The 4 sturdiest and most affordable fabric options for sofas

December 8, 2014

From spilled food to muddy pet paws, your sofa takes a beating. A quality material is key to making it last. Here arethe four sturdiest and most affordable fabric options.
Your couch is most likely the key element in your living room or rec room. You enjoy lounging there to watch a movie, eat snacks, entertain or to cuddle up with a loved one. That’s why your sofa needs to be as inviting and comfortable as it is sturdy and durable. Here are some of the best kinds of fabrics for your sofa.

1. Synthetics

Synthetic fabrics or microfibres are the most family-friendly, as they resist stains and are easy to care for. Keep an eye out for these words when looking at swatches:

  • Polyester: is the ultimate durable synthetic fibre. It’s light and hard-wearing and accounts for about 70 per cent of the upholstery fabric produced around the world.
  • Polycrylic: is often used to thicken fabric and make it stronger.

Because of their properties, these materials are often blended with other textile fibres such as wool or cotton.

2. Cotton

Known for its warmth, cotton remains affordable and is the most widely produced fibre in the world. It’s soft and comfortable but it tends to stain easily. Because of its absorbency, it also tends to retain odours.

  • Cotton: Although relatively easy to wash, cotton's surface tends to pill with time. While you may not want to reupholster your couch in cotton, this kind of sofa fabric is ideal for quick-fix slipcovers.

3. Viscose

Although it’s less stretchy and it creases easily, this chemical-based fibre closely resembles cotton.

  • Viscose: doesn't soak up stains as easily—a plus if you have a house full of kids.

4. Wool and linen

These natural fibers are valued for their softness and warmth. However, their absorbency makes them stretch easily and lose their shape.

  • Wool: upholstery that is tightly woven and treated to last is a top-quality choice.
  • Linen: has a reputation for being fragile and creasing easily. Nevertheless, a linen slipcover gives a couch a tidy, streamlined look.

Caring for your sofa fabric

An elegant sofa doesn’t come without a price. Without proper care, the upholstery’s colours will fade and take on odours and stains. Use a spray-on fabric protector or a washable slipcover to keep your sofa looking new for years to come. Periodic steam-cleaning with a machine you can usually rent from a nearby grocery store is also a good idea for deep-set stains.

The 4 sturdiest and most affordable fabric options for sofas
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