Picking the Right Fabric
Depending on what your home environment looks like, you will need to be careful when deciding the right fabric for your sofa. If you own pets or have kids around, then you will want an easy-to-wash fabric sofa that is not prone to tears or scratch marks. Conversely, if you do not have any of these concerns, then you have the liberty of choosing a leather sofa or other more luxurious but more vulnerable fabric types.
Each fabric has their own strengths and weaknesses, but your final decision on a fabric should be determined by the potential sources of damage, wear and tear, and stains that the fabric will need to endure at home.
Here is a list of fabrics commonly used in sofas that you can choose from:
Keep in mind that there are two types of fabrics you will encounter in sofas, including natural and synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics are generally more durable and versatile compared to natural fibers, whereas natural fibers offer more comfort and softness. In many cases, a combination of natural and synthetic fabrics is used to produce the optimal balance between comfort and durability.
As the most broadly used natural fabric, cotton is cheap while still offering comfort and stability in sofas. Cotton is somewhat durable and resistant, but this is not one of its strong suits. Most furniture uses cotton because it is one of the more conventional fabrics to use, but keep in mind that cotton is susceptible to stains and accumulating dust or dirt.
If your household has kids or pets, then cotton is not an ideal choice for your small living room. Kids and pets can easily damage cotton sofas, so you will not get the maximum value out of your furniture and will only wear down the fabric quickly if you decide to put a cotton sofa in a small living room.
A more durable option to cotton is wool. Wool is resistant to stains, durable, and an optimal fabric to use for sofas that are expected to deal with high levels of activity by kids or pets.
A notable weakness of wool, however, is that it emits a strong odor when wet. So if you experience leakage or recurring problems with spilling drinks on furniture, then wool may not be the best choice as your sofa fabric.
If you are looking for a sofa fabric that is extremely soft and comfortable, then silk is probably what you want. Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics sold on the market, so if you are trying to buy a silk sofa, then expect to pay a much higher price. Silk outperforms cotton and other soft fabrics when it comes to softness, but this comes at a steep price.
There are two downsides to using silk, one of which you already know. First, silk is costly and will drive up the cost of your furniture by a large margin. Second, silk is highly vulnerable to stains and will require a deep clean either by you or a professional to remove properly.
Purchasing a silk sofa can be an enormous luxury. Simultaneously, a silk sofa can be a major liability if your home sees a lot of activity that is difficult to contain. Spills and stains can cause irreparable damage to a silk sofa that can only be fixed by paying high upfront costs for a deep cleaning.
Although leather is not a widespread fabric used like cotton, most people are familiar with leather and what it is like. Leather is the most durable natural fabric you will probably encounter on any sofa. Not only are leather sofas easy to vacuum and clean, but they are also stylish and comfortable to lay on.
Keep in mind that leather can shrink and wear down in quality over time, especially if it weathers a lot of spills and tears. So if you are looking to get a leather sofa, make sure to take care of it to maximize the durability of the leather and preserve the quality of the leather as well.
Known for being a great receiver of colored dyes, polyester is a highly common synthetic fabric used in sofas, especially for sofas intended for the outdoors. One advantage polyester has over cotton is that it is resistant to wrinkles, which is why you often see a combination of cotton and polyester not only in sofas, but in other textiles like shirts and sweaters.
As the second most popular synthetic fabric, Olefin is often used in sofas because of its durability and cleanability. Olefin is more durable than polyester and natural fabrics like cotton while still providing similar levels of softness and comfortability.
If you want a sofa that is resistant to stains, is durable, and comfortable, then consider getting an olefin sofa.
Like with other synthetic fabrics, rayon is strong and durable. At the same time, rayon is also soft and similar in many ways to silk or cotton. You can think of rayon as a stronger alternative to any of the natural fabrics you will find in sofas.
One disadvantage of rayon is that it is vulnerable to wrinkling, so you will need to keep that in mind when purchasing a rayon sofa.