Sofa upholstery

Sofa upholstery
  1. General quality indicators
  2. Types, pros and cons of upholstery fabric
  3. What is companion fabric?
  4. Texture, color and print
  5. How to choose a material?
  6. How to freshen up your upholstery at home?
  7. How do I change the old skin myself?
  8. Interior options
  9. Reviews

It is impossible to imagine any room without comfortable and cozy upholstered furniture. In the office, its presence contributes to successful business negotiations. At home, comfortable soft sofas and armchairs help to relax after a hard day's work. When choosing upholstered furniture, you need to pay attention not only to the dimensions, design, but also to the material used for the upholstery of the model.

General quality indicators

All types of fabrics used as upholstery of upholstered furniture, in addition to attractive appearance and compliance with a certain interior, must also meet certain quality indicators. The main characteristics that determine quality include several factors that need to be guided by:

  • Fiber composition. Any upholstery material contains certain fibers - natural, synthetic or artificial. It is also possible to combine them in different percentages.
  • Wear resistance. The resistance of the fabric to abrasion, stretching, friction, the ability to recover from compression.
  • Fire resistance. The ability of the upholstery material to resist fire.
  • The color fastness of the upholstery material is characterized by its ability to retain color when exposed to various factors, such as UV light, humidity, mechanical friction. This factor depends on the dyes used to color the material.
  • Wrinkle. The ability of tissue to form folds during mechanical action, as well as the possibility of their restoration.
  • Durability is understood as the ability of the upholstery to resist tearing. This factor, more than others, affects the quality of the upholstery material. The strength of the material is in direct relationship with the fibers, more precisely, with their density and composition.
  • Air permeability. The ability of the upholstery material to allow air to pass through. It depends on the way the fibers are woven, with the help of which through pores are formed, which facilitate the passage of air.
  • The presence of additional coatings or impregnations. To give the upholstery material certain properties, the fabric is treated with a certain composition. The Teflon-coated fabric is not only water-repellent, but also dirt-repellent. Teflon impregnation is applied either by spraying or by dipping the material into the composition. With this treatment, the fibers of the upholstery material are covered with a protective shell, while the material does not lose its original properties, but becomes more practical in everyday life.
  • To give the upholstery material special strength, to prevent excessive stretching and shrinkage, an additional base is made.
  • The upholstery can be cleaned not only with a dry method, but also with a wet method and using foam. Washable fabric has the ability to quickly cleanse various contaminants using one of three cleaning methods.
  • Pilling - the ability of a fabric to form pellets. Non-curing of upholstery material is an indicator of a quality fabric.

With the help of various indicators of the upholstery material, the category of the fabric is determined.

Types, pros and cons of upholstery fabric

Modern upholstery materials are very diverse. In addition to the main quality indicators, there are other factors that allow them to be attributed to one or another type of material.


This type of finishing fabric is obtained by combining polyester, cotton and nylon fibers. The woven base or canvas is impregnated with glue and then placed in an electrostatic field to apply fine lint. Upholstery flock has a number of undoubted advantages that allow it to occupy a leading position in the production of upholstered furniture. In addition to its attractive appearance, this anti-vandal fabric is particularly strong and durable. It is resistant to sunlight, moisture and does not require special care, while maintaining an excellent appearance for quite a long time.

But there is also a small minus in this upholstery material - it strongly absorbs foreign odors.


It is characterized by a special thread structure. Outwardly, the thread resembles a caterpillar, tufts of pile are woven between two extra strong threads, which in turn twist. With the help of this structural thread, various patterns are created, giving the fabric a velvety volume and some openwork. The composition of chenille can be different and depends on the type of raw materials used. Cotton, rayon, polyester and acrylic are used the most. Typically, these types of fibers are blended in different percentages. The upholstery material is particularly durable. Thick and durable fabric at an affordable price, easy to dry clean.

The disadvantages include the low resistance of chenille to moisture and sensitivity to animal claws.


