Shopping for a couch or designing it requires a decent knowledge of the materials and fabrics involved. The quality of the frame determines the durability of the structure, while the upholstery must be both attractive-looking and wear-resistant. Here are the main things to consider.
Pay attention to the type of fabric, as well as it’s color and pattern. The coolest-looking material may be prone to wear and tear, and its color could fade in the sunlight. Go for one of the following categories:
1. Woven fabric
The tighter the weave the better the durability. Imagine a good pair of jeans. The denim weave is extremely tight, which means the fabric is easily washable and lasts long. The same logic applies to upholstery.
Pick some heavy linen, which will drape well and last longer than its more loose variations. Another option is fabric with a pile. For instance, consider velvet made of cotton and polyester. This blend ensures the material remains soft to the touch but is not worn out easily.
This is another durable type. The weave is very thick, so the fabric shows good wear-resistance, and its texture is nubby. A blend of linen and polyester also provides good resistance to staining.
Twill is a good alternative for removable upholstery. Your slipcover or removable seat cushion covers will be machine-washable. Here, the weave is diagonal, and the material is pure cotton.
2. Performance Fabrics
These are acrylic-based materials engineered for multiple purposes that require durability rather than style. Also known as value-added textiles, they are perfect for any situations involving a lot of wear.
3. Polyester + Acrylic
Despite the synthetic nature, such blend materials have their special benefits. They are:
- more durable;
- easier to clean;
Naturally, you will not get the softness of the breathability of velvet or cotton, but if the fabric is only a blend of natural and synthetic threads, you can get the best of both worlds.
Even the nubbiest upholstery is no use if the support structure falls apart. Metal is the strongest but also the priciest. Steer clear of particle board, which is the cheapest and least reliable of all. Softwood, like pine, is better, but still imperfect. A couch is an investment that should serve your family well for many years.
Whether you go for oak, cherry, walnut, or beech, the durability will be much better. Generally, the higher the timber grade the better the strength, as there are fewer knots.
This means the wood has been dried in a special oven that is also used to cure pottery. The procedure removes any traces of moisture from within the board, making it much stronger. Otherwise, the moisture maintained in the grains will eventually evaporate, reducing overall durability. Kiln drying makes snapping or warping very unlikely.