Picking the right upholstery for your sofa

Once you’ve cherry picked your sofa, follow this up by studying the available material options for your sofa upholstery.

Choose the right sofa upholstery.












On more than one occasion, thick, luxurious velvets are picked as a material for cushions rather than sofas. Despite its unique sheen, velvet upholstery are rather costly considering the risk of permanent discolouration and damage caused when exposed to spills. Unlike leather, velvets would lose its lustre with time. Hence, homeowners need to be selective when choosing the right colour for their sofas.

Tip: Avoid lighter shades like white that could appear greyish due to dust or emphasise on the spills!

Velvet as a sofa upholstery: They’re not practical to have in warmer climates. However, it helps to keep you warm in air conditioned rooms!

Luxurious leather sofa upholstery works in both formal and casual setting.


Leather evokes a bespoke charm with minor detailing in beautiful grains, patterns, patinas and the craftsmanship in its stitching. You get to pick out the preferred type of leather, colour and finishing for a flawless smooth and uniformed look or a distressed one.

Pros: Leather has a quality that no other material can duplicate. It remains cool to the touch during warm weather and warm during cool weather.

Cons: Maintenance differs according to the type of leather. But the material requires a little bit more attention to keep it in tip-top, for scratch and crack-free condition.

Why should you choose leather? Colour and material pairing are made easy! You can pair leather sofa upholstery with marble flooring, glass, metal or different coloured leather accessories to create a casual chic or elegant aesthetic!

Related: How to Care For Leather and Faux Leather Furniture 


Made iconic by Coco Chanel, the tightly woven dyed wool of tweeds aren’t only used to produce elegant figure-hugging suits but were used as upholstery for sofas and chairs! Choose beautiful herringbone or houndstooth patterned tweed to add a classic touch to your space!

When should you choose tweed? Tweed it if you seek the look of perfection without establishing a boring aesthetic. You don’t have to worry about going overboard with patterns such as florals and tartan! Beyond emphasising the curvatures of your sofa, the wool in Tweed makes it fire retardant. This makes it a wrinkle and stain-free material! Need we say more?


Prefer simple, solid coloured upholstery? Go for cotton! You needn’t worry about piles which can be annoying in upholstery. However, it soaks in spills easily.

When should you choose cotton? A couch potato, a movie buff or both? Sofas with cotton upholstery are comfortable enough for you to sit through long hours of movie magic!


While it’s worth considering by those with allergies, you might want to limit the use of the anti-static fabric to personal spaces where it’s less frequented by house guests. It helps to keep linen upholstered sofas away from sunlight, children and pets! Keep in mind that linen upholstery isn’t easy to clean.

When should you choose linen? Linen it is, that is if you’re looking for a sustainable fabric for a sofa that is in a shaded, cosy reading nook.


Can’t afford tweed or leather? Polyester it is! The material can replicate the look and feel of textured tweed and even smooth satins. What’s there not to love about the colourfast material which retains the shape of your sofa? Polyester isn’t as environmentally friendly as it’s made out to be. The material is produced from polyethylene terephthalate which is commonly known as PET. Vulnerable to heat, you might want to think twice before getting your sofa upholstered in polyester, particularly if you enjoy having your meals or hot drinks at the living room.

When should you choose polyester? Too busy to clean and polish your leather upholstery regularly? Hypoallergenic, Polyester sofa upholstery needs only a quick wipe and is resistant to most damages. It’s not ideal for pet owners as the material produces static. Also, you would want to take care that you don’t expose the material to sweat or oil!