Has a fabric texture similar to velor. The velvety surface is formed due to the different arrangement of the fluffy fibers. The fibers can be completely natural and consist of cotton, or they can be completely synthetic. There are samples with the addition of viscose. The durable and wear-resistant fabric has low thermal conductivity, which is especially comfortable for the skin. The fabric is resistant to dirt and wrinkles. The elastic and relatively durable material can be easily cleaned with a simple soap solution.

But there are also disadvantages. Upholstery fabric does not tolerate rough mechanical influences, undergoing which the external appearance of the furniture is very spoiled. In addition, the fabric is sensitive to UV light, it burns out. Too vigorous cleaning will damage the structure of the fabric.


Visually reminiscent of flock and made of polyester fibers, it is known for its durability and practicality. The dense arrangement of the villi gives this upholstery material the ability to repel liquid and various dirt, preventing them from penetrating inside. This feature makes microfiber a very popular and demanded fabric used as an upholstery material. In addition, this material has an anti-claw effect, which is a definite plus, especially for pet owners. Hypoallergenic fabric with high abrasion resistance.

The high cost of the fabric is the main disadvantage. In addition, she needs specific care using special products.


It is based on a large percentage of cotton. Durable and durable material is highly resistant to moisture. There are also disadvantages to this material. Increased abrasion is in direct proportion to the number of cotton threads. The higher the percentage of cotton, the faster the upholstery deteriorates. In addition, the tapestry will fade in the sun.


It is based on a smooth, lint-free structure. The original ornament, which is based on a large rapport, is created by intricate weaving. Jacquard fabric, due to its strength and durability, is often used as upholstery for upholstered furniture.This woven fabric does not fade in the sun and is highly durable.

The disadvantages of the fabric include a slippery surface and high material cost. In addition, this upholstery material does not tolerate wet cleaning, as a result of which the original color of the fabric can significantly fade or completely change its shade.


Natural material of plant origin has a lot of advantages. Material, pleasant to the touch, perfectly absorbent and breathable. Natural fibers take dyes well, so this fabric can be dyed in any color. Durable and abrasion-resistant fabric does not fade or fade in the sun, and with the addition of a small percentage of synthetic fibers, it is less susceptible to wrinkling.

For people who prefer eco-style in the interior of an apartment or house, the most suitable option would be furniture with linen upholstery. It perfectly tolerates mechanical stress, such as wet and dry cleaning, as well as drying with an iron. The only drawback of this fabric is its high cost.


Burlap also belongs to eco materials, which can consist of either cotton or linen threads. In appearance, the fabric resembles a matting with the same characteristic checkerboard weave. Its coarse fibrous structure is characterized by increased wear resistance, therefore, upholstered furniture covered with burlap will serve for quite a long time. Practical, durable and wear-resistant fabric is quite easy to clean. The disadvantages of this upholstery fabric include the high cost and susceptibility to rotting with excessive moisture.

Leather and its varieties

For the manufacture of high quality upholstered furniture, genuine leather is used. This material has a presentable appearance. Furniture, covered with natural leather, is not only durable in use, but also is not afraid of prolonged loads. The high cost of this material is almost the only drawback.

An alternative to natural leather is artificial. Leatherette is a rather wear-resistant material that looks very similar to natural leather, but, in fact, differs from it. Material, pleasant to the touch, resistant to stress and dirt, does not absorb odors. It is easy to look after him. But leatherette also has its drawbacks: it burns out under the influence of sunlight and is afraid of high temperatures.

Eco-leather is a type of artificial leather, but with improved qualities. In appearance it resembles natural leather. The surface of this material is excellent for air permeability, is not afraid of high temperatures and is very wear-resistant. In addition, the price of this material is much lower than natural leather.

Faux suede

A durable, wear-resistant and abrasion-resistant modern material. It has a low pile and has a structure with many micropores, due to which it has such performance characteristics. After processing the material with Teflon impregnation, it becomes resistant to UV light and various contaminants.

What is companion fabric?

Very often a sofa, an armchair, a sofa or an ottoman is made not from one type of fabric, but from two or even three. The main upholstery material, as a rule, predominates, that is, it occupies a large area of ​​the product. Used to cover the seats and backrests. The companion fabric takes up less space and is usually located on the front of the sofa under the seat. It is used to fit armrests, if any, and is also used in cushions located under the back or on the side.

