The issues with modern & natural upholstery.

clean living room

Natural upholstery refers to those fabrics woven from plant fibres and materials derived from animal products. Here are a few of the most common natural fabrics used to upholster sofas and armchairs.


Wool is a protein fibre used for centuries for clothes, carpets and upholstery. This natural thread is derived from the fleece of sheep, goats, camels, alpaca and other animals. Wool upholstery is durable and sturdy. It provides good thermal insulation and strong resistance to pilling, wrinkling and fading. Also, because the fibres have irregular scales, they are good at hiding the soiling.

When used as an upholstery material for sofas or armchairs, wool is often blended with synthetic fibres. Such blends are easier to clean, and the synthetic component in these types of fabric helps to reduce the felting of the fibres. The mixed fabrics also dry faster than sofa upholstery containing just wool.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Wool Sofa

  • Wool readily absorbs water, making it a poor choice for humid rooms as it is susceptible to mould and mildew.
  • As with other natural upholsteries, wool can be attacked by moths.
  • White wool fibres can turn yellow in direct sunlight over time, so placing a white wool sofa in a sunny room isn’t the best way to keep its appearance.
  • Bleach destroys all wool fabrics, so avoid using it on your upholstery.
  • Enzyme cleaners can deteriorate the wool upholstery, so make sure to rinse thoroughly.


Cotton is a plant-based cellulose type fibre used as clothing and furniture material. Cotton upholstery is resistant to wear, fading, and pilling. However, the material doesn’t provide very good resistance to soil, wrinkling, or flames. The durability and use of cotton upholstery depend on the fabric’s weave and finish. Damask weave is better for furniture used in formal rooms. The canvas weave (sailcloth and duck) goes for more casual areas and is more durable.

Blending cotton with other fibres often compensate for its flaws. Cotton blends are life-friendly fabrics and can stand up to stains, small kids, and pets depending on the weave. After a deep upholstery cleaning, applying a stain-resistant finish, such as Scotchgard, makes these materials more resilient to heavy use.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Cotton Upholstery

  • When cleaning this cellulose fibre upholstery, cellulosic browning (brownish discolouration) is a common problem, so it’s best to turn to professionals like us!
  • The fabric is very susceptible to shrinkage.
  • The upholstery made of cotton is very absorbent and dries slowly, and is prone to mildew, so don’t place it in humid rooms.
  • As with other natural fabrics, cotton can be attacked by moths.
  • Cotton furniture stains and soils easily, so it’s better to be used in households with no pets or small children.
  • Treating dirt topically will leave a water stain, so it’s better to clean the whole upholstery instead.
  • Acids can damage cotton upholstery as they rot the fibres, so be careful when using detergents containing vinegar or citric acid.
  • Apply a stain-resistant finish, such as, after every deep sofa cleaning.

Silk / Silk Velvet

Silk is the only natural fibre produced in a continuous filament, and it’s sourced from the caterpillar of the silk moth. The fabric is beautiful, luxurious, and delicate. It is suitable only for furniture in the adult areas of the house, such as a formal living room, offices or reading rooms.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Silk Sofa

  • Silk furniture must be treated by professional sofa cleaners when soiled. A lot of the common detergents contain substances that damage the fibres.
  • Silk is a protein fibre, so you should never use enzymatic cleaners on this type of upholstery as they will weaken and ruin the material.
  • Acids, bleach, and alkalis easily damage the fabric.
  • Silk upholstery is extremely absorbent, so it dries up quite slowly.
  • Sunlight and perspiration will rot the fibres of silk upholstery.


Linen is a long, strong fibre derived from flax stems, and it is a cellulose type fabric. Linen upholstered sofas are best suited for adult areas as the fabric wrinkles easily and don’t withstand heavy wear. On the plus side, linen has good resistance to pilling and fading.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Linen Upholstery

  • Linen doesn’t soil very easily, and the stains stay on the surface, so it isn’t difficult to remove them.
  • Treating dirt topically will leave a water stain, so it’s better to clean the whole upholstery instead.
  • However, overtime linen will soil. It’s best to call a professional to clean the upholstery when to avoid shrinkage of the fabric.
  • Although the material readily absorbs water, it dries up fairly quickly.
  • Linen upholsteries are easily damaged by bleach for the same reason the cotton ones do.
  • Unlike other natural fabrics, linen won’t be attacked by moths.
  • Furniture upholstered with linen is prone to mildew, so avoid placing it in humid rooms.
  • Sunlight won’t help fade the colours, but eventually, it will weaken the fibres.
  • Linen upholstery is easily damaged by acids, but not as much – by alkalis.


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