Your sofa should reflect your lifestyle
Ever heard of the saying, “a soul mate is someone who you could spend a great deal of time with just sitting on a sofa?” However, it is certain this expression wasn’t crafted with just any kind of sofa in mind, but a great one that accommodates your mood in a way that reflects your entity.
A great sofa is such with upholstery that defines your space, be it a natural fiber, synthetic or leather sofa. However, it is always wise to assess your lifestyle before you choose your sofa as this determines the comfort, warmth and durability it provides you. But, more importantly, how anyone who walks into your home or office perceives you. So in a way, your sofa should reflect your personality, style and class.
Whichever type of sofa upholstery you choose, whether natural fiber, synthetic or leather, should definitely reflect your way of life and should be a place you want to comfortably fall back on, to breathe in good times and bad. A cosy place you want to sit with friends, family, loved ones, partners to talk, laugh, share ideas, resolve issues and host comfortable formal or informal meetings.
The Natural Fiber Sofa
Natural fibers sofas are made of cotton, linen, silk and wool. You’re probably familiar with these fabrics as garments, and they will have similar properties on a sofa, but are more densely woven. Cotton, linen and wool are the most durable natural sofa fibers, but are susceptible to damage from sunlight and moisture. Keep in mind that even though they are called “natural” these fibers may be highly processed and treated with synthetic dyes and chemicals. If you are seeking to avoid these chemicals, look for cotton labeled certified organic.
The most common synthetics for sofa fabrics are polyester or polypropylene, nylon, acrylic and olefin. These products are often blended with natural fibers to add durability. They are resistant to stains and fading. Some synthetics are made to resemble natural fibers for example; acrylic is similar to wool in texture and appearance. Microfiber fabrics, usually made of polyester, are densely woven or nonwoven with a short nap that gives them the feeling of suede. Noted for durability, microfiber upholstery is favoured by pet owners because it resists staining and claw marks.
Leather being a processed animal hide is not a fabric and this is why it is a prized luxury covering for sofas. The highest quality leather is top-grain, which uses the entire thickness of the hide and reveals the skin surface. Split-grain and suede leathers are thinner, because the hide is split in two, and shows a cut surface rather than skin. These leathers are dyed in a range of colours as well as the more natural-appearing browns and tans. Composites, known as bi-cast and bonded leather, and artificial leather products are also available. Some of these are very attractive and difficult to tell from genuine leather, but they may not wear as well and are difficult to repair if damaged.
Choosing a sofa fabric
The style of the sofa to suit your lifestyle is of utmost importance when choosing fabric. For contemporary and mid-century modern sofas, look for solid colours or modest, tonal prints in flat weaves such as twill, or herringbone and other lightly textured weaves. Floral prints and textured luxury fabrics such as damask and velvet are suitable for traditional and period
However, the best choices for budget-conscious sofa buyers are cottons, synthetics and blends. Families with pets and active children should look for these fibers in sturdy weaves, such as denim, twill or microfiber. Investment-minded buyers will appreciate quality leather coverings and traditional fibers such as linen, silk and wool.
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