The companion fabric should be combined in texture and color with the main option. As a rule, the main fabric has a bright pattern, and the companion has a neutral calm shade.

Texture, color and print

The structure of a material with a characteristic smooth or rough relief is called a texture that is responsible for tactile sensations.The texture of the upholstery material is considered to be a visible pattern or pattern. Each type of fabric has its own texture, which is usually uniform. In fleecy fabrics, it is formed due to the different inclination of the pile.

Depending on the technologies used, a different surface is obtained:

  • velvet texture - with a perpendicular arrangement of the pile;
  • curly - when the pile has different heights and is applied at different angles in relation to the base.

The pattern is applied to the fleecy fabric using dry or wet printing. The second method is more preferable, since thanks to it the color of the fabric is distinguished by its durability, saturation and durability. In addition, a method such as embossing is used to give the fleecy fabric a certain pattern. The roller is rolled over the textiles and leaves indentations that form the pattern.

The texture of genuine leather is of natural origin and depends on the type of animal. Artificial leather can be given any texture inherent in natural material. For this, a PVC coating is applied to the woven base. As a rule, artificial and natural leather are monochromatic. The most popular colors are black, white, plum, brown, beige.

Fabrics based on a smooth, lint-free structure, such as jacquard, scotchguard, tapestry, linen, cotton, are characterized by the presence of a texture formed by the interlacing of threads. The fabric can have a smooth surface with or without a colored pattern. There is also a textured surface, which is characterized by a pattern formed by combining threads of different thicknesses.

Tapestry used as upholstery is usually characterized by abstract and floral prints. Abstract composition can be represented by geometric figures of different sizes, arranged in a chaotic order. The floral theme is mainly represented by designs with various roses, daisies, orchids and many other flowers. The pattern is applied to the tapestry in a woven way by weaving threads of various colors.

The jacquard fabric pattern consists of an original ornament based on a large rapport created by intricate weaving. This fabric is characterized by a wide range of colors.

Chenille is another representative of lint-free fabrics. The soft texture of chenille comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The color range is represented not only by such traditional colors as black, brown, white, green, but also by less common shades: terracotta, crimson, red, emerald. Prints of this type of fabric are of great variety. Stripes, florals and abstract themes are especially popular as upholstery.

Today's wide variety of textures, textures, colors and prints of upholstery fabrics makes it possible for everyone to choose upholstered furniture in accordance with their taste preferences and financial capabilities.

How to choose a material?

The service life of any kind of upholstered furniture directly depends on the quality of the upholstery. Therefore, when buying a sofa, armchairs, ottoman or sofa, you need to decide how you plan to use the furniture.

Installing upholstered furniture in the living room involves everyday use not only for relaxation, but, sometimes, for eating, watching an interesting movie or educational program. Therefore, in addition to an attractive appearance, the upholstery must be resistant to various types of dirt and mechanical damage. This is especially important if there are pets who love a soft sofa no less than their owners.

When choosing a sofa or sofa for a nursery, you must adhere to a few other criteria:

  1. Upholstery fabric on upholstered furniture intended for installation in a nursery must be safe, hypoallergenic and resistant to various types of dirt.
  2. The safest are fabrics containing natural fibers. Fabrics that contain synthetic fibers that do not attract dust are considered hypoallergenic. Resistance to dirt is achieved with special coatings.
  3. The combined version of furniture upholstery is more preferable for children's rooms: natural fibers in the upholstery fabric should prevail over synthetic threads, and for resistance to dirt, the fabric is treated with a Teflon coating.
  4. Sofa cushions located on upholstered furniture perform not only a purely practical function, but also an aesthetic one. The fabric for the pillows is chosen taking into account the style of the interior, the color and texture of the upholstered furniture. In addition, it is necessary that the material intended for the pillows is safe and well cleaned.

How to freshen up your upholstery at home?

Upholstered furniture is a favorite vacation spot for the whole family, so the upholstery often gets dirty. To give it a presentable look, you can use several methods, depending on the contamination.

