6 Helpful Tips For Your Upholstery Care

Here are the 6 helpful tips for your upholstery care:

1. Pilling
Pilling can occur occasionally as a result of normal daily wear and should not be considered a fault. As the fabric surface is rubbed, a single or small group of loose fibres on the surface begins to twist upon itself, forming tiny balls or 'pills'. Often the catalyst that starts this process is a foreign fibre or speck of dirt. Pilling can be successfully removed with battery-operated pilling tools available from most haberdashery stores. 'De-pilling' only removes unsightly loose surface fibres and does not affect fabric performance.

2. Shrinkage
All fabrics are prone to shrinkage and it is important that sufficient allowances be made. An allowance of 3% is considered an acceptable industry standard.

3. Seam slippage

It is possible for fabrics, which are tested for seam slippage and approved for upholstery use, to display fraying problems. This may occur if the following recommendations are overlooked:

  • Stitch lengths: A minimum of 10-12 seam stitches per inch (25mm).
  • Seams:  A minimum half-inch (13mm) seam should be taken.
  • Overlocking:  Should be used for loose woven fabrics and for seat cushion seams.
  • Taping:  In some cases, an additional safeguard of stitching through a quarter-inch tape along the seam may be necessary to prevent fraying in high-load areas (such as corner back cushions). This may be done at the manufacturer’s discretion after testing on individual designs.

4. Sun damage
Constant exposure to the direct rays of the sun will break down fabric fibres, causing them to become brittle and resulting in the affected area breaking when cleaned.

5. Velvets
To protect against pile loss incurred when velvets are upholstered onto foam we recommend high wear areas be completely covered by Dacron or Calico. In particular, the side and end panels of foam seat cushions should not be overlooked. We recommend curtains to be made with pile up.

When velvet curtains are hung for the first time it is recommended that they be drawn across and finely sprayed with water. The spray should dampen but not soak the velvet. The curtains should then be left to dry and under no circumstances to be touched during this period. When the curtains are dry most creases and marks will have come out and the pile should have lifted to reveal the richness and lustre of the velvet. If initially cared for, the pile should continue to improve as the atmosphere lifts it. This process can continue for several months.

Orders of velvet are protected by the corrugated board. Despite this precaution, bruising can occur if the parcel is dropped or heavily crushed. If this occurs it is recommended that the fabric be unrolled and laid on the table either flat or in gentle folds and left for several days. This procedure will allow the pile to 'breathe' and recover naturally. Any severe bruising can be removed by gentle steaming.

6. Yellowing 
Fumes and atmosphere in any room where tobacco is smoked will cause a yellow/brown stain on most fabrics. This is a particular problem in modern fabrics with a white or light background.