How to Choose the Best Fabric for Your Sofa

Learn about Furniture Fabric Basics and How to Choose the Best Fabric for Your Sofa.

The upholstery fabric for a new sofa is a big investment.  With the time and money you put into choosing the best fabric for your sofa, you want to make sure your decision is the right one.  Otherwise, in a few years, you may need to get your sofa reupholstered or purchase another sofa.  Before you decide on the fabric for your new sofa, make sure to read the following guiding principles our expert interior designers put together:

The Furniture Fabric Basics

It is important to understand your home’s needs.  For example, furniture pieces in high-traffic areas – such as the living room – need more durable fabrics than a bedroom loveseat.

In addition to people traffic, make sure to consider how the sofa’s fabric will age over time.  If you plan to have your new sofa for years to come, you will have to live with the fabric’s aging, which is unique for all fabrics.  Ask questions or search for the material’s content, cleaning needs, and maintenance, so you know what to expect in five years.

The Wear & Tear

Have kids or pets?  Going with a more durable fabric will add years to your sofa’s lifetime and save you many frustrating moments.  Fabrics are designed and tested over and over again for wearability, durability and prevention from pilling. New revolutionary fabrics are even designed to prevent fading when the placed in the sun. Distressed leather is also a good option, as it ages nicely, and the occasional scuff or scratch adds to the character of the piece. Fabrics like cotton and linen breathe easily and have a natural feel. Microfiber blends are almost indestructible.

If you are interested in more luxurious materials like textured wool blends or velvet, it is best to place these in rooms with less traffic.  These fabrics will need cleaning, but a professional is required instead of the typical spot clean.

The Fabric Style

Should your sofa fabric mix in or stand out from the rest of your living room?  Either is a good option!  As your sofa fabric will help define the style of the room, it is easy to build a room’s style based on the sofa fabric color and style.

You can create a bold statement by choosing upholstery fabric in a bright color or pattern. Another option is a neutral color fabric on your sofa. Sofa fabric colors that go well with many styles include a grey or taupe. colored sofa.  These colors are easy to work into any room color scheme, and adding a few stylistic throw pillows or blankets allows you to swap out the style whenever you want.


Whether you are in the market for an Amish hand-crafted, namebrand, or custom designer sofa, let our expert team of designers at Fenton Home Furnishings help you and your home.  Give us a call or stop into one of our Michigan locations – Fenton, Waterford, Lapeer, or Frankenmuth – to schedule a free in-home design consultation.