  • Dust can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. With a special nozzle, cleaning will be much faster and more efficient. To refresh the color of the upholstery fabric, you can put gauze soaked in such a solution onto a special nozzle: 2-3 tablespoons of salt are added to warm water. An exception to this cleaning method is fabrics with velor or velvet upholstery.
  • Another way to tidy up the upholstery fabric is to knock it out with a damp cloth soaked in a solution: 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar are added to 1 liter of warm water. A rag soaked in this liquid is placed on upholstered furniture and the dust is knocked out with the help of improvised means, rinsing periodically. As a rule, dirt settles on wet cloth.
  • You can freshen up the upholstery with Vanish. To do this, dissolve 1 part of the product in 9 parts of water and beat the resulting solution to a strong foam. Apply the latter to the upholstery and clean, let the upholstery dry for a while, and then vacuum.

All about cleaning the sofa at home, see the next video.

How do I change the old skin myself?

Over time, the appearance of any upholstered furniture becomes not very presentable and material replacement is required. Outdated upholstery can be changed at home and with your own hands. Although the process is not quick and very time-consuming, it is quite within the power of everyone to sheathe a favorite sofa or sofa.

First you need to prepare the necessary tools and, of course, new upholstery. From tools you will need wrenches, a staple remover, large scissors.

In order for the result to meet expectations, it is necessary to follow the step-by-step recommendation.

  1. First, we disassemble the sofa. If the design of the furniture is very complex and replete with many details, then they can be numbered to facilitate subsequent reassembly. To ensure that the fasteners are not confused, they can be folded into a box.
  2. Next, we begin to carefully remove the old upholstery, neatly unstitching all the seams. As a rule, the upholstery is attached to furniture with staples, and in older models with small studs. It is highly undesirable to tear off the old upholstery from staples or studs, because an error of even a few millimeters will lead to an undesirable result.
  3. After the old upholstery is removed, you need to inspect all the mechanisms of the sofa. This will help identify broken items, if any. If all parts and mechanisms work, then you can simply lubricate all connections with machine oil.
  4. After separating the upholstery material from the structure, it must be steamed. This is done in order to accurately cut all the elements.
  5. We proceed to the pattern. To do this, we spread the new upholstery material on a flat surface and lay out the steamed elements of the old upholstery on it, for reliability we attach them with pins.Then we outline every detail with a piece of soap, remove the fixing pins and cut out. Now we sheathe the details and you can start stretching the finished upholstery on the furniture.
  6. To fix the upholstery material on the frame, you must use a stapler. In order for the material to sit evenly, at this stage it is better to involve an assistant: one will stretch, and the other will attach the material. When all the elements are attached, all that remains is to rejoice at the result.

We suggest watching a video lesson on this topic below.

Interior options

In order for the upholstered furniture to look good in the interior of an apartment or house, when choosing it, you must adhere to some rules:

  • The upholstery fabric should be in harmony with the existing interior in color, texture and texture. The upholstery should be not only beautiful, but also practical.
  • The combination of upholstery color and interior style exists in several classic versions.

Upholstered furniture in dark blue or red colors will look great in a room decorated in the style of constructivism and techno.

Upholstered furniture in black, white and gray will fit into the gothic and minimalist style.

Brown, white and gold upholstery colors will look good in a Baroque, Renaissance and Empire style room.

The red, black, yellow, beige and blue shades of the upholstery fabric go well with the art decor style.

Bright shades of upholstery are suitable for high-tech style. The upholstery with the image of flowers and patterns goes well with the Baroque, Art Nouveau and Classic styles.

For a harmonious overall picture of the room, it is necessary that the print and color are repeated in other elements of the interior.


For most buyers, flock remains the most popular material of choice for upholstery today. The fabric has earned positive reviews due to its performance properties and reasonable price. The anti-vandal properties of flock are noted by many buyers who keep pets.

The second most popular material is chenille. Its strength, durability and environmental properties have been appreciated by many buyers.

Jacquard, velor and tapestry, respectively, are located at 3, 4 and 5 places. These upholstery materials are popular with a huge number of buyers for their durability and originality of colors.

Such a rating of fabrics takes into account the optimal price and performance characteristics of each type.

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