How To Choose The Best Stain Resistant Upholstery Fabric For A Family
. To help you choose an upholstery fabric that will be stain proof for years, here are some expert tips from fabric professionals:
1. Be Sceptical of Wear Ratings
One common pitfall when choosing a high quality upholstery fabric is relying solely on wear ratings provided by manufacturers. These wear ratings can often exceed 300,000, and they seem to climb higher each year. However, don't be fooled by these numbers. The increase in wear ratings doesn't always signify improved fabric quality. Instead, it can be attributed to a lowering of testing standards.
A strong upholstery fabric will be thick and densely woven with little or no light penetration. Once you inspect 100 fabrics for these qualities, you too will become a furniture fabric expert.
3. Conduct Your Own Tests
Given the unreliability of manufacturer wear ratings, it's wise to perform your own durability tests with a few fabric samples. For a wear test, use a stiff nail brush to vigorously scrub each sample for 3 minutes or more. Afterward, compare the samples and inspect closely for any signs of lifting fibres. Additionally, perform a pilling test by using a rough, damp cloth in circular motions to check for pilling or fabric deterioration. These tests will give you a clearer picture of how the fabric will hold up to daily wear and tear.
2. Consider Fabric Construction
When selecting upholstery fabric for a family room sofa, consider the fabric's construction. Brushed fabrics, such as velvets and chenille's, are excellent choices. These fabrics have a raised surface that make clean up easier, as spills tend to sit on the surface, waiting to be wiped away. Moreover, brushed fabrics are thicker and, as a result, tend to last longer.
However, there are also smooth, linen-like fabrics like Sun Yat-Sen, which are just as long lasting. This where your newly acquired testing skills will come in handy.
3. Evaluate Fabric Content
Furnishing fabric content plays a large role in the life of your upholstery fabric. Polyester and other synthetic fabrics are known for their ease of cleaning and durability, making them ideal for every day upholstery fabric on family room couches and chairs.
Natural content furniture fabrics like linen and cotton, will require extra care. If you're a fan of natural fabrics for sofas and chairs, commit to dealing with spills promptly and consider protective measures such as arm covers or using throws to cover seat cushions. Alternatively, order extra fabric to discreetly cover your seating and protect it from stains.
4. Explore Stain Treatments
Modern stain treatments have come a long way. New stain guard treatments can last up to 10 years through multiple washes and cause spills to bead up and roll off your designer upholstery fabric.
If you're concerned about potentially harmful chemicals in stain treatments, opt for stain treatments with an Oeko Tex rating. Some fabrics come pre-treated, or you can hire a professional to apply the treatment in your home. If you are on a budget, there are DIY spray products available as well.
These stain guard fabric treatments are particularly beneficial for linen and cotton fabrics, which are more susceptible to discolouration from dirt and spots. While they are also useful on synthetics, it's worth noting that synthetic fabrics are naturally more stain-resistant, making treatments less essential but still very helpful.
Selecting the right upholstery fabric for a family home involves a careful balance of aesthetics and durability. By being sceptical of wear ratings, conducting your own tests, considering fabric construction and content, and exploring modern stain treatments, you can ensure that your upholstery not only withstands the challenges of daily life but also continues to look its best for years to come. So, go ahead and enjoy your family movie nights and popcorn without worrying about the impact on your beloved upholstery.