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Fabric Upholstery Buying Guide

Buying a sofa can be a major lifestyle decision. You need to find the right colour, the right comfort, the right size, the right shape and all at the right price. At Forrest Furnishing we understand this can be a difficult and sometimes confusing choice. We are here to help. We are always available at our Glasgow showroom to help you pick the perfect sofas and chairs to suit your requirements. However, before you visit us in store or buy a product online we’d like to offer you some initial information via this simple guide to make your purchasing decision that little bit easier.


Fabric covers
These come with either fixed or loose covers.

  • Fixed covers: These are where the fabric cover is attached to the furniture frame and can offer a wide choice of colours and material finishes. Although they fit tightly offering a neater look, they're not as practical in terms of maintenance. They usually require being professionally dry cleaned.
  • Fabric Characteristics: Chenille type fabrics and velvets may change appearance after use. This is due to the pile in the fabric moving in different directions as you sit on the upholstery, causing shade variations as the fabric scatters light in different directions. This is not a fault, it is a natural characteristic of these types of fabric. By brushing the fabric regularly with a soft brush and where applicable turning and rotating cushions, you may be able to restore the pile to its original position.

Fillings

The main types of filling for upholstery are described below, with some of our models available in a choice of interiors to give you some control over the level of comfort, and indeed, the look of your new sofa or chair.

  • Foam: the most commonly used filling in our ranges, foam provides the firmest and most supportive cushion. Foam fillings are very resilient and robust. From a manufacturing point of view, foam interiors are the easiest of all to work with, as they can be moulded and cut to any shape and size.
  • Fibre: this synthetic fibre filling, made up of woven strands of processed material, provides a softer support than foam. Fibre has a softness that contours itself around the body. As foam is not as ‘giving’ as other fillings, fibre fillings are commonly used in back cushions more than seat cushions, as well as scatter cushions. This provides a more relaxed feel but does require regular plumping.
  • Foam/fibre: these fillings are often used together to give the best of both fibre and foam. Normally used for a relaxed/lived-in look, cushions need more turning and plumping. Seat cushions often have a pad of foam with a layer of fibre wrapped around it. This combination provides the resilience and shape of foam, together with the softer feel of fibre.
  • Fibre and feathers: only used in a small percentage of sofas, this mixture of feather and fibre fillings is used for back cushions, scatter cushions and some seat cushions. Feathers will always have a tendency to move inside the cushion and don't recover in the same was as foam and fibre. This means they need plumping up more regularly to retain their shape. This type of upholstery should be avoided by those affected by asthma or have an allergy to feathers.

Upholstery care

  • Try and utilise all the seating so that the covers and fillings wear evenly. This can even mean swapping the cushions around from time to time.
  • Plump and turn over cushions regularly to maintain shape and to even out the wear and tear of the fabric.
  • Have fixed cover sofas professionally cleaned regularly.
  • Any spillages should be blotted up straight away. Do not rub as this may take out colour.
  • Loose covers should be washed together to minimise differences in fading.

Sunlight & Heat

  • All upholstered furniture should be placed at least 30cm from heat sources such as radiators. This will help to prevent colour change or permanent marks occurring.
  • Where possible, avoid positioning your furniture in direct sunlight where it may fade.
  • Hot items, such as laptop computers or coffee cups, should never be placed on more delicate upholstery. This may leave unsightly marks which could be impossible to remove.
  • The furniture we supply is intended to be used in rooms without excessive heat or cold temperatures. We cannot be held responsible for issues resulting from furniture being used in these environments.

If you have any queries about any of our range of fabric upholstery please feel free to contact us via telephone on 0141 300 7400 or simply get in touch via our enquiry page.

Sofas and Chairs >Back to Buying Guides > Home >
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