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Picking Out the Best Fabric

It can be really overwhelming when creating a custom furniture piece for your home! I know when I was picking out my fabric for our Pottery Barn slipcovered sofas, it seemed like the possibilities were endless! A lot of people questioned my decision when deciding to get white fabric on our sofas because at the time I had a 15-month-old little boy with more children on the way! I will say if you can pick your fabric out right what are your couch is white or black it should last you! We have had our sofas for almost 7 years now and without one stain! learned a lot during our process and I’m going to give you some tips to help you make the best choice!

  1. WHAT FABRIC TYPE? We went with a polyester fabric because it does well with staying wrinkle free! I can wash the slip covers and they will come right out of the dryer perfect! I can even leave them rolled up in a ball for days and they would still go on my couch is great! Fabrics with linen require a lot more maintenance and work when washing your slip covers! Linen can also wrinkle with use!

  2. IS PERFORMANCE WORTH IT? Performance fabric can be more expensive than regular fabric! But when you’re talking about the longevity of your furniture, more than likely, you will save money in the end because you’ll be able to keep your furniture longer because it will last you longer! For us, that extra protection has been so nice on our white upholstery!

  3. WHAT COLOR? This can be really tough! My Choices were anywhere from dark gray, light gray, neutral, or white! My heart was really set on white but I was so scared that I was making a bad decision with having small children! It’s not necessarily about the color but it’s stain releasing qualities. Don’t you wish you could just try out each fabric for a while and see what you like best?

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Despite what I said and the bullet points above, all fabrics can be made so differently so it’s best to put them to the test before investing in a piece of furniture that you really want to last! You might find that a fabric that is not performance may outperform when that is! Or you may find out that a white fabric actually stain release is better than a dark fabric!

How do we do this? Let me show you!

What I loved about our experience with Pottery Barn is you can go to their retail store and they make it very easy for you to see their fabrics with all of the swatches that they have! You can take them home to help you color match and make your decision! I took that one step further and actually put all of the fabrics I was considering to the test! I know I couldn’t afford a super high level fabric soooo they helped me pick out a range of fabrics that would be in my price range.

These were some of my choices! I took them out of the board holder and picked things around my house that I thought could potentially be an issue on my furniture.

I picked things like sharpie markers, dirt, red wine, ketchup, mustard, paint! I really made sure that I push them into the fabric! What I found really cool about the performance fabric is that it was really hard to push the liquids into it! I could hardly get the red wine to even soak in!

Then I threw them in the washing machine with a load of laundry with no special stain treating. I wanted to see how these materials reacted with just regular washing! I also threw them in the dryer to see how they did with wrinkling!

You can see both of the fabrics did pretty darn good with a lot of these stains! I will say, when I took these photos I was not anticipating using these as a teaching tool because I did not have a blog at the time! But the ones that weren’t polyester based came out of the washing machine and a tiny ball! I actually ironed these out! You can still see the ones with linen Still have wrinkles in them! So this demonstration showed me which fabrics would come out of the washing machine nicely and what fabrics did best with stains! I picked the bottom left material! It is a performance white canvas. Although, it is a discontinued fabric now! This test also taught me which stains come out easier than others! It was all a really informative experiment!

I hope this helps win facing the decision on what upholstery do you want! I couldn’t recommend buying a slipcovered couch more because I can’t imagine what my white couches would look like if I could take them off and wash them! I do know there are tips and tricks that you can do to keep them clean but for me I love to just take them off and throw them in the wash!




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