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Complete Guide to Choosing
Sofa Fabric Upholstery & Materials

When hunting for the right sofa, upholstery fabric should play a large part in your decision process. After all, fabric choice has an impact on the sofa's longevity, how plush it is and how well it fits your other home decor and living room furniture.
Amber Swatch
Dark Smoke Leather Swatch
Certain types of fabric may also be better for you depending on whether you have kids, pets, and how much time you want to put into upkeep and maintenance. In this article, we'll discuss how to choose the perfect sofa upholstery, explain the different types of performance fabrics and natural fabric options, and show you how to design the perfect sofa for your home that will last a lifetime.

How to Choose the Perfect
Upholstery Fabric for Your Sofa

Man and Woman on Four Different Armchairs
When it comes to selecting the best fabric for a long-lasting sofa,
here are some great tips to help you make your choice:
Ask for swatches to compare and contrast the look and feel of different fabrics.
Decide, upfront, how much you're willing to invest time in cleaning and keeping up your sofa upholstery.
Consider how long you plan to own the sofa.
Consider whether you have the need for a particular type of fabric sofa (i.e. stain-resistant performance fabric, suede, or leather upholstery).
Compare the sofa fabric of choice to other items in your living room (i.e. chaise, loveseat, recliner, tables, etc.).
When considering your fabric options, it's important to pick something you like the look and feel of. If you're not comfortable sitting on it, you won't be happy with your purchase. Allform offers free swatches to help you make your choice. It's also important to consider how much time you want to spend cleaning your sofa. Some fabrics like leather, are far easier to clean than others. 

In addition, it's important to consider how long you plan to own the sofa as some types of fabric hold up better over time than others. Finally, you'll want to consider if you have any particular needs for your sofa fabric and whether or not it matches well with your existing furniture. For example, you might want a nice stain-resistant performance fabric, but if your other furniture is leather, this may cause you to go in a different direction. 

Types of Sofa Fabrics

When it comes to purchasing a sofa, you have a number of fabric options to choose from. While some like the sleek design of leather and suede, others prefer natural fabrics like cotton which are hypoallergenic. 

Still, others prefer a performance fabric blend that is ultra-durable and holds up well to traffic from kids and/or pets. We're going to break down these options for you so you can see for yourself, which is the better choice for your home and needs. 
Woman Sitting on Amber 3-Seat Sofa with Chaise
Man Lying on Dark Smoke Leather 3-Seat Sofa

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics are a popular choice among consumers. Fabrics like cotton are sourced from plants and come in a variety of price points, depending on the thread count, however, prices tend to be higher than other synthetic fabrics. In addition, these fabrics typically have a tight weave design which helps to prevent snagging but is not well known for its stain resistance. Light stains can be cleaned with water-based cleaning solutions, but excessive scrubbing and abrasion will lead to a shorter life span than other performance fabrics.

Performance Fabrics

Performance fabrics are durable and built to withstand wear and tear while being easy to clean and maintain. Performance fabrics are created with synthetic fibers and tend to have greater longevity, but mimic the look and feel of natural fibers. Additionally, because performance fabrics are created with synthetic blends, they are typically a much lower price point for shoppers on a budget. Performance fabrics are scratch and stain-resistant and can typically be cleaned by simply blotting up spills and for tough messes, potentially using a simple soap and water solution. Some examples include microfiber, chenille and rayon. Allform, for example, creates all fabric couches with performance fabrics that are stain-, pill- and scratch-resistant. You can read more about them on our sofa materials page.

Leather & Suede

Leather and suede are also considered performance fabrics because they are extremely stain resistant and very easy to clean, typically with a simple wipe down. Because they are a higher-end, buying a leather sofa is going to cost a bit more than a synthetic fabric sofa. For this reason, budget-conscious shoppers sometimes opt for faux leather. To maintain leather and suede, wipe them down from time to time and using a fabric-specific conditioner helps to keep them well-maintained. While both fabrics do show age over time, the look of an aged leather sofa is actually considered to be a plus for furniture owners.
Couple relaxing on Allform Sofa.

Designing a Sofa to Last a Lifetime

No matter which sofa you choose, remember to look deeply into your fabric options to determine the quality. 

Allform put a massive amount of time and energy into creating both performance fabric and leather options for our couches. We wanted to create something that was not only sustainable and long-lasting, but also affordable. 

All our sofas are handmade in the USA, shipped fast and free, and come with a 100-day trial so you can be sure you love it. They also come with a forever warranty. Our sofas are made with top of the line performance fabrics that are stain, pill, and scratch-resistant. We offer our performance upholstery in seven fabric options and two leather options.