Getting the right upholstery for your home can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. You want to have furniture that isn’t just comfortable to use but is comfortable with your lifestyle and home. If you’re off having mud runs on the weekend you probably don’t want to come home to a delicate linen-furnished home. Or if you’re the type who’d rather a fine tea party at home you probably don’t want to have a shiny leather couch in your tearoom. The ideal upholstery is practical, functional and comfortable.
Are you wondering which type of upholstery is right for your family? Let the experts at Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning help you with that. Keep these words of wisdom in mind the next time you go shopping for a piece of furniture.
Most upholstery fabric is graded in one of three categories: Light, medium or heavy use. A major determining factor of which kind of upholstery is best for your home depends on your lifestyle. Do you have pets? Do you children? Do you live a very active lifestyle? If the answer is yes to any of those questions you’ll want to opt for heavy use fabrics. Whereas someone with a more controlled environment who wants to give certain rooms a more refined air will probably be better off getting light use fabrics for their upholstery.
The durability of upholstery fabrics is measured in units called double rubs. Fabrics are tested in a special machine that passes a testing pad back and forth over the fabric until it is worn out. Each back and forth pass through the machine is called a double-rub. The double-rub counts for each grade are as follows:
- Light use: Upholstery fabric that is between 8,000 to 10,000 double rubs. Silks, linens and 100% cottons most often tend to be light use. These kind of fabrics cannot sustain everyday wear and tear.
- Medium use: This is fabric that is between 10,000 to 15,000 double rubs. Rayon, polyester, heavier cottons and mixed blends of fabric are usually considered medium use.
- Heavy use: Any fabric that is over 15,000 double rubs is considered heavy use. These are often the most stain resistant forms of upholstery and are able to handle the kind of extensive wear and tear that an active family can dish out. Heavy use upholstery types include certain kinds of polyesters, combination upholstery fabrics, leather and chenille.
Linen is a natural fiber. A major benefit of linen upholstery is that it doesn’t fade or pill. Unfortunately they also easily absorb moisture and is prone to staining. Not a great choice if you have pets or children in your home. Linen is best used to decorate formal living areas.
Another natural fiber, cotton is fairly resistant to pilling, fading and wear. It is NOT fire resistant, though, and can be wrinkled or stained without much difficulty. The durability of the cotton depends a lot on the weaving: A canvas weave is very durable and casual looking while a damask weave is more formal and delicate.
The most diverse of upholstery fabrics, stylistically. Polyester can be made to look like any other fabric. Polyester blends are highly durable and resistant to mildew and stains, which makes them a great for families with children. They’re also soft and pretty easy to clean.
This is a thick fabric that’s made from yarn with a tufted pile. It has a softly textured surface with different shade variations happening throughout the fabric. It’s extremely soft and yet can be very durable if it’s taken care of properly.
One of the most durable and easy to clean fabrics out there. It’s a lightweight upholstery that doesn’t stain or wrinkle easily. It won’t pill or produce lint. And it happens to be very soft! The one downside to microfiber is that the tiny fibers it’s composed of can change shades if brushed one way or the other, leaving non-permanent marks in the upholstery.
Leather is tanned animal hide. It is one of the most durable forms of upholstery that you can buy. It is very easy to clean if you use a damp cloth or leather conditioner. It can change appearance with age, though, as it develops creases and increased softness.
For more information about the cleaning services we provide, give Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning a call at 602-243-6379.