Does your living room couch look old and worn out but you don’t want to replace it? Well, how about changing its upholstery then? Reupholstering the furniture is one of the easiest ways to revive it. Not to mention, purchasing common upholstery fabrics cost much less than buying a brand new piece of furniture.
However, owing to a large variety of options available in the market today, a lot of people struggle with choosing the right fabric to reupholster the furniture in their home. In case you are also having trouble finding the perfect material to cover your furniture, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons of common upholstery fabrics that might come in handy.
Most Popular Upholstery Fabrics
These are some of the most common types of upholstery fabrics used in homes across Pakistan.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of common upholstery fabrics.
When it comes to buying furniture, there is nothing more lavish than a leather upholstered sofa.
Leather is usually the first choice when it comes to choosing the most durable fabric for a couch. Available in the various shades of black and brown, it is a widely used natural material that is synonymous with luxury, style and elegance. Not to mention, leather upholstered furniture easily fits into any theme, making it an ideal option for those who like to switch up their home décor every couple of years.
Pros of Leather Upholstery
Here are some of the most noteworthy advantages of choosing leather as the upholstery fabric for sofas and other furniture in your home.
- Leather does not absorb liquids, which means you can simply clean it by wiping the surface with a soft cloth
- Leather upholstered furniture is durable, easy to maintain, and can for several years
- Since it doesn’t stain easily, this common upholstery fabric is a smart choice for those who have young children and/or pets at home
- It is suitable for heavy use and can be placed anywhere inside the house, be it the living room, bedroom or drawing room
- If needed, you can simply buff or polish it at home to restore its shine
Cons of Leather Upholstery
Just like everything else, there are also a few disadvantages of choosing leather as an upholstery fabric.
- Leather is a relatively hard material. Therefore, it may not be as comfortable as many other upholstery fabrics
- It is usually tanned through a series of chemical processes, which is why it can become brittle and crack when exposed to harsh weather conditions
- The material can be easily damaged with a sharp object, such as a pair of scissors or even the nib of a pen
- Good quality leather upholstered furniture is generally very expensive
Polyester is considered one of the best upholstery fabrics owing to its soft texture, durability as well as a wide range of colours and designs. It is a popular synthetic material commonly used for upholstery in upscale and posh homes.
It is usually blended with other natural or synthetic fabrics when used for upholstery. Polyester is also a heavy-duty material, making it the best fabric for sofa upholstery in households with a lot of members.
Pros of Polyester Upholstery
So, what makes polyester one of the best fabrics to reupholster a couch? Let’s find out
- Polyester is one of the most durable upholstery fabrics. It will last you for several years
- The material is soft to touch, which makes it comfortable to use for the upholstery
- Polyester upholstered furniture is easy to clean in case of liquid spills
- This fabric is also relatively more stain-resistant
- It does not absorb smells and dries very quickly after washing
Cons of Polyester Upholstery
Here are some of the crucial downsides of polyester upholstery:
- Polyester upholstery can be flammable
- It is particularly vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and heat
- Polyester fabric is not very eco-friendly
- This material has the tendency to absorb perspiration and bodily oils
Linen is one of the most breathable fabrics on the list, making it a perfect choice for summer home décor. Basically, if you want your living room to look casual and laid back yet stylish and graceful, you may want to consider opting for linen upholstery.
It is a natural fabric made from the flax plant and is available in a wide range of colours and designs. Moreover, since there are different grades of linen upholstery available in the market, you are bound to find more than a few options that fit your budget.
Pros of Linen Upholstery
These are some of the most notable pros that make linen a good upholstery fabric:
- It is a relatively sustainable and eco-friendly upholstery material
- The natural fibres in linen upholstery allow your skin to breathe
- Linen upholstered furniture is easy to clean and maintain
- Owing to its softness, linen is one of the most comfortable fabrics for upholstery
- The soft upholstery fabric is resistant to mould and mildew, making it a perfect choice for people with allergies
- Linen upholstery is quite affordable
Cons of Linen Upholstery
Let’s check the shortcomings of linen upholstery:
- Linen lacks elasticity and gets wrinkled rather easily. For a smoother look, you need to press the fabric, which can be both time-consuming and tedious
- It is not a very durable fabric and be damaged pretty easily
- The material is not resistant to stains and smells. It also absorbs liquid spills almost immediately
The good old-fashioned cotton is yet another popular natural fabric used for upholstery across the world. Whether you want a casual look for your furniture or want it to look formal yet modern, cotton is generally a good choice for both washable slip-on covers as well as upholstery.
Available in different qualities and grades, this fabric is easy to dye and has a soft texture. Cotton is usually blended with other natural or synthetic fibres to increase its durability.
