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How to maintain and repair upholstered furniture?

Upholstered furniture punctuates interiors with colour, texture and style and ups the relaxation and comfort quotient of the furniture. Additionally, Upholstered furniture requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are some tips that will help maintain the durability and aesthetics of furnishings:

Safeguard it

If you have pets or kids at home, the chances of damage and the upholstery getting dirty are higher. Use throws and blankets to protect your luxury sofa or chair from stains of perspiration or spills. Also, avoid materials with intricate thread work in high-traffic areas such as the living room.

Tip: A longer-lasting, full-coverage solution can be a fitted cover for your sofa or chair that can be easily removed and washed in the machine. Also, known as slipcovers, these are readily available at furniture stores or can be custom-stitched.

Placement of furniture

Avoid keeping upholstered furniture near the window or in direct sunlight. Harsh sunlight can fade the fabric and weaken the fibres. When placed near the window, chances of rain damage to the upholstery are higher too.

Know the fabric type

There’s no one-size-fits-all guide to upholstered furniture. Hence, it’s important to know how different fabrics behave under different situations and how they age. Let’s take a look at some of the common lifestyle furniture upholstery options:

Fabric upholstery

Fabric upholstered furniture requires lower maintenance than leather or suede ones. Use non-toxic cleaning agents made for the particular type of fabric. Blot any spills immediately with a clean, dry towel. Vacuum regularly to get rid of dust and dirt.

Tip: Buy an eco-friendly upholstery fabric cleaner and keep it handy. Spray, wipe and clean the stain — and you are done.

Leatherette or Vinyl 

Synthetic upholstery options such as leatherette (faux leather) and vinyl are easier to clean. A mild soapy solution usually does the trick. Being non-porous, the materials are waterproof; hence, any food or drink spillage is easily cleaned. They further minimise the accumulation of dust mites, pet dander, fur and other allergens.

Tip: Apply nail polish remover on a swab of cotton to get rid of stains instantly.


Luxurious leather upholstery is easy to maintain and is firmer than fabric and hence more durable. The routine cleaning process includes cleaning with a damp cloth. Leather is also water-resistant, making it easier to manage upholstery stains and liquid spills. In addition, one can find plenty of leather upholstery cleaners in the market that help retain the shine and lustre of the material.

Tip: Baby wipes are a great way to clean leather. Do ensure that you dry the leather with another clean, dry cloth to avoid any mildew.

Repair or reupholster

Despite the best care, upholstery will wear and tear with time. If there’s a bit of tear on the material, you can consider getting the upholstery stitched or fixed. However, if the upholstery is very old and worn out, it might be time to consider reupholstering.

Along with weekly cleaning at home, once-a-month professional deep cleaning is recommended for upholstered furniture.

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