The design of a sofa or chair is one thing but the material that goes onto the framework is what really makes the item. If you are looking to buy upholstered furniture or even have it reupholstered, it is a good idea to understand the main options.
Leather remains one of the most popular natural materials and can be vacuumed, damp wiped and even cleaned with proper leather conditioner. It comes in a variety of colours and can work in high traffic areas although can still tear or become scuffed.
Cotton is durable and resistant to wear and fading as well as being easy to treat if there are stains. It is often blended with other fabrics to enhance its abilities. Damask weaves are quite formal while canvas tends to be tougher and more casual.
Like cotton, wool is a natural fibre often blended with other fibres to increase its durability. It is naturally quite stain resistant an doesn’t wrinkle or have problems with piling. There are lots of colours and styles available with it.
Polyester is a man-made fabric that is often blended with other materials such as cotton and is very wrinkle resistant. It doesn’t fade and the problem of napped fabric goes away but some combinations such as wool can be prone to piling problems.
Nylon is blended with all kinds of material and adds a toughness and stain resistance to the resulting fabric. It doesn’t wrinkle easily but can fade over time, depending on what else is in the blend.