When it comes to couch shopping, choosing between fabrics can get a little confusing. Each type of material has its own unique characteristics ranging from stain resistance to durability and beyond. When selecting the best fabric for your couch, it is important to take into consideration each of the material’s attributes and how they fit your personal needs and lifestyle.
Sofa fabrics are separated into natural fibers and synthetics. Continue reading to learn the pros and cons of 10 different materials to see which option will give you the most bang for your buck. If you are searching for a new couch, be sure to stop by our furniture store. We have a large selection of sofas and living room furniture available at affordable prices.
Natural fibers are materials which are naturally sourced from plants and animals. Natural fiber materials include:
Cotton – Cotton is able to withstand wear, fading, pilling, and more. When blended with other fibers, cotton’s durability is greatly increased, and it is less resistant to soiling which makes it a family-friendly fabric. Cotton is also a very comfortable and breathable material. Cons: Becomes wrinkled very easily and may absorb dyes from your clothing.
Linen – Linen is an elegant material which is best used in low-traffic areas or adult-only areas. It is a good choice for couches as the fabric is breathable and comfortable. Linen is resistant to various pollutants and microflora, making it a suitable choice for those who suffer from allergies. Cons: Not a very durable material as the fibers will wear out more easily compared to thicker fabrics. The fibers also easily absorb dirt and spills.
Wool – Wool is a great material that can resist staining, wrinkling, fading, and pilling. Wool blends offer additional durability for a couch and will be easier to spot clean. When it comes to wool, there is a large variety of color and style options for you to choose from. Con: Wool is more expensive than some of the other fabrics used in upholstery.
Silk – Silk is a very delicate and soft material. Due to the fact that it is so fragile, it is best used in formal areas where it will not see too much use. Silk comes in a wide variety of patterns, colors, and weights. Cons: Must be professionally cleaned and does not do well in areas with pets, children or direct sunlight.
Leather – Leather is a classic material that exudes luxury and is known as one of the most durable options out there. With everyday use, this material actually looks better instead of worse. It is a favorite for families with kids and pets as it is easy to clean, and it does not absorb odors. Cons: When ripped or stained, leather can be very difficult to repair. It is also not a great option in temperature extremes.
Synthetic fibers are man-made products designed to imitate natural fibers with an overall stain resistant quality. Synthetic fibers include:
Acrylic – Acrylic is good at resisting wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. It was developed to imitate wool which makes the price of an acrylic couch more affordable. Acrylic is often blended with natural fibers for increased durability. Cons: Cheaper and lower quality acrylic wears and pills easily. It is also harder to clean.
Polyester – Polyester comes in a variety of attractive colors and patterns. It is generally blended with other fibers in order to create upholstery resistant to wrinkling, crushing, and fading. Cons: Compared to other materials, polyesters are tensile, so they stretch over time. If exposed to varying temperatures, you may see cracks develop.
Olefin – Olefin is a perfect material for furniture which will be used heavily. This fabric is made from melted plastic pellets that are spun into yarn. The fibers do not absorb water, making it resistant to water-based stains. It is also extremely durable and resistant to mildew, abrasion, and fire. Cons: It has poor resistance to sunlight and can possibly melt when exposed to direct heat or sunlight. The fabric can also become brittle and crease.
Nylon – Nylon is considered one of the strongest fabrics for upholstery. When blended, it helps to prevent this fiber from staining, fading, crushing, and pilling. Nylon is easy to care for, durable, and is resistant to abrasions. Cons: It is not easy to repair when it gets damaged, and the material is non-absorbent which may create a sweaty feeling.
Vinyl – Vinyl offers a look and feel that is similar to leather, but at a fraction of the price. Vinyl is a durable option which is flame-resistant, not vulnerable to abrasions or chemical damage, and is very easy to clean. Vinyl upholstery fabric can be found in a variety of colors and textures. Cons: Not a very breathable fabric so it may become very hot when exposed to direct sunlight. It is also very difficult to repair.
At Gallery Furniture we proudly serve customers in Fayetteville, Durham, Knightdale, Apex, Clinton, NC & beyond. Stop by our store in Smithfield, NC to view our selection of affordable furniture or give us a call if you have any questions.