Fabric: How to pick it and keep it looking great!

So, one of the most common questions I receive when talking with clients who come into Spruce is,

“Now I have a blank (fill in with whatever human/animal you have that ruins your furniture), and how is this fabric gonna hold up to them?”

Since this seems to be such a hot topic when investing in a new life for your furniture, I thought I would help out with a bit of a tutorial. Here are the “need to know” facts when it comes to fabric standing the test of time.

Durability – The best gauge for durability is a double rub. This is used to measure the durability of a fabric. A double rub is each back and forth pass on a fabric. The more double rubs a fabric has, the more durable it is. Typically, an interior fabric will have between 10,000 and 25,000 double rubs. Performance fabrics will have 30,000 double rubs and above. So, if overall wear and tear is going to be an issue for your piece of furniture, shoot for 25,000+ double rubs. It is exciting to see that manufacturers are getting better and better and creating very comfortable fabrics that feel great and can still hold up to lots of use! I have my heart set on a performance velvet that I still can’t believe is indoor/outdoor.

Treatments – Often times clients are looking for real stain resistance. They have a lot of spills on their furniture, and it has to hold up. There are a few options when it comes to built-in stain resistance in your fabric. You can go the route of a treatment. Treatments that are often used are Teflon, Nanotech, or Scotchguard. These are all products that are put on the fabric after it has been produced. Most major manufacturers offer the service of treating your fabric before it is sent to you. This can come as an additional charge per yard or possibly a one-time cost. Another option for stain resistance is called Crypton. Crypton is a type of fabric that has a moisture barrier built into the fabric. You cannot “Cryptonize” a fabric, like a treatment. The great thing is, many large manufacturers have a Crypton line they produce.

Cleaning – So it is inevitable that you are going to have spills. So what do you do when this happens? We are big fans of good ol’ soap and water. We often take a drop of dish soap and put it into a small bowl of water. Using a toothbrush, test a small hidden area of your fabric to see how it reacts to the cleaning. Most often, it will take the spot right out and dry without leaving a trace. A new product that we have heard good things about is called Procyon. It is a soap free cleaner with no odors or toxins. Soap can sometimes leave a film on your furniture, and since Procyon has no soap, then no film! Also, if your fabric is removable from your furniture (cushions, pillows, etc.), you can always take it to the dry cleaner.

Hopefully these few pearls of wisdom will help you make the right decision when it comes to fabric, as well as how to best get those nasty stains out. We have a great selection of fabrics that will hold up to whatever you can throw at it (literally) here in the studio. Here are a few of my favorites. 🙂