Sometimes you can afford to lean into your inner dainty. Your furniture upholstery can be delicate, elegant, and like something that would be at home in a museum or a refined tearoom with harps gently playing.
But sometimes it’s just got to be durable. Like, darn near armored truck durable.
Maybe you’re back in the office again and the lobby sofa is looking dated, dirty, and desperately needing a do-over. Maybe you’re starting to host friends and family again, and as you look around your home, the furniture is looking just a little too lived in.
Whether your needs are commercial or residential, you need your upholstery to be strong enough to laugh in the face of spills, stains, and tears. With just a little bit of intentionality, you can make any boat, Buick, or bedroom upholstery barroom tough. We’ll walk you through the cringe worthiest upholstery foes and how to defeat them.
It’s never the thing you expect, is it? You 100% know to be super careful around your furniture with all things pokey, scratchy, or otherwise prone to tear.
But then you toss a zip-up hoodie or jacket on your leather sofa for just a moment and when you pick it up the zipper rakes across the leather and rips a jagged scratch into it.
Or you’re happily lounging on your tweed loveseat and you just reach for something and somehow a stray fingernail catches the fabric wrong and there’s an instant pull in the weave.
Abrasions, punctures, or tears are rarely predictable but in a matter of seconds, they turn your favorite piece from perfect to problem.
Scratch those worries off the list. Try this instead. Get the leather vibe with faux leather durability. Thanks to the abrasion resistance and performance strength of polyurethane and recycled leather combined you get to keep the saddle leather look you love (or a myriad of other options) but skip the sad later on.
And keep that favorite loveseat, but skip the pulls. Look for a tight weave, performance fabric complete with high Wyzenbeek ratings (the standard for fabric toughness). You’ll get the woven look and feel you’re after but a weave tight enough to avoid all but the most determined of snags. Try a textured weave like Pebble, bringing a performance grade stain and fade resistance and — thanks to its 100% Olefin construction — exceeding 500,000 Wyzenbeek Rubs (Heavy Duty).
At long last, you’ve realized your coffeehouse dream and opened your own place. You’ve got the right beans, the right tunes, and those sink-in-for-an-all-day-read cozy velvet overstuffed armchairs. Perfect. Until the first patron tries to settle in while juggling their lovingly crafted latte filled to the brim. Oops. Ugh.
Or that vintage car project. It’s done at last! Your baby’s gone from up on blocks to bumping around the block. It’s everything you dreamed of and more. Until the moment you’re out cruisin’, pull through a drive-thru, and the tray of burgers and sodas gives way and your perfectly authentic fabric upholstery is done for.
Spills. It’s fully irrelevant where your upholstery is going to live. It will get spilled on.
Fear not, gone are the days when spills required locking your furniture away under plastic.
You can still have those lovely velvet armchair chairs as the go-to “get there early so you can claim them” spots in your coffeehouse — or living room. Just filter your upholstery search with keywords like commercial and performance grade. You’ll find luxurious options like Royal Crushed velvet bringing the luxury you love with the quick wipe spill clean-up you need. Plus, it’s machine washable and responds well to water-based cleaners.
And you can keep that authentic, original fabric vibe in your ride, too. Crush it with a Crypton fabric like Peacock tweed. Sticking to fabrics that are built from the jump with a treatment like Crypton ensures that all the way down to a fiber level you can count on your seats being not only virtually spillproof and easy to clean, but also bacteria, mildew, and fade resistant. All huge wins for your wicked wheels.
You finally get the entertainment room just as you wanted it to be and the morning after your kids’ first slumber party reveals a sectional peppered with soda drips and sticky little fingerprints. Really?!
Or perhaps you’re not just looking to make a piece barroom tough, it actually IS a barroom or restaurant. Having a restaurant or bar in the pandemic era means wanting/needing your customers to know your place is clean and safe. However, the relentless cleaning takes a toll on ever more haggard upholstery. One more expensive hassle.
Guess what? You can get that off-white linen sectional you’ve been dreaming about AND keep the kids (hahaha). In addition to Crypton, there are fabrics like Sunbrella. Sunbrella has become a trusted go-to for water, soil, fade, and stain resistance. So you can take your space to the bright and energetic vibe you want with Off White Linen and trust you’ll be good to go clean up after clean up.
And that bar of yours? Your upholstery needs to be super easy to clean — over and over and over — and durable enough to stand up to the unintended consequences of that diligent cleaning. Make it Merlot — vinyl that is. Classic and classy, today’s vinyl upholstery hearkens to a back-in-the-day vibe while checking all your 21st century needs. With its closed pores, most vinyl is performance grade and stain, water, bacteria, mildew, and fade resistant. Use after use, clean after clean. Even if you were trying to poke, tear, or stain it, it would take some effort.
Skip the stains. Period.
Have noticed a theme? You don’t need to choose between style and substance. You’re no longer limited to one color or texture. This is truly a time when if you can dream it there’s a way to do it when it comes to having the durability you need with the upholstery look and feel you’ll love.
Start here: How will you use your furniture?
Do you have a super high-traffic commercial space in which you’re turning tables and cleaning up behind your customers day and night? Vinyl or faux leather just might be your jam.
Is your space outside or otherwise constantly in the sun? A Sunbrella or other fade and stain-resistant fabric might be your best bet.
Is this simply a case of accepting that your children — and perhaps your inner child — are perfectly sloppy and carefree in their playtime and fabric that’s fast to clean and slow to tear or stain is in order? Try a performance canvas, velvet, or a Crypton fabric.
The point is it’s about you. How you will use it is the key. From there it’s just looking in the right places. Keywords like performance, commercial-grade, tighter weave, vinyl, faux leather, and brands like Crypton or Sunbrella can help you on your way.
And you’re still not alone in your search. As ever, we here at KOVI have you covered and love helping you meet and exceed your upholstery needs. Give us a call today.