What material is the upholstery of your sofa made of? This is the first question that you will hear on the phone when contacting a professional dry cleaner.
There are many varieties of sofa upholstery materials. They differ in composition and performance. Our article will help you determine the material from which your sofa is made, and whether it is possible to dry clean it.
You will also find some practical tips for self-care for your sofa upholstered in the most popular fabrics. Let’s get started!
Non-natural fabrics are most commonly used for sofa upholstery. The material from such fabrics is highly durable, resistant to wiping, fading and can be easily dry-cleaned with professional detergents.
Using the water-cleaning method, any dirt, even the oldest stains, can be removed from the upholstery of sofas made of artificial and synthetic fabrics.
However, a guaranteed result can only be achieved if the stain has not been washed off with household cleaning products.
Attempts to remove stains on your own with household products can lead to stains, which even experts will not help you get rid of!
Flock is a material consisting of two parts:
- Base, which is made of cotton, polyester or nylon.
- Pile, usually nylon.
Outwardly, flock resembles suede – it is soft, pleasant to the touch and as easy to clean as possible.
Flock does not fade in the sun, is resistant to moisture and mechanical damage. Perhaps the only noticeable disadvantage of this material is that it absorbs and retains odours for a long time.
For this reason, flock sofas are usually not installed in the kitchen.
To care for a flock sofa, it is recommended to periodically clean its upholstery with a vacuum cleaner, and also wipe the surface with a slightly damp soft cloth or sponge.
Due to its properties, chenille is recognized as the most optimal options for upholstery fabric: aesthetic appearance, high wear resistance and ease of maintenance.
Chenille refers to semi-synthetic (blended) fabrics. It is non-toxic and does not cause allergies even in children. The flaw in this material is sensitivity to animal claws. From them, clues remain on the upholstery.
For regular maintenance of furniture with chenille upholstery, a vacuum cleaner and a slightly damp sponge are enough.
To maintain the cleanliness of the sofa upholstery and filler, it is recommended to carry out a deep professional cleaning at least 2 times a year.
The matte fabric is a loose and porous material with a large basket-like weave of threads.
The matte fabric is always the centre of attention for pets – this is their favourite place for sharpening their claws. Therefore, a house with cats is not the best place to install such a sofa.
Rough weaving and a large distance between the threads of the fabric make the matting vulnerable to dust, fine debris and liquids spilt on the sofa.
Through the upholstery, they quickly penetrate directly into the filling of the sofa. It is recommended to dry-clean the matting sofa at least twice a year.
Natural upholstery fabrics
Natural fabrics are environmentally friendly, they are soft and pleasant to the touch, have a beautiful texture. But, unfortunately, the upholstery made from natural materials quickly wipes off and tears, easily absorbs dirt, absorbs unpleasant odours, stretches during operation and loses the brightness of colors.
It is quite problematic to clean furniture with such upholstery – it does not like warm processing, it can deform and shrink with abundant moisture.
An incorrectly selected detergent can discolor the upholstery or cause it to tear. In a word, natural fabrics require a particularly careful attitude during operation and even more so when cleaning.
Professional aqua cleaning allows for delicate cleansing of natural fabrics that are difficult to care for.
An exception is made if the pollution was rubbed with household products on their own or more than 1 week has passed since their appearance.
Under such conditions, even specialists with impressive work experience cannot give a 100% guarantee of purity.
A silk sofa is a luxurious piece of furniture. Today it is almost impossible to find 100% natural silk upholstery of upholstered furniture because of its impracticality.
Natural silk is a very fragile material, it breaks easily and even the slightest drop of liquid spreads over it, forming a large spot and leaving streaks.
To improve the performance of silk and give it strength, modern textile manufacturers add synthetic threads to its composition.
But even silk of a semi-synthetic composition tends to get dirty and wipe quickly, and frequent cleaning is contraindicated for it.
Whether it is a luxurious antique ottoman made of the most expensive natural silk of the past centuries or a modern sofa made of semi-synthetic silk upholstery – when you clean it yourself, you cannot avoid stains that cannot be removed.
Therefore, we recommend that you do not test your furniture for strength and immediately call a competent specialist to clean a sofa made of silk upholstery.
It is strictly forbidden to clean silk upholstered furniture with household detergents!
In some cases, even professional dry cleaning may be contraindicated for a silk sofa. For example, a skilled craftsman will painlessly clean smooth silk with a liquid detergent composition.
If silk has a fleecy surface, any wet cleaning is prohibited. To accurately determine whether it is possible to dry-clean your sofa, you need professional advice from a specialist!
Velor and velvet
The upholstery in velvet and velour has a soft fleecy surface. Over time, the pile of these fabrics is crushed or wiped off, loses volume and bald spots appear on the upholstery.
Never use liquid soaps, solvents or nail polish remover to clean velour and velvet upholstery. Often on the Internet, you can find advice on cleaning velvet upholstery with alcohol.
Don’t experiment! Pile dye is very unstable. As a result of incorrect actions, you risk wiping the pile to bald spots and discolouring the upholstery.
Only professional dry cleaning is recommended for sofas with velour and velvet upholstery!
Perhaps the only thing that you can do yourself with the benefit of a velvet sofa is to vacuum it twice a month and comb it with a soft sponge.
This will prevent the pile from getting caught and preserve the pile texture of the upholstery.
Natural suede is a durable and wear-resistant material. Both natural and artificial suede should not be exposed to excessive moisture.
The best way to keep suede upholstered furniture clean is to vacuum it regularly every week.
Change the tops of your sofa cushions every time you clean. This will make the wear on the fabric less noticeable.
If you want to know more about cleaning a leather sofa at home, click here
Cotton and linen fabric
Cotton and linen are materials of plant origin, they are absolutely environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic. But by themselves, cotton fabrics and linen are not practical – they wrinkle very much and are easily subject to shrinkage.
Therefore, synthetics are added to their composition. The result is a more ductile, durable and less wrinkling material that is resistant to heat and damp treatments.
But even blended cotton and linen fabrics easily absorb odours and are almost irrevocably colored when staining pigment from food, drinks, and office pens gets on them.
An attempt to self-clean cotton or linen upholstery usually ends with an increase in the area of the stain – the dirt spreads even more along with the upholstery.
Only professional dry cleaning is a guaranteed way to return cleanliness to a linen or cotton sofa and eliminate unpleasant odours.
And finally, some tips!
If you do decide to try to remove the stain from the upholstery made from natural fabrics on your own, here are some professional tips to help you avoid permanent damage to your sofa.
- Before using any detergent, be sure to test its effect on an inconspicuous area of the furniture.
- Do not rub detergent or stain remover on the sofa surface! After applying the composition to the upholstery, it is necessary to pull it out with a washing household vacuum cleaner with a furniture attachment.
- When removing a fresh stain, blot it with a napkin, moving from the edge of the stain to its center.
Natural fabrics are difficult to maintain material. It is not always possible to say unequivocally whether a sofa with one or another type of upholstery can be dry-cleaned.