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The Importance of Fibers

Few people consider the type of upholstery fabric they are purchasing, but it plays a significant role in the method of cleaning that will be used. There are many different fibers including:

* Polyester  * Cotton * Wool * Linen * Acrylic * Leather * Microfiber

Each of these fibers has different ways that they must be treated otherwise you run the risk of damaging the upholstery. This is bad news if the upholstery is no longer in production such is the case with older pieces of furniture. Each fiber type is tagged with a two letter code that specifies the best way to clean the fiber – the manufacturers recommended treatment.

When you speak with a representative about the upholstery prior to making your appointment, you will likely be asked about the type of fabric. Some fabrics such as cotton, microfiber and polyester are easy to clean. Others such as silk and wool require specialized treatment so as not to damage the fabric in any way. The easier the treatment on your particular fiber, the less expensive the cost to steam clean your upholstery.


Various types of Upholstery Fabrics

Before heading out to the department store to select a piece of furniture such as a sofa or love seat it is important to know a little bit about the fabrics they are made of. While you may have a specific color and style in mind there are many different fabrics available, some which will last better than others. Many factors can play into a fabric being more suitable for one over another. 

Do not count on the salesman to know the one that’s best for you. With a little research on your part you can choose the upholstery that suits your needs.

Fabrics and their Properties

Choosing fabrics can be difficult as it is not always in your best interest to choose what you think looks nice. Oftentimes some of the nicest furniture fabrics require a lot of upkeep. This is fine if you live in an adult only household with no pets. However, adding children and pets to the equation results in having to choose fabrics that are durable and easy to clean. Listed below are a few samples of the types of fibers that you will encounter when looking to purchase new furniture.

* If you are looking for something that holds up to stains and heavy wear then synthetic fabrics are what you should be looking for. Synthetic fabrics can be Olefin, nylon, polyester and acrylic fabrics. They are designed for homes where the furniture is used frequently and require minimal work on your part to keep them clean. They are generally easiest to maintain and this is especially true if you have children and pets.

* Natural fabrics such as cotton, acetate, rayon, linen and silk require professional care to maintain them in their original state. They must be pre-treated with stain repellant, such as a scotch guard prior to being used. This type of fabric is not recommended in a home where there are small children or pets. Stains are much harder to remove even though the fabric is pretreated. A professional cleaning service is strongly urged in order to keep the upholstery fresh and inviting.

* Blended fabrics contain a mixture of fabric thus the title blended. They usually contain parts of the synthetic mixed with natural fabrics. Again these can be relatively easy to maintain so long as the blend leans on the side of the synthetic.

As with any large purchase, when it comes to caring for your upholstery a professional cleaning service is usually the way to go. Most people either do not have the time to dedicate or the patience to do the job correctly. Oftentimes people try to develop a shortcut in the cleaning method which only serves to damage the upholstery. Skipping steps when cleaning your upholstery can have disastrous effects. There are many reasons you will want to have your furniture professionally cleaned. Taking the fear of damaging your furniture and placing it
in the hands of a professional allows you a way to recover for damages should something develop.


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