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16. April 2015

How to Choose the Correct Upholstery for Your Sofa

Is it time to replace your sofa? Not only must you select a style that fits into the décor of your living room and a size that accommodates your family, another choice you are faced with is the type of upholstery. Today’s fine quality sofas offered by such manufacturers as Flexsteel, Benchmade by Brownstone and the Candice Olson collection from Highland House feature upholstery in fabric, microfiber, leather or the eco-friendly Nuvo leather.

So how do you decide which is best for your home and your needs? Let’s take a look at each of these options.

Fabric Sofa Upholstery

When it comes to fabric upholstery for your new sofa, the options are nearly endless. There are plenty of durable fabrics that will easily stand up to daily use and abuse, so don’t be hesitant to choose fabric for a piece that will see lots of action. You can ask for the fabric to be treated to repel stains, as well.

Fabric is the best choice when you want a wide selection of patterns and colors. It is also a very budget-friendly option.

However, if your new sofa will be placed in an area that receives a lot of sunlight, fabric might not hold up as well as other materials. And if someone in your family suffers from certain types of allergies, fabric is the most difficult type of upholstery to get deep-down clean.


When you want a softer, smoother material that is extremely durable, microfiber can be the ideal compromise between fabric and leather for your sofa.

The tight weave of microfiber makes this an excellent upholstery choice when you have pets (cats can’t get their claws into it) and also makes it very easy to clean with nothing more than a damp sponge.

You should be aware, however, that there are some drawbacks to microfibers. For one, it tends to produce static electricity which can attract fibers, hair and fur that are not easy to vacuum away. For another, light colors can be more difficult to keep stain-free.

Genuine Leather Sofas

Genuine leather is a premium upholstery choice; there is nothing quite like the smell, look and feel of a sofa covered in luxurious, top-grain hide. It is a very durable material that brings a richness of color and style to any room. Leather will retain its beauty and easily stand up to daily use for many years. Through the process of aniline dying or pigmentation, leather upholstery is available today in a wide array of colors and tones.

Bonded leather, split leather and color match leather/vinyl are all less expensive options but they also present the lowest quality upholstery. If your goal is to purchase a sofa that will look gorgeous and keep its quality for many years to come, don’t settle for anything less than top-grain leather.

Nuvo Leather Sofa Upholstery

A new option available from Flexsteel is Nuvo leather. This is referred to as a “performance fabric” that is created using recycled leather. It is environmentally safe and easy to clean, while retaining the beautiful look and sumptuous feel of genuine leather upholstery. There is also a NuvoPlush option that is an updated version of soft suede. This is an excellent choice for anyone who loves the rich feel and look of leather but wants to be environmentally conscious.

No matter which material you opt for covering your new sofa, you can find an amazingly wide array of in-stock and special-order options at Sofa Designers, your San Diego-area Flexsteel gallery.