Fabric Care: Keep Your Furniture Looking its Best

By Sklar Furnishings

How To Guides & Product Care

August 29, 2016

Sofas, chairs and sectionals are inevitably going to suffer a certain amount of wear — a little mess is just part of life. However, proper fabric care will help keep your furnishings looking their best for years to come. The trick is to make sure you’re using the cleaning techniques and products that best suit your upholstery type.

As a manmade performance fabric, UltrasuedeⓇ requires minimal maintenance to keep it clean and fresh. It is machine washable, and liquid spills bead on the surface without being absorbed . Most water-based stains can be cleaned up with just a damp cloth, while a mild detergent or solvent will lift off tougher, oil-based messes. Air dry, then brush the nap back into place with a soft brush.

Like Ultrasuede, CryptonⓇ is also designed to resist liquids, causing them to bead and run off before any harm can be done. Most stains can be cleaned off Crypton-covered furnishings with just laundry detergent and water. Crypton also sells professional grade stain removers, fabric disinfectant, and a pet safe cleaning spray, to tackle more challenging messes.

Fabric upholstery
Start by vacuuming your chair with the upholstery attachment, using short, overlapping strokes from top to bottom. Use a can of compressed air to spray dust and crumbs out of tufts, nooks and crannies. Next, check the care label — some fabrics are not intended to get wet, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with before going any further. Use a spot cleaner to deal with any stains, then scrub gently with warm water, a small amount of dish or laundry detergent, and a special upholstery brush. Don’t soak it — you don’t want the filling to get drenched. Finally, wipe your freshly washed chair down with a clean cloth and leave to air dry completely.

SunbrellaⓇ is designed for outdoor use, and is durable enough to withstand dirt and mildew without permanent damage. Most spills can be cleaned off with ordinary tap water, with dishwashing detergent added as required. Tougher stains can be bleached away without harming the color, but before going to that extreme, check the Sunbrella Stain Chart for comprehensive cleaning instructions.

Leather requires regular maintenance to stay in top condition, but by following a few simple care rules you can look forward to decades of use. Wipe up spills as they happen with a clean, dry cloth, and never leave it wet. Dust with a dry cotton cloth and avoid water, soap and any cleaning products not designed specifically for leather. Treat with a leather conditioner every 6-12 months, and buff any small cracks or scratches that appear with a microfiber cloth. Position your leather furnishings out of direct sunlight to preserve their color and prevent dryness.

If in doubt — or if you find yourself contending with fabric upholstery that isn’t water-safe — it’s always best to let a professional handle it for you. Ask your Sklar interior designer for personalized fabric care recommendations.

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