How to Choose the Best Upholstery for your Sofa or Chair

When choosing the best upholstery for your sofa or chair, it is vital to think about location, durability and potential cleaning demands. These three factors help determine the colour, pattern, pile and texture of the fabric you select and whether it is fit for purpose:

1. What is the location of the furniture?

Will it be in the main living area, office, thoroughfare, or quiet space? What about extreme temperatures and direct sunlight? Will the whole family (and pets) use the furniture casually or will it be a more ‘grown-up crowd’?

2. How durable does the fabric need to be?

Durable fabrics better service high ‘wear and tear settings. Look for the Martindale Count which measures a fabric’s durability. A score between 10,000 to 15,000 is ideal for light domestic use, while 30,000 or more indicates commercial grade use.

3. How often will spills occur?

In high traffic areas and settings with children, toddlers and pets, fabrics with a higher thread count and higher Martindale Count will handle spills and routine cleaning with greater effectiveness.

The best fabric for homes with kids and pets 

Tightly woven, smooth textured fabrics are best for high demand and high traffic areas. These fabrics are easier to clean and maintain. Likewise, patterns work well in these locations too and easily disguise stubborn stains. Consider mid to darker coloured fabrics, as they tend to be more forgiving.

Durable ‘alcantara’ fabrics used in prestige vehicles work well as they are easy to wipe down. Leather works well with children, but animals can scratch leather with their claws and easily mark it. If your heart is set on leather, put a throw on the sofa where your pet sits.


The best upholstery fabric for luxurious settings

For low wear and tear areas, the best fabrics to consider are spectacular and ornate fabrics. Daintily textured and woven fabrics, slubb/bouclé and pile fabrics, including velvets and extra-plush velvets are all possibilities. Experiment with light colours.


How to create ‘moods’ through fabrics?

Texture, colour and the sensory elements of fabrics give a unique feel to every room. To create a personalised mood in your home, consider that:

– Velvet tends to a more formal look

– Woollen bouclé fabric tends to create a cosy feeling

– Patterns add unique personality

– Self-textured ‘ribbed’ fabrics add dimension, if using a single ‘block’ fabric colour

– Lush fabrics add a refined touch and are a bit more ‘grown up’ looking


The easiest way to select the best upholstery fabric for my sofa or chair?

Ask your nearest DOMO sales consultant for advice on the best upholstery for your family. Moreover, many of DOMO’s brands stock an array of customisable sofas, chairs, armchairs, ottomans and more. Most publish the Martindale Count on their fabric swatches, so this score is easy for us to advise. Keep in mind, the retail price will vary dependent on the fabric chosen.


Visit your nearest DOMO showroom or contact us for a Video Consult to walk you through potential furniture pieces and the colour options we have available.

LEARN MORE about care of upholstered furniture here.



Image credits:
Feature image: Photography: Martina Gemmola
Image 1: Photography: Tess Kelly
Image 2: Photography: Derek Swalwell