Choosing Home Furniture Material – Furniture Coverings to Suit

Considerations in choosing the finishing for your furniture from leather to microfiber or micro suede, to natural or synthetic fabrics.

Deciding on new furniture can be overwhelming with the range of choices available. Not only is there shape, size and style to consider, there are colour and material choice too.

Particularly in a home with children and/or pets, you will want to carefully weigh your options. You can train the dogs not to jump up, the kids not to eat on the sofa or the cats not to scratch the legs; but inevitably accidents will happen.

Leather Furniture

Leather is surprisingly child-friendly. Spills just sit right on top and are easily wiped off although you will need to watch more adult messes like red wine and coffee lest they stain lighter colours.

Cats will generally not be drawn to leather as an ideal scratching material but if they run across the surfaces their claws will leave tiny holes. Over time, the leather will look nubbled and worn.

Leather can be cold to sit on, or sticky in hot weather. Less expensive leather furniture is made with piece leather which can wear through more quickly and sometimes dark dyes will transfer to clothes.

Micro Fibre Material

Micro fibre or micro suede is a relatively new furniture covering material with an incredibly tight weave. Next to leather it is the most cleanable as, just like leather, liquid spills sit on top of the material without soaking in. From experience, coffee, red wine and ball point ink are easily rubbed out with just soap and water, even on light shades. This is also a better material for pets as the material acts more like fabric and doesn’t show small cat claw punctures. You will want to ensure that your cat is not inclined to shred the corners but again it is not the most attractive material to them.

Micro fibre is so far only available in solid colours. You will also want to watch that other fabric dyes, like new jeans or red sweaters, and inks like newspaper, don’t transfer to the material as it can stain.

Fabric Upholstered Furniture

Fabric furniture provides the widest range of colour and pattern for design options. It is warm and cozy to sink into. It will absorb spills, so periodic professional cleaning will keep it in its best shape. While fabric won’t show tiny pricks from pet claws, it is susceptible to tearing.

There are a few additional options with upholstery:

  • Natural Fibre Furniture Fabrics – Natural materials like silk, cotton and linen are light weight and breathable and beautiful in home design but they may not be as durable as man made materials.
  • Synthetic Fibres – Synthetic upholstery like polyester, velvet and rayon will be more durable and last longer but some people may not like the textures and may only be professionally cleaned.

Take into account the preferences and needs of the individuals in the home who will be using the furniture the most and then select a surface to match. Furniture is an investment that you don’t want to replace frequently, so take your time in choosing.