When you buy your sofa, its future conservation will depend on the material you choose. Fabric last for longer and leather is much more elegant. The following summary will help you understand the details of each material and will enable you choose the sofa which best adapts to your needs.
Fabrics are atractive, hardwearing, comfortable and easy to look after. They can satisfy the people’s needs all the times. Fibres are the basis of the textile industry and there are two fundamental classes: natural ones, in which spun yarn makes its appareance, and man-made ones. It is for this reason that when a fabric is being studied, it is convenient to analyse its fibre or its knit.
Wool: this is the fur that covers sheep. The thickness and curl largely determine its appareance, heat conservation, tact and elasticity. Among its advantages it is worth noting that it is an excellet thermal insulator as well as having a great power of absortion and capacity of recuperation. Among its drawbacks, it is worth noting that it tends to become matted, it shrinks when washed in hot water and it looses it shape, if it is hung to dry.
Silk: this is a fine, shiny and continuous thread which is extracted from the silkworm’s cocoon. It is strong, light, pleasing to touch and it does not fade easily. However, it is sensitive to rubbing and sweat.
Cotton: this is the fibre thath is made from the seeds of the cotton plant. Its quality depends on the thckness, pureness, shine and specially on the legth of the fibre. It is cool, flexible, does not accumulate static electricity, it has a high resistance to wear and tear, great power of absortion and it does not become matted. It fades easily and it tends to crease.
Linen: these are fibres that are obtained from the stalk of the plants from where it takes its name. It must always be hand.washed, it is cool and pleasing to touch and it is dirt resistant. However, it has a strong tendency to crease when not given a special treatment.
Man-made fibres: these are thode which are obtained by the polymerisation of substances which do not exist naturally. Man-made chemical fibres sensitive to heat, they must be washed in cool water and steam-ironed. They are very resistant, they crease very litle and they do not fade easily. Synthetic fibres can be mixed with natural fibres, which increases their resistence and durability, whitout losing their natural characteristics ( aspect, tact, etc.) The most popular man-made fibres are acrilic, lycra, polyamides (nylon and polyamides), polyurethane and polyester.
Leather is a product that is natural, breathable, warm, flexible and easy to clean. Sofas that are upholstered in leather adapt to the body, provide warmth and comfort. Each leather is unique, creating different and original sofas. It is important to understand that is not a main product, bur a sub-product, ehich means that cattle are not killed fot their skins, but for their meat. Due to the fact their skins need to be removed in order to obtain the meat, a sub-product, leather, is generated. There are both natural and artificial leathers.
Pure aniline leather: thid id, without doubt, one the softest upholstery materials that exists. However, in order to obtain this softness very little protection is applied, so it is quite delicate. When leathers are dyed, the colour penetrates completely but, despite thid, the small differences in the shades of colour can be seen in differents places, because the colour is absorbed in a different way. The natural surface remains intact, so the structurecan easily be recognized. This typology is usually carried out wiht the leather of best quality and it can be distinguisehed by its soft feel.
Semi-aniline leather: this is carrier out on good-quality leathers. They are dyed in drums in order to assure uniform colour. The process of elaboration is more delicate, because the typical aspect of natural leather must be preserved and, at the same time, a hardwearing and resistant material must be obtained. Only a small number of leathers are suitable for this type of leather.
Pigmentated or protected: pigmentation consists in applying colour particles on the surface o the leather. The leather is buffed and covered with a coating and then, in order to improve the final appeareance, it is embossed with a grain pattern. It is thanks to this layer the leather is resistant to light, abrasion and daily use. Apart from being very easy to clean, the colour is more uniform and any blemishes are hidden.
Nubuck or suede: the importance of this leather derives from its velvet appearance. It is difficult to look after because it absorts all staims, even dirt and dust, due to the daily use.