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How to protect upholstery fabric

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When it comes time to update your furniture, most people are scared to even sit on their sofa at the risk of damaging or getting it dirty. Most people choose to protect their sofa in several different ways. In this blog, I want to discuss the different ways of protecting your upholstery and what I think is the best way to keep your sofa fresher, longer.

Scotchgard or a Stain Resistant Treatment Spray

First and foremost, I’d like to get the chemical treatment out of the way. This is something I don’t recommend but some people do. The first fabric protector you might have heard of is Scotchgard or a “Stain Protector” treatment. Yes, the containers say it’s safe for people to use in their homes. It also says that it contains acetone, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and fluorochemical urethane. Scotchgard is a chemical spray used to protect furniture from liquid stains. It is one of the most used and well known.

Essentially the chemicals in the spray create a barrier that water, and liquid spills, cannot penetrate. So, the coffee you spill on your furniture will just sit on top of the fabric “like magic.” Maybe some of you don’t mind Scotchgard or chemical stain treatments, but these chemicals are a bioaccumulating man-made substance and thus contaminating our environment with foreign chemicals not made in nature. These chemicals typically have a long half-life and take a while to break down. The studies have shown to be safe for use and do not bioaccumulate, but the studies have never been released to the public by 3M, DuPont, or the EPA. A separate study has shown that these chemicals are already in 98% of every human and animal on the planet. I’m not saying chemistry is bad but when we see these chemicals show up in almost every human on the planet, I think we should reevaluate how we use these chemicals in our homes.To find more information regarding PFC's read this awesome blog on the Environmental Defense Fund website or the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Slipcovers or Blanket

A second approach is the use of slipcovers. Slipcovers for your furniture is a great way to keep your sofa or chair covered with fabric, all while protecting your upholstery underneath. Slipcovers can typically be made by your local upholsterer. One thing to look for when making your slipcover is the possibility of machine washable fabric. Revolution Plus offers a non-backed performance fabric that is machine washable, soft, and great for slipcovers.

To fabricate a slipcover, consult a local upholsterer for the job. Slipcovers are not a full upholstery job so they should cost a lot less than you think. If you’ve purchased your sofa from a furniture retailer, they usually have a slipcover package or know where you can get a perfectly fitted slipcover for their line of furniture.

Performance Upholstery Fabric

The third and final approach to protecting your upholstery fabric is picking an upholstery fabric that is performance-based. There’s no better protector of fabric than fabric that is stain resistant and durable. There are many brands and types of performance fabric, but not all are created equal. Some fabric companies have a fiber that is truly stain resistant while others coat their fabric in chemicals that repel stains. Kind of like the Scotchgard, it wears off and eventually runs off into your home and our environment, if the fabric is a chemical-based performance. The difference between the companies should be explored and ask questions about their fabric.

Here is where my plug for Revolution comes in again. Revolution is a true performance fabric without sacrificing your health or the environment with PFC’s, PFBS