Buying Couches in Melbourne: Let’s Talk Upholstery

So you’ve made the decision to buy new couches for your living room. Whether you’re changing up the look of your living space or are setting it up from scratch, one of the most major considerations you’ll have to keep in mind includes the type of upholstery that best works for your couches and your lifestyle.

Before starting your hunt for the best couches in Melbourne, carefully consider your lifestyle and how your couches are likely to be used and who is using them. These considerations will play an important part in the type of fabric or material you choose for your couches. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common materials used to upholster couches in Melbourne to help you weigh the pros and cons of each:

Natural vs Synthetic Fabrics:

To begin with, most kinds of upholstery materials used for couches and other furniture is divided into two main categories: natural and synthetic. Natural fabrics include cotton, linen, chenille, pure leather, silk, wool and even velvet. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics include polyester, faux leather, microfiber, olefin, rayon or viscose. While certain natural fabrics like are cotton, leather and linen usually more expensive, they are also much more durable and comfortable than their synthetic counterparts. However, synthetic fabrics are usually more popular due to their affordability and some may even be easier to maintain than natural fabrics. Ultimately, the final decision comes down to how you use your couches, so let’s dive right into some advantages and disadvantages of three of the most common materials of each category.

Natural Fabrics:

  • Cotton:

One of the most enduring fabrics, cotton is highly popular as an upholstery fabric for a reason. It is natural, biodegradable, breathable and affordable in addition to being highly comfortable. Cotton remains cool during the summers and warm during the winters, making it perfect for Melbourne’s volatile weather. High-quality cotton fabrics made with tight weaves are also pill and tear-resistant, ideal for households with pets. It can also be dyed in almost any colour imaginable, offering you much more choice when it comes to decor. It is also more cost-efficient than most other natural fabrics.

On the other hand, cotton is a highly porous material, which means it doesn’t hold up to spills and stains as well as some of the other materials on this list. For households with little children or pets prone to accidents, cotton may not be the best option.

  • Linen:

Pure linen, although expensive, has an incredible breathable cooling effect that offers maximum comfort. Moreover, the material only tends to get softer with time and is one of the most durable upholstery fabrics available today. It also resists mildew and mould and gets stronger when wet, making it ideal for humid climates.

One of the biggest downsides of linen is that it is highly prone to wrinkling and soiling. This is a major reason why most linen couches today are manufactured using a blend of pure linen with other fibres like cotton, synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers to offer it more resistance to wrinkle.

  • Leather:

One of the fabrics that has been popular for centuries as an upholstery material, leather is one of the most durable materials on this list. Made from animal hides, pure leather furniture is not only extremely luxurious but can last for decades if maintained well. It is stain and spill resistant (all you need is a microfibre cloth to wipe off any liquid), hypoallergenic and only gets better and softer with use. Not to mention that pure leather has excellent weather-resistant properties that makes it neither too hot nor too cold. This makes it ideal for almost all kinds of lifestyles and decor styles.

The biggest downside of pure leather undoubtedly has to be its steep price. But when you consider the decades of use you’re likely to get out of your leather couches just by using a good quality leather conditioner, the price starts making sense. Additionally, today, most pure leather furniture pieces are slightly treated to offer even more durability, making it an excellent addition to any home.

Synthetic Fabrics:

  • Polyester:

A material prized for its affordability and functionality, polyester holds up well against stains, abrasion, wrinkles, water, mildew and just about anything you throw at it. However, cheaper polyesters also tend to have a scratchy, crisp feel, which can be quite uncomfortable. This is a major reason why polyester is most often blended with other natural fibers like cotton and linen to offer a fabric that is not only wrinkle-resistant and easier to clean but is also softer and more comfortable.

  • Faux Leather:

If you love the look of leather but don’t quite have the budget for it, faux leather may be for you. Completely synthetic, modern faux leather furniture is designed to look virtually identical to actual leather, but unlike genuine leather, faux leather does not have the same durability. Not only is it prone to cracking and peeling over time, it is also not hypoallergenic or weather-resistant, especially if you buy faux leather furniture on the cheaper end.

  • Microfibre:

Microfibre is highly prized due to its extremely dense weave which makes the material incredibly soft. It can also be dyed virtually any colour under the sun, making it a great choice for those who like taking risks with their colour choices. It is also highly stain-resistant as the tight weave allows you to quickly spot clean and wipe off stains, not to mention being hypoallergenic.

On the downside, stains and spills that aren’t addressed right away can lead to permanent staining and discolouration, even if the spill is only water. One of the biggest complaints people have from their microfibre couches is that they are magnets for dust, pet and human hair and even stray threads and fibres from clothes. It is also a good conductor for static electricity, which can become quite a nuisance in the cold, dry air of Melbourne during the winter months.

About Gainsville

A leading store for modern furniture in Melbourne, we have something for everyone. Whether you like living in the lap of luxury and want a leather couch that is both fashionable and functional or want something a little more subdued, our customisation options allow you to make your couch your own. Get started on building your dream living room with Gainsville today!