Upholstery Materials – The Facts!
When it comes to choosing upholstery materials, many people think it is a case of opting for colour and pattern but, there is a little more to it. Not all fabrics are suitable for all projects and so it pays to know the basics before you opt for an item to be re-upholstered with a certain fabric…
Upholstery materials can be divided in to 2 categories:
- Man-made, also known assynthetic
- Andnaturalmaterials that are from either plant or animal
Man-made fabrics were, in many cases, made in response to the perceived weaknesses in natural materials; they are also less susceptible to fluctuations in prices. For example, wool at one time was incredibly cheap but then prices increased to a level where people could ill-afford it.
SILK, for example, is natural material, well known for its delicateness and elegance. Despite this luxurious sensation that this material has, it stains easily and requires professional cleaning.
In response, ACETATE was created that had all the properties of silk, to a certain extent, but is not as fragile nor as expensive. People often find it a poor substitute for silk, once they have known this material and can still show stains and dirt easily. But, it is slightly more robust.
There are many other upholstery materials that have a man-made alternative; one is LEATHER. A natural by-product of the beef industry, leather is known as a tough material that can withstand the most amazing of punishments. It also tends to age well, improving in looks and feel with age.
VINYL is the man-made alternative and, with improvements in both technology and manufacture, it can be difficult to know the difference between leather and its man-made alternative vinyl, certainly in looks. However, vinyl is much, much cheaper and readily available but is susceptible to tearing as it does not have the natural suppleness of leather.
Upholstery materials can also be a mix ofnaturaland man-made alternativesin a way to get the best of all the properties of both materials.WOOLfor example, is commonly missed withnylonto produce upholstery materials that are tough, yet soft and hard wearing.
MICROFIBRE is a synthetic material that is made fromPOLYESTER, similar to velvet and suede in texture. A recent invention, this creation is now popular with many customers who like its moderate price, along with its softness and low maintenance properties. We all live busy lives, and the thought of spending time arranging professional cleaners etc. is something not many people will relish. However, upholstery materials such as this can be vacuumed without causing it any damage.
Upholstery materials come in many colours and patterns; as trends change so do the likes and dislikes of customers but it is important that you choose the right material for the job - why not talk to use about rub qualities of a fabric, and see if the one you have chosen is right for the job in hand?