Linen, velvet, wool, and leather are some of the most popular types of fabric that work best for furniture upholstery. They are durable, long-lasting, and comfortable. Moreover, they enhance the look of any room and never fail to give the space a touch of elegance.
And whether you had your furniture pieces reupholstered or had ones custom-made with your choice of fabric, you can protect your investment and have great-looking furnishings that can last for a long time if you know to maintain and take care of them correctly.
A trusted supplier of upholstery fabric in India shars below the top tips for maintaining and taking care of fabric furniture pieces:
Know and carry out the basic fabric upholstery cleaning techniques.
Regardless of the type of furniture cover you have, you can keep the fabric appealing and maintain its good condition for years by cleaning it properly.
Start by vacuuming your furniture regularly to remove crumbs, dust, and other debris that are left on the couch and chairs. By doing this frequently, you prevent dirt from becoming more entrenched into the fabric.
Vacuuming your furniture regularly prevents the dirt from starting to function like sandpaper — agitators that can cause the areas you sit or place your feet on frequently to show signs of wear quicker than other spots.
To vacuum your fabric furniture safely, always use the upholstery attachment.
You can also keep the furnishing cover clean by using a soft-bristled brush. However, make sure you have one that is dedicated to tidying up your furniture only.
2. Spot clean immediately and correctly.
Spills and dirt marks are your furniture’s biggest enemies. Help the fabric retain and prolong its good condition by cleaning these off quickly and properly.
When something gets spilled onto your furniture, blot the liquid immediately using paper towels or clean absorbent cloths. Try to absorb as much of the colored fluid as possible.
However, avoid rubbing the spill since this will only worsen the problem and even leave a permanent stain.
These are spot cleaning tips that you will do well to follow when you spill wine, coffee, and any colored liquid on your carpets or rugs.
Once you have gotten rid of the spill, spot treat the fabric. Use a stain remover or spot treatment product that is safe and recommended for the type of material you have and follow the instructions for cleaning.
3. Follow special cleaning and maintenance techniques for certain fabrics.
Some materials have certain cleaning and maintenance requirements. You will be able to maintain your fabric furniture’s appealing condition if you meet these special needs.
For instance, if your sofa is covered with velvet, aside from the usual vacuuming, you have to use a clothes or velvet brush to clean and stroke the piles. Brushing the fabric regularly helps maintain its natural sheen. Additionally, this will allow the material to develop a fascinating, crushed look that will improve with age.
If you have a leather couch and chairs, keep them dust-free by wiping them with a clean, soft cloth regularly. You also have to condition them at least twice a year.
Lastly, certain fabrics, such as velvet and plush, tend to pile easily. Keep piling to a minimum by using a de-pilling comb or lint shaver.
4. Place fabric furniture far from windows and fixtures that give out heat.
Upholstery that is subjected to regular, direct sunlight tends to fade, bleach, and lose its natural qualities quickly. As such, place the furnishings away from windows to ensure they are protected from the harsh rays of the sun.
Additionally, extreme heat from radiators, pipes, and fireplaces can cause the furniture fabric to dry out and warp. Because of this, position them far away from these fixtures, too.
If you need to rearrange the whole room to ensure your furnishings are not near windows and heating fixtures, do so. This extra task will help you maintain the good quality of your fabric furniture.
5. Rotate the cushions.
If your sofa and chairs have loose cushions, turn them over periodically to minimize wear and tear.
This simple maintenance task also helps you evenly distribute wear and prevent the cushions from developing indentations.
Also, make it a habit to fluff your cushions after cleaning them to keep them in shape. This will also allow you to maintain their appearance longer.
If the cushions start looking sloppy and deflated, open a seam along their side and stuff additional padding or synthetic batting inside them.
6. Keep odors at bay.
Letting your pets lie and sit on your furniture means doubling your furniture cleaning chore since you have to get rid of shedding, paw prints, and other dirt they track on the furnishing. Additionally, you have to deal with the smells they may leave behind.
For fabric furnishings that smell fresh even if your pets love sitting and lying on them, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on the surface and leave the powder overnight. Next, vacuum the furniture as usual.
This simple cleaning step won’t damage your furniture, but it will keep the fabric fresh and free of unpleasant pet smell.
In case your pets leave some stains, use a steam mop since it can help lift the marks and blemishes. It also gives the furniture a cleaner smell.
If you really want your furniture to look their best for years, keep your pets off the furnishings. Consider getting them cushions that they can sit and lie on and teach them to stay away from your sofa and chairs.
7. Use fabric protection.
Lastly, there are fabric protection sprays that you can use to give your furniture an additional layer of defense against dirt and stains.
Choose a product that is suitable for the type of upholstery fabric you have. Read the label to ensure you are getting the right one.
Also, follow the instructions for using the fabric protection. It is also best to test the product on a small, inconspicuous part of the couch or chair first to ensure it won’t damage your furniture.
Selecting the right type of fabric for your re-upholstery or custom-made furniture will also make your job of maintaining them easier. As such, consider your lifestyle and needs as you study your options.
By doing so, you will have furnishings that will complete the space — ones that you won’t regret having and will be happy to own for a long time.
James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.