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Tips & Advice For Choosing The Perfect Sofa Fabric


The fabric you choose for your sofa is a controlling factor which dictates its style and appearance and also its practical function. Whether you have an armchair, a two-seater sofa, a corner sofa or a u-shaped sofa, the fabric is a fundamental decision you have to get right, and with such a wealth of choice of fabrics and colours there is a lot you can get wrong. So, we have taken a look at the major considerations you need to make to get your fabric choice right.


Wear and tear

This is probably the single biggest factor in which fabric you should choose, and how you use your sofa typically dictates the type of fabric you go for. Your sofa may be for your own individual use in a study or games room, or it may be for everyday use in the living room. Furthermore, it could be used extensively by the kids, who may eat meals on it and you may also have pets using the sofa. This all affects what spills and stains you might expect, what natural wear it needs to withstand and also how the fabric ages over time.

You may feel that a luxury fabric such as a velvet is fine because the sofa is only subjected to occasional careful use, where a more robust and durable fabric like corduroy might be more applicable if the sofa is used all the time. Leather and cotton fabrics also work for occasional use, but you also need to consider whether the fabric is washable or if it is positioned in a location where it might become sun-damaged. This will influence both the type and colour of the fabric.


If you or your children suffer from allergies such as hayfever or asthma then this is something you should consider when choosing a fabric for your sofa. Natural fibres do attract dust, animal hairs and odours, and this could affect you if you can get a reaction to these. A leather or faux suede sofa may be more appropriate in such circumstances.

Be bold or blend in

This is a test of your personality and whether you want your sofa to be a standout feature or merely a functional accessory. Colours can be bold to make a statement, but some lighter colours may need cleaning more and hence could fade quickly. Darker colours may hide wear and tear better or even disguise spill stains, but they need to match the surrounding décor.


If you have chic, minimalist tastes you will probably avoid patterns altogether and go for a plain sofa, but you can also use patterns to tone a room up or down according to taste. It is true that patterns can help to hide stains or signs of wear, but you can also tire of a pattern quite quickly, or a pattern may fall out of fashion quickly, and then you are stuck with it. Certain patterns also suit a certain shape of sofa, such as stripes or a check pattern for example.

You should also think of your surrounding décor and how this fits with your sofa. It is probably cheaper but not necessarily easier to redecorate a room rather than have a sofa that clashes with your décor, but you should still ensure any pattern works in the room and won’t create a new job decorating the whole room to accommodate your new sofa.


Some fabrics are easy to clean and some are not. This typically follows the same pattern as wear and tear, in that the durable fabrics that can withstand more use are usually easier to clean, while the delicate fabrics are harder to clean or it is not recommended to clean them. So you need to consider whether you can remove the fabric to get it cleaned, and then whether you should have it cleaned professionally or whether you could do this yourself. In all cases, you should be careful how you approach cleaning a sofa, and you can always speak to Nabru of course, we can extend some expert advice on the subject and advise on fabric choice and all cleaning matters.

Author: Iain Cowsill

Hi! I'm Iain, owner of Nabru self assembly sofas. Established over 15 years ago, Nabru is the UK's leading name in quality self assembly sofas, sofa beds and corner sofas. Our sofas are guaranteed to fit through your door! Shop our range of sofas at www.nabru.co.uk today.