One of the biggest concerns when buying furniture is how well the upholstery will handle stains. Luxury sofas are a big purchase and should last a long while. Hence it’s also good to know how to clean stain resistant fabrics.
Inevitably, we’ll get some food or drink spills that make the fabric discolor over time. Therefore most people, especially those with children and pets, prefer dark-colored fabrics for this reason.
However, the recent development of stain-resistant fabrics has made buying new furniture easier, as pet lovers and parents are not limited to purchasing only functional darker tone furnishings. You would find that high end luxury leather furnishing sofa brands like Nicoline Italia have sofa models that can handle stains and dirt remarkably well alongside durability and coming in various colors, textures, and materials.
What are Stain Resistant Fabrics?
It is one thing to treat fabrics with stain-protection sprays and another when you buy stain-resistant textiles. Stain protection sprays are short-term solutions that help prevent stains from discoloring your furniture and are typically applied every couple of years.
On the other hand, stain-resistant fabrics are performance fabrics with the stain resistance properties built into the fabric material. Performance fabrics don’t absorb spills, making it easy to wipe off any mess on the sofa with a dry or damp cloth.
Therefore, stain-resistant fabrics often retain color over long periods, making these sofas age beautifully in all climates and seasons.
Types of Stain Resistant Fabrics
Upholstery fabrics fall into three categories; natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and silk; synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester; and blended fabrics that combine natural and synthetic fibers. Not all of the types of fabrics used in luxury sofas are stain resistant and here we’ll cover only those that are.
Synthetic materials are the easiest to maintain because they are inherently stain-resistant.
Natural materials feel better to the touch and are typically better quality and more expensive than synthetics. However, they are susceptible to staining and require regular maintenance unless treated with stain resistant finishes like Nano-tex and Fiberguard.
Polyester is a synthetic material developed in the 1940s by some British chemists. It is a resilient material that withstands a lot of use without fading and changing shape.
It also doesn’t wrinkle and dries quickly, a feature that made it attractive in its early days of creation.
Aside from clothing, polyester is a popular choice for upholstery due to its stain and odor-resistant properties. The material features a tight weave that prevents spills from getting absorbed in the fabric and staining.
Plus, its lightweight and moisture-wicking properties restrict the fabric from retaining odors.
Wool is one of the oldest materials used today due to its versatility. Wool is 100% natural material with antimicrobial, stain and fire resistant, and insulation properties making it an excellent choice for upholstering applications.
It is durable and resilient; wool fibers have a natural spring-like structure that helps retain shape. Plus, the fabric doesn’t absorb moisture, thus preventing stains, molds, and mildew from developing.
On the downside, wool is high maintenance and requires regular professional cleaning. It is also more expensive as it is a natural fiber.
However, wool is often blended with synthetic materials like polyester to create a low-maintenance material that has the benefits of wool and polyester, such as stain resistance, texture, and color retention.
Blended and interwoven fabrics are textiles made of mixed natural and synthetic fibers. The blended fabrics may include two or more fibers depending on the target performance, cost, or aesthetics. For example, textiles in our LIN Atelier Collection feature cotton, linen, acrylic, and polyester. On the other hand, our VEG-Cloudy Velvet Collection contains only viscose rayon and cotton.
On their own, natural and synthetic fibers have both advantages and disadvantages. However, blending allows the fabrics to leverage each material to improve performance. For example, a blend of cotton and polyester fibers produces fabric with wrinkle and stain resistance.
Our blended fabrics have a luxurious full-hand feel to the touch, with high warmth retention, color retention and durability. They include blends of cellulose fibers like cotton, wool, linen, and silk with synthetic fibers, including polyester, viscose, acrylic, and polyamide.
Olefin (often abbreviated as PP) is the commonly used term for Polypropylene Fiber, a synthetic fabric created in 1957 in Italy. Olefin is a popular choice for upholstery as it is durable, withstands chemical and bleach cleaners, retains color over time, and is easy to clean.
It is also chemically stain-resistant and does not absorb dyes or color after the melting process stage during production.
If you are environmentally conscious, Olefin is more eco-friendly than natural materials like cotton and silk, as it has a low carbon footprint. Polypropylene fiber is made by polymerizing propylene gas, a by-product of oil processing, to create polypropylene.
On the other hand, it has some disadvantages, including resiliency. While Olefin is durable, it wears on high-use areas like the edges of sofas. It also doesn’t repel oil and petroleum-based solutions and may stain with extended exposure.
While it is an excellent and inexpensive upholstery material, it has a rough texture that makes it unattractive for high-end furniture.
Crypton is a patented method developed in 1993 for treating fabric to make it stain, moisture, bacteria, and odor resistant. It is often used for furniture, especially in the hospitality industry, as it stays fresh and better looking over time compared to other fabrics. Materials produced using Crypton technology are known as Crypton performance fabrics.
The Crypton fabrics for luxury sofas include natural materials, such as cotton, linens, and genuine leathers manufactured with permanent stain and odor resistance.
It allows you to enjoy the beauty and feel of natural fabrics without worrying about maintenance and durability.
Nanotex is a textile finish that uses nanotechnology to alter the structure of the fibers to increase their resistance to stains and odors. Nanotex is similar to Crypton as it is used widely in the hospitality and healthcare industries due to its low maintenance, resilience, and durability features.
Nanotex finish is applied to natural and synthetic fibers and is environmentally friendly. Additionally, Nanotex helps to retain the fabric’s natural softness and breathability, making it ideal for homes with kids and pets.
How to Clean Stain Resistant Fabrics
While stain-resistant fabrics are excellent at preventing stains, moisture, and odors from ruining your luxury sofas, a little care and regular cleaning go a long way in keeping your upholstery fabric looking fresh.
Most performance fabrics can be wiped down easily with a damp or dry cloth. When you spill something on the sofa, blot it out with a cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
Then use a solution of mild detergent soap with distilled water to spot-clean the fabric for water-based spills like beverages and wine. However, oil-based stains like salad dressings, stews, or body oils need a little more work.
Most fabric manufacturers provide cleaning instructions that one should follow. Generally, after you have absorbed the oil spill with kitchen towels to absorb excess liquid, sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch on the stain and leave for about 30 minutes.
Vacuum the sofa and dab the spot again with a home dry cleaning agent. We also recommend regularly brushing your sofas with a soft brush to remove dirt and pet hairs before vacuuming. It prevents them from settling on the sofa fabric and staining it over time.
These easy care and cleaning procedures will help to keep your luxury sofas looking new for years to come.
To conclude, stain-resistant fabrics are the best choice for home furniture like sofas because they are easier to clean and stay fresh looking for longer.