Do be cautious however when cleaning upholstery which features fabric or leather. You cannot just use any old all purpose cleaner and wipe them down. Using the wrong solutions can cause colours to fade and bleed into each other. Drying upholstered furnishings with heaters and hand-held dryers can also lead to shrinkage and damage to the fibres.
The following few tips will help you keep your upholstery fabric in top condition and stand the test of time.
The UV rays from direct sunlight can cause many materials types to fade. Chenille and velvets are often made from Rayon which is one of the worst offenders for fading. Keep furniture that is made from Rayon out of direct sunlight. Jacquard upholstery fabrics are less likely to fade so these are far more suitable for use in a conservatory or rooms with a lot of natural light.
Cleaning and Professional Cleaning
I've lost count of how many sofas I've had to reupholster because the owner used the wrong product to clean it. As I mentioned earlier, never use an all purpose cleaner on your upholstered fabric furnishings. The compositions in these materials may react badly to it.
Most modern upholstery feature cleaning codes, these show the cleaning methods that are recommended for the piece, the codes are as follows:
W – Can be cleaned with water-based elements.
S – Can be cleaned with solvent-based elements.
W/S – Can be cleaned with either type of elements.
X – Can be cleaned with light brushing or vacuum only.
Older furniture will unlikely feature these codes so you'll need to do your own research.
Hiring professional cleaning services is highly recommended if you're still unsure. Some fabric will need to be dry cleaned to avoid damage to the fibres, others can only be cleaned with light brushing and vacuum only.
Chenille is the most common for requiring dry cleaning. Detailed epingle velvets often fall under the X category.
Depending on the material used, there are various solutions available on the market for protecting your upholstery fabric against long-term damage and major stains. Stain blocking agents will keep these materials from being saturated with liquids when spills occur. It is always best to get a recommendation for these products from a seasoned upholstery professional as some solutions will not provide optimal results on all fabrics and some will even cause damage.