Fabric Furniture

There are two classifications of fabric used in furniture manufacture:

  • Natural fibres: derived from animals (e.g. wool), or vegetable matter (e.g. cotton, linen, viscose and acetate).
  • Synthetic fibres: e.g. polyesters and acrylics (including micro and macro suedes).

Natural Fabrics

Natural fibres offer extreme comfort given that they easily absorb perspiration and breathe naturally. Fabrics manufactured from natural fibres are hydrophilic, meaning they have a natural tendency to absorb water products. They are also oleophilic, meaning they are susceptible to oil and grease stains. Without protection, these fabrics can be difficult to clean and maintain.

Synthetic Fabrics

Due to improvements in modern technology, approximately 80% of fabrics used in furniture manufacturing today are made from synthetic fibres, derived as a by product of the petro chemical industry. Unlike natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics are hydrophobic, meaning they have a natural affinity to repel water and liquids such as foods, drinks, medicines and other household substances. They are also generally waterproof, crease proof, stretch proof and rot resistant.

However, similar to natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics are oleophilic and have an affinity to absorb grease and oil stains and fatty acids from perspiration.

Fabric Maintenance

Due to modern processes, fabric protection (or scotch guarding) is now viewed as generally unnecessary on synthetic fabrics, as these fibres are non absorbent and mill treated with protection. Over application of protectors may even be detrimental and cause maintenance problems.

The best advice for maintaining fabrics is to regularly clean and remove noticeable stains as per the textile manufacturer’s recommendations. When purchasing a fabric suite, take note of the fabric manufacturer (e.g. Gilda or Warwick), visit the website and search for your specific product to view the appropriate directions for cleaning and maintaining your furniture.

By Dezign offers a Multimaster 5 year protection plan, complete with a textile care kit, which can be used for cleaning and maintenance, as well as to insure you against incidental damage, such as rips, tears and burns.