Different Types Of Upholstery Fabrics And Their Cleaning Techniques

Different Types Of Upholstery Fabrics And Their Cleaning Techniques

Upholstery fabric comes in various types, weave patterns and counts and hence their cleaning techniques also differ from fabric to fabric. Some of the popular types of fabrics and their cleaning techniques are listed below:


Microfiber has become the fabric of the day and of choice for many homeowners because of its stain resistant properties and easy clean technology. Microfiber has a soft feel and is dyed in vibrant colors and prints. It is an ideal choice for people with, kids, pets or people who have to invite friends over regularly.


Cotton is a natural, breathable and versatile material that usually comes in earthy and dull tones. If untreated, cotton absorbs stains and can fade away if washed with heavy or abrasive cleaning agents. However, manufacturers are now applying a stain resistant coat to the natural cotton to make it last longer and easy to use. The cleaning of cotton is quite technical and it is advisable to read label before doing any specific upholstery cleaning. If a fabric says pre-washed (usually as in removable slip covers and fitted covers) then it is safe to clean it in a water and soap solution. Do not use bleach, or leave in the sunlight to dry as the cotton dye can bleed or fade easily.


Canvas is a sturdy looking fabric and it is good to use in a lot of places because of the ease of cleaning. However, the fabric can handle dirt and stain well as they tend to show usually near the crease or folds. Though canvas is otherwise durable and a good choice for family rooms, regular vacuuming and wiping with clean damp cloth is regularly is highly recommended. Soak the fabric in warm water before upholstering in order to shrink it. Canvas is a good choice for removable or fitted slipcovers and as it can be washed in a washing machine.

Silk & Linen

This choice of upholstery fabrics is not the one for faint hearts. The fabric gives a look of class and luxury but is a nightmare in terms of stain resistance and cleaning. It is advisable to use silk or linen only in rooms where kids and pets are not given access. This is the fabric for formal guests, drawing and formal dining halls or guest bedrooms. If ever these types of fabrics get stained then look for professional cleaning service.


Another classy, timeless and durable choice of fabric for upholstery is leather. Leather if maintained properly and with proper care can last for generations without fading or aging. Although very pricy it is a wonderful fabric in terms of maintenance and care. Just wipe it with damp cloth regularly and use gentle leather cleaning foam occasionally.


A close cousin of silk, suede looks beautiful but is not to be used in the house till the kids leave for college. This is also a wrong choice for houses that have pets that shed as the fabric is sticky and has Velcro like properties. It can be vacuumed or cleaned using a soft brush. Using water is a big no on these. Stains can be removed using art gum erasers.

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