Upholstering doesn’t only require patience and perfection. The right tools are required for the job as well as the correct fabrics. The fabric has to be stiff and able to handle tugging and pulling from the upholsterer. It will also need to be easy to clean and withstand fading that occurs overtime.
Natural fabrics consist of linen, leather, cotton, wool and silk. Each has its pros and cons as a material choice for a lounge suite.
- Linen – this light material does not fade easily and does not accumulate pills. Unfortunately, it wrinkles easily and shrinks if proper cleaning is not done. It also can’t handle pulling and tugging which means it is not ideal for children and pets.
- Cotton – this natural material does not easily fade and pill. It also has good resistance to wear. It does, however, wrinkle very easily and dirt such as soil and mud is difficult to clean out.
- Wool – this might not be the normal fabric to use. It isn’t the wool used to make jerseys and beanies but rather a harder thread that has been combined with synthetic material. Synthetic material reduces the amount of pilling that takes place and creates a more durable product.
- Leather – this is the favourite for most upholsterers. The hide is durable and can easily be cleaned at home without damaging or shrinking. It also has a stunning modern appeal that anyone could appreciate.
- Silk – this material is expensive and extremely difficult to clean without professional assistance. Silk is fragile and gets dirty quickly. The only benefit of having this material on your sofa is that it looks stunning and elegant.
- Chenille – this fabric looks a lot like long caterpillars in rows. This fabric might not come this way in nature, but it does not contain any synthetic compounds. It is durable and comfortable to sit on. However, chenille accumulates dust easily because of its composition.
- Velvet – this expensive and stunning material is another hard-to-clean fabric. Historically, velvet was used in the royal palaces because it was so difficult to make. Velvet is preferable on smaller furniture pieces such as headboards and fancy armchairs.
An upholsterer will always use that material that is chosen by the customer, once the customer has been aware of the different options. The professional will know how to work with all the different types of materials and will use the correct tools to avoid the fibres from unravelling.