Understanding the Different Types of Sofa Upholstery

Understanding the Different Types of Sofa Upholstery

Are you an owner of a torn and tattered sofa? Or you’ve just moved into your new house and are in dire need to spruce up the space so that it feels more like a home? Whatever the reason behind your search for a good-quality sofa, one thing is for sure – a sofa is the most important furniture piece to have in any living room. The anchor that pulls everything together, this simple piece of furniture can make or break any interior. Typically, the first few things that come to mind when trying to choose the right sofa include its size, style, configuration, colour, cost and quality. While all these are important, the single biggest factor that many miss out on is the upholstery of the sofa. Yes, the type of upholstery directly has an impact on your colour options, but it also plays a huge role in the longevity and aesthetics of the couch.

Common Sofa Upholstery and Fabrics  

Known as the material that makes up the soft coverings of your sofa, upholstery comes in many forms today. Oftentimes, all the options can be split into two main categories – natural fibres and synthetic fabrics. Although they technically serve the same purpose, they each have unique qualities that distinguish them from the other.

1. Natural fibres

Woven from materials found in nature, natural fibres can be derived from animals or plants. Some of these materials include leather, linen, wool, silk, and cotton. Leather, for example, is known for its durability and sophistication. It can withstand everyday wear and tear and is relatively easy to clean. On the other hand, materials derived from plant fibres, such as linen, silk, and cotton, are more family-friendly fabrics that come at an affordable price.

2. Synthetic fabric

Not a product of nature, but rather through man-made processes, synthetic upholstery fabric types include polyester, nylon, and rayon, amongst others. The ALCOVE is a classic fabric sofa that is designed with purpose and intention.

The Debate Between Leather & Fabric Sofas

Given the plethora of choices, how then do you choose between a leather sofa and a fabric sofa? For one, you could look into the advantages and disadvantages of each to narrow down your choices.

Pros & cons of fabric sofas

ALCOVE | Fabric Sofa

Fabric sofas can be made from natural fibres or man-made materials. Either way, they allow for more creativity since they can be dyed a range of colours. Comfortable and versatile, fabric sofas imbue a sense of informality with its casual aesthetic. These are generally less expensive than other luxury sofa types. However, the configuration, framing and quality of the fabric can hike the price up.

Positives aside, fabric sofa upholstery can stain easily. Once it has been made dirty, it is hard to clean it. Capable of holding on to dust and pet fur, this might not be the best option for homeowners with kids or pets.

Pros & cons of leather sofas

SEASIDE | Fabric Sofa

A fan of vintage sofas? The patina of a full grain leather sofa is revered by many globally. Synonymous with luxury sofa types in Singapore alongside velvet alternatives, genuine leather sofas exude elegance and luxury with ease. Highly durable, this material is known to last for a very long when well taken care of. Less likely to fray or tear, it can be cleaned easily, vacuumed, damp-wiped or cleansed with special conditioners. However, all these comes at a price. Susceptible to elements of nature like humidity and sunlight, it is also natural for leather sofas to possess markings and colour variations.

Questions You Should Ask When Choosing Sofa Upholstery

Still not sure on which is the best-fit sofa upholstery for your home? To help streamline your decision-making process further, consider these following questions:

  1. Do you have young children or pets running around the house?

The basic rules always apply if you have kids or pets. Firstly, avoid light-coloured upholstery at all costs. Next, be sure it’s easy to clean should any accidents occur. And lastly, it has to be material that does not trap dust, dirt and dander.

  1. What is the style you are aiming for?

Are you planning to buy a sofa that fits into your current interior design scheme or one that makes a bold statement? Whether you’d like one that is of a bold colour or one that glistens under the lights, you’ll want to take note of the “livable” factor. Will that bright pop of colour be something you’ll never tire of? To be safe, choose a solid hue that you’ll appreciate for a long time to come.  

  1. What will be the main use of the sofa?

Have friends over all the time? Does the room not have much traffic? Ensure that your sofa material caters to your lifestyle needs. For example, there are 3 main types of leather in the HomestoLife leather collection – Full-Aniline, Aniline Plus and Protected. Of these 3, Protected leather is extremely family-friendly and is better suited for frequent use in the home.

  1. How much are you willing to spend on the new couch?

As mentioned, genuine leather sofas tend to come at a higher price than fabric sofas. This is especially so when the grade of the leather is higher. Although you’ll have to fork out money for leather sofa upholstery repair and maintenance, it is pivotal to understand that this will only extend its longevity – the higher the price, the better the quality.

  1. Do you have any allergies or ethical concerns?

Some people are allergic to anti-moulding agents and dust. Depending on your specific concerns, be sure to pick a sofa that will not trigger any of these.

Making the Final Call

As much as shopping for a sofa at a furniture shop in Singapore should be a fun venture, the amount of thought required to make an informed purchase can be overwhelming. Start by checking the durability and functionality of the piece and how it will fit into the overall design of your home. If picking one off the floors in a furniture shop does not seem appealing enough, fret not! At HomestoLife, you can have a sofa custom-made to fit your requirements. Have queries? Visit our furniture shops located across Singapore or get in touch with us directly.

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