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How To Pick the Perfect Upholstery for Your Sofa

Blue Sofa

When it comes to home furnishings, sofas are usually massive and require a large investment.

This is precisely why you need to be sure and confident about your choicewhen picking the right fabric for your home furniture pieces to avoid wasting your hard-earned cash.

But how can you pick a fabric given all the colors, prints and designs that are currently available on the market without second-guessing yourself?

A distinguished fabric, wallpaper and flooring contractor in Dubai shares insider secrets to help you decide which upholstery material will work best for your needs:

1. Who will use the sofa

What is your situation like at home? Do you like to organize and hold parties? Are there active toddlers or animals running around?

Your answers to these questions can determine which types of fabrics are suitable for your situation.

Silk velvet, for instance, is a fabric that features a wonderfully soft and smooth feel. On the downside, silk velvet does not hold well against any heavy physical stresses or regular wear and tear.

This type of material is not recommended in homes where there are kids or pets. Sofas that utilize this fabric should not be placed in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Because of its properties, this luxurious fabric is recommended for use in more private areas of the home, such as the headboard or a mini couch inside the master’s bedroom.

Homeowners with pets or kids are advised to use faux suede instead. The fabric may not be as lavish as velvet, but it is a lot more forgiving when it is exposed to the rigors of daily living.

2. How much maintenance it will need

Not all fabrics are created equal. Some fabrics require minimal care, while others may need a lot more attention on a regular basis. How much time can you allocate for your sofa to make sure it looks well for years to come?

When shopping for upholstery, check the care tag for instructions. You can also ask staff about the cleaning and maintenance needs of the fabric.

For instance, fabrics that feature vibrant colors or large prints run the risk of discoloration if the material is exposed to a lot of sunlight. As such, this material is not recommended for sofas that are placed near windows or other sunny areas.

If you or someone in your household has asthma, you may also need to consider vacuuming the fabric on a regular basis. This ensures that dust and other potential allergens do not accumulate on the fabric and trigger asthma or allergy attacks.

Leather sofas can withstand a lot more of the strains associated with daily use. However, patina can develop on the surface over time. As a homeowner, you will need to consider if this is an aspect of the fabric that you can learn to live with or accept.

3. What the sofa looks like

The form, shape and size of the furniture piece can have a huge impact on the designs and prints you can use to upholster it. You need to take into consideration the direction of the print as well as how it can affect the overall appearance of the furniture when fastened on the surface.

Sofas require a lot of upholstery material. There are also sofas that feature a more curvilinear design instead of the traditional boxy form. These two factors can make picking fabrics trickier.

What you can do instead is to pick a solid color to cover the sofa. To add interest, use throw pillows that feature your chosen fabric.

Upholstering pillows is a more cost-friendly option for homeowners as compared to covering an entire sofa. By sticking with solid colors for the sofa, you are free to change the look of your living room by simply choosing throw pillows in varying sizes, colors or designs. You can then change the throw pillows to suit your current taste.

Who knew that sofa upholstery selection could be this tricky?

By following these tips, you are on your way to picking an upholstery for your sofa that you and your family will love to use for years to come.


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, flooring and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.