What constitutes a durable fabric?

The top two factors in the durability of a fabric are the fiber content, and the tightness of the weave. 

Fiber Content: In general, synthetic fabrics such as Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic are more durable than their natural counterparts.  Fabrics made from these synthetics do not readily absorb stains, and tend to be strong fibers by their nature.  Leather, a natural upholstery, blows this truth out of the water–as no other fabric can compare in terms of strength, ease of care, or beautiful aging.  Otherwise, natural fibers vary significantly in strength and durability–however Cotton is generally a good choice.  Cottons blends are resistant to fading and often make very sturdy covers.

Tightness of Weave: Generally speaking, the tighter the weave of a fabric, the easier it is to keep clean and the longer it will resist damage from abrasion.   With a tight weave, abrasives, such as dirt or hair, do not penetrate the fabric–which can cause damage or pilling with a looser upholstery.  Essentially, dirt and dust stay close to the surface and out of the fabric weave, making it easier to clean and longer lasting.  There is also close relation between the tightness of a weave and ‘thread count’, as the more tightly woven a fabric, the higher the concentration of threads within a particular area.

Cleaning:  The industry standard cleaning code is a ‘letter’ that designates what type of cleaner to use on a fabric for spot cleaning.  ‘W’ stands for a Water-Based Cleaner; spot clean only with water or a water-based upholstery cleaner, shampoo or a mild detergent.  ‘S’ stands for a Solvent-Based Cleaner; spot clean only with a water-free upholstery cleaner.  ‘W/S’ means you can use either a Water or Solvent-Based Cleaner.  ‘X’ means it should only be cleaned by vacuuming or by lightly brushing with a soft brush. 

Durable Fabric for a Sleeper Sofa Bed

About Meryl Alcabes

Twenty-five years ago, Meryl Alcabes launched Also Furniture with her husband Carlos. They were new to retail and new to the furniture industry, so the first few years of business were a challenge. However, with her art school background and gregarious personality, Meryl loved the combination of meeting new people and helping them design their living spaces by focusing on appropriate colors and styles for each situation.

When Meryl and Carlos were first married and found their dream apartment in San Francisco, they could only afford one new furniture item a month. The very first thing they purchased was a sleeper sofa, which they used as a bed at night and for seating during the day. After a few years in the furniture business, Meryl realized that sleeper sofas were a must for most apartment and condo dwellers, and they were hard to find—so the couple decided to specialize in sofa beds and Sleepers In Seattle was launched.

Two of Meryl and Carlos’s sons, Max and Jacques, have since joined the firm, which has expanded in many directions with Savvy Home. Meryl’s interests include photography and collage, in addition to cooking for her family and friends and frequent entertaining. Dinner table discussion always includes furniture talk and speculation about when their third son, Raphael, will join the business.
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