One of the main questions we get asked at Devlin Lounges when customers come in looking for a fabric sofa or lounge is “is there much difference in the quality of fabric used in lounges and sofas?”
Well generally there is. As in most things in life, you get what you pay for. I know at Warwick Fabrics, which is the Australian fabric house we tend to use, there are some very good quality “Yellow Code”: fabrics available. In fact, we sell the vast majority of fabrics in this range. As the fabrics become more expensive you may be able to get more patterns, or a thicker fabric which will wear a little better. Some of the more expensive fabrics include outdoor fabrics. These tend to be a closer weave, so obviously more raw material is used.
There are also some extremely pricey fabrics such as silks that can cost several hundreds of dollars. These fabrics can add a touch of class to any room if selected correctly to suit. I have seen some magnificent looking custom made chairs in very expensive fabrics, and to people who can afford it I can understand why they spend the money.
But, for general application why spend a fortune? Most of the time the cheaper fabrics will be Ok to upholster lounges and give years of use (depending on the level of use). Make sure you get good advice regarding your fabric choice. I think it is worthwhile speaking to the fabric manufacturer or wholesaler to get the best advice on the level of use and qualities you require. Do you require a softer fabric, do you require it to be dry cleanable, do you require stain resistance, dust mite protection, or fire retardation. There are a myriad of choices to be made if you really dig deeper.
If you are purchasing from a retailer, they should have all the information you require regarding the fabric. There may be reference to if it is recommended for residential, light commercial or commercial use. There may be an amount of “rubs” that have been tested. The width of the fabric and its composition i.e. cotton, polyester or a blend. It will sometimes have the care instructions as well.
Other things to consider when purchasing a new fabric lounge or sofa is if the fabric will stretch. A lot of the really cheap fabric sofas you can purchase are very poor quality. The fabric has probably been bought for $2.00 per metre because of the volume they purchased and is definately not of the same quality if you spend some money. But, not everyone can spend a lot of money on their new lounge, and generally these lounges are at a price point. These lounges may not have all the characteristics and features of the more expensive fabrics, but they serve a purpose.
Either way, do you research and buy what you think will suit your space. One thing that fabric has an advantage with is its ability to lift, add colour or texture to any room. Just make sure you get what you pay for.