Pros of Cotton Upholstery
Here are some of the most important advantages of using cotton as an upholstery material:
- This common upholstery fabric can be dyed in any colour imaginable
- Cotton upholstered furniture boasts a soft texture, which makes it extremely comfortable
- It is a breathable material and allows air to circulate
- Cotton is generally resistant to abrasions, mildews and pests. It is an ideal upholstery choice for people with sensitive skins
- The fabric is completely washable
Cons of Cotton Upholstery
These are the downsides of opting for cotton upholstery in your home:
- Much like linen, pure cotton also lacks elasticity and tends to wrinkle easily
- It can absorb spills, stains and even smells rather quickly
- Cotton is not as durable as polyester, leather and other common upholstery fabrics on the list
Olefin is a petroleum-based synthetic fibre that is widely used in furniture upholstery, carpeting, wallpapers and car seats. It is a sturdy and durable material that looks and feels like wool, making it soft and comfortable.
If you are looking for a low-maintenance upholstery fabric that will last you a long time, then olefin is probably your best bet.
Pros of Olefin Upholstery
Here are the reasons that make olefin one of the most popular upholstery materials:
- Since it is made from melted plastic pellets, olefin is resistant to general wear and tear
- Olefin upholstered furniture does not stain easily
- It is resistant to abrasions, mildew and discolouration
- This synthetic fabric is also resistant to water
- Olefin upholstery is easy to clean and maintain
Cons of Olefin Upholstery
Here are some of the downsides of olefin upholstery that you should know about:
- Owing to its composition, olefin upholstery is particularly vulnerable to light and heat
- You won’t be able to find much variety in terms of colours and designs
- It can get brittle if exposed to harsh sunlight for a long period of time
Velvet sofas and chairs can add a touch of extravagance and luxury to your home décor. Also, contrary to popular belief, velvet furniture can last several years if treated and maintained properly.
It is a densely tufted pile fabric and has two main types: traditional and synthetic. While the traditional velvet is made from silk and is generally more expensive, the synthetic one is made primarily from synthetic fibres such as viscose, polyester and rayon. Synthetic velvet is relatively less costly and more durable than its traditional or natural counterpart.
Pros of Velvet Upholstery
Here are the reasons why velvet is considered to be one of the best upholstery fabrics for dining room chairs and sofas.
- Velvet upholstery can last for decades if treated with care and love
- You don’t have to worry about discolouration as the colour of your velvet upholstered furniture won’t fade away with time
- This material is both aesthetically pleasing and soft to touch
- This common upholstery fabric is available in various colours
- Food and mud stains can be easily removed from velvet furniture
Cons of Velvet Upholstery
Let’s take a look at the cons that might make velvet upholstery unsuitable for your home
- Velvet is prone to attract dust particles, which is why it needs to be cleaned regularly. The same goes for pet fur
- It is not suitable for outdoor use, as velvet does not fare well under direct sunlight
- Velvet upholstered furniture can absorb liquid spills rather quickly
Silk is yet another natural fibre that is known for its elegant appearance, luxurious look and smooth texture. From curtains to upholstery, this fabric can be used in a number of ways around the house. Its aesthetic appeal and versatility also add to its high demand.
If you want to make your home décor look classical and timeless, silk upholstered furniture is the right choice for you. Although a bit expensive, this material retains its shape really well and can last for years.
Pros of Silk Upholstery
Here is a list of pros that make this common upholstery fabric a good choice for your home:
- Being one of the strongest natural fabric, silk does not rip or tear easily
- Silk sofas and chairs offer an almost regal look, which makes them a great addition to any home décor
- You can find a wide range of shades, patterns and qualities of silk available in the market
- This material does not stretch over time and manages to retain its shape
Cons of Silk Upholstery
These are some of the biggest cons of silk upholstery:
- Silk, as mentioned above, can be quite expensive
- The natural fibres in silk upholstery wear down really quickly if exposed to sunlight for a long period of time
- Liquid spills can result in unsightly stains that will go away with dry cleaning
Wool may not be a common choice, but it is undoubtedly one of the best fabrics for upholstery.
Compared to linen and cotton, wool tends to look more formal and elegant. In addition to that, this natural fabric is quite comfortable and soft. Wool upholstered furniture can also make your home look warm and cosy. Usually, when it comes to upholstery, wool is blended with synthetic fibres to make it more durable and long-lasting.
Pros of Wool Upholstery
These are some of the most prominent pros of using wood as an upholstery fabric for sofas and other items in your house:
- Wool upholstered furniture is comfy, durable and hardwearing
- Being a natural fabric, it is quite sustainable and environment friendly
- Wool is resistant to flames and effectively repels moisture
- It is also resistant to mould, mildew and other allergens, making it a healthy choice for all households
- Stains don’t form easily on wool
Cons of Wool Upholstery
Since everything has its own drawback, here are some cons of wool upholstery that one should be familiar with:
- Wool is more expensive than most other natural and synthetic fabrics
- You won’t be able to find a lot of variety to match a particular style
- It can only be dry cleaned
Of course, there are several other types of upholstery fabrics available in the market, but these are certainly the most popular ones.
If you have any queries or suggestions regarding the pros and cons of common upholstery fabrics, please let us know by dropping a message on email@example.com.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to take a look at our comprehensive guide on deep cleaning the upholstery in your home. You may also want to check out the essential element of interior designing as well as tips on how to make your furniture last longer.
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