Top 8 tips to look for when you buy sofa covers
As an experienced upholsterer and interior decorator perhaps I’d like to share eight tips to look out for when you do intend to buy ready-made sofa covers or have them custom made.
These 8 points may not necessarily encompass all the points that customers usually follow but they can give you a simple guide on some main points to consider.
Elicit / Collection
- Fabric durability
If the fabric is durable it is quite likely you will be able to use it for a longer period of time. If price difference is not too huge, I would suggest you go for cotton mix like a polyester and cotton fabric with proper rub tests above 40,000 Martindale at least. (We will probably talk about rub tests in greater detail in my next write up).
But you will be pleasantly surprised how far polyester has traveled and arrived on the technology scene. Nowadays a 100% polyester fabric can have a feel of cotton without the downsides of shrinkage like the natural fibre. So do explore this option too.
If you are selecting from a reputable fabric supplier, I would suggest to consider fabrics with easy wash or easy clean options. The latest Fibreguard and Yarn Pro by Acacia Fabrics is a great option as they incorporated the latest grime free technology with friendly prices. What’s more there are hundreds of designs and colors to choose from. It’s really easy and more fun to custom make your own. For a slightly higher price to pay for workmanship, you will get designer looks and quality finish to boot.
- Fabric color
Fabric colors and textures are quite abundant nowadays and most times, clients prefer darker colors for sofa as they feel they can keep the sofa looking cleaner without the browns and stains showing too much.
Good news is in store for you, as the latest technology fabrics have managed to protect each yarn and fibre before the weaving process to present you fabrics that can maintain its looks by protecting the fabric from the unnecessary worry of stains and dirt.
You can now have whites or even creams and light pastels wherever you like. Even on areas with high traffic you won’t need to be overly concerned on the maintenance of the sofa cover looking spic and span.
Cafe / Collection
Centurion / Collection
- Sofa cover design
The design of the sofa cover must be easy to remove or cleaned when necessary. There are some sofa designs that look very good but remember to always ask the salesperson to show you how the cover can be removed for cleaning. Otherwise you will incur additional charges and work to remove and refit the covers.
Personally, I have seen some covers are really unfriendly for single human to manage. It is therefore a good idea to explore ease of removal as one of the factors when choosing sofas with removable covers. Especially for homeowners who prefer to do washing of covers at least twice a year.
- Stitching quality
Stitching quality can be determined by looking at the lines if sewn straight and the quality of thread should commensurate with the thickness of the fabric. Good stitching will also ensure that the shape of your sofa is enhanced. Good quality zips and the opening of zips should be long and wide enough for easy removal of the covers.
Elation / Collection
Liberate / Collection
- Ease of use
Again, this area overlaps with item 3, as the sofa design may be a factor on how friendly your sofa covers can be removed or replaced after cleaning.
On the fabrics side, you will need to consider if you wish to purchase vinyl or PVC fabrics or woven fabrics. There are many types of PVCs and it will always be good to check with an experienced upholsterer on the various quality available. As usual, go for better quality as you will definitely won’t be disappointed on the color, feel, quality, durability, design and being in this industry long enough has convinced me that quality do comes with the price.
- Ease of care and maintenance
Latest modern fabrics are easy to maintain. Look out for water repellent fabrics if you are using your sofa at a high traffic place in your home or for a project. These allows you to dab off any spilled liquids easily before they are absorbed into the fibres. You will need to note the lifespan of this coverage. As most are just surface treated, you will notice the effectiveness is reduced after years of use. You may expect this to last between 3-5 years for peak performance. But other factors such as high traffic seating and hot or sun kissed spots may deteriorate faster.
PVC vs Fabric. Well, if you like the leather look or modern vinyl look, you will also appreciate that you don’t and won’t really need to wash these and only regular wiping from time to time can maintain a good and clean surface.
Leather: Just like a lovely handbag, you will need to clean your sofa cover, if it’s leather with proper leather creams to protect and enhance the look of the leather for lasting beauty and use.
Musa / Collection
Museo / Collection
- Fabric composition
As mentioned earlier, the composition of the fibres can determine whether a certain fabric is suitable for your use. If you are looking at using the cover for outdoors, there are specific outdoor fabric ranges such as for aircraft and even marine use.
For indoors, you can select based on considerations for cleaning, or even pet’s claws, etc.
Fabric for sofa covers should have a slightly thicker feel to give shape and lend durability to the high friction from seating.
- Custom made or ready-made
I will always ask client to go for custom made as the fit will always be best. The ready made ones can be considered if only the store has already made additional in accordance to the design or designs you have bought.
Pioneer / Collection