Looking for a new couch to adorn your living room and curious about leather? How about new upholstery for that outdated sofa your mother likes to refer to as an eyesore? If you are interested to know about some of the most common fabrics and materials that are out there to dress a couch, this article will help take you there.
Let’s first begin with the non-leather materials. These sorts of materials include chenille, velvet, tweed, suede, microfiber, a variety of cotton combinations, and everything in-between. To help decide on which of these materials would suit you best, think about what sort of environment your furniture will be in (kids running in and out or a sitting area in your mostly unused foyer area) and research which fabric will best serve that purpose.
After deciding the functionality of your material, the texture of your new upholstery should also be considered and balanced into the equation. Some like the sturdiness of tweed while others hate its gruff texture; velvet may be soft to the touch, but some may want something less prone to the “crushing” effect. Whatever texture you decide, think about how you would like to combine the material with the pattern. For instance, you may like the velvet in a zebra print or perhaps a solid-colored suede. Other designs include panel stripes, tapestry, and jacquard.
If the only thing keeping you from going leather is a concern about the stain resistant value of your non-leather material, keep in mind that many manufacturers and retailers offer flame coating, fire resistant, and anti-stain treatments. In addition to these services, many also offer warranties of varying lengths of time.
Now onto the leathers Have you ever wondered what the difference was between genuine ultraleather and top-grain leather? Ultraleather is a man-made substitute for leather that is animal-friendly or, in other words, is a higher quality form of faux leather. Many tend to go this route when purchasing leather, trading genuine calfskin for material that has all the same benefits of the real McCoy. That being said, top grain is the real stuffleather derived from animal hide and it is the top of the line, hence the name “top grain.” Buyer Beware: if you want a genuine leather couch (no faux) be sure that the salesman isn’t selling you leather-match because that is often another way of saying “it’s like leather.”
If you are in a dry climate or have clawing animals that roam freely in your home, you may want to reconsider your purchase of leather as these are common culprits in the destruction of leather and other leather-like materials. However, if dry weather is what you have, there are ways to protect your leather upholstery like special leather conditioners and common sense (like not putting your couch under the sunlight from a window all day long). If your leather upholstery does crack and tear, there are people who can repair it for you and also products on the market you can use for minor indiscretions.
Before you decide to go for that panel striped microfiber or that burgundy top-grain leather, consider the function, texture, and design you want as your upholstery standards and go for it.