything from comfortable cotton fabrics and even some of the best faux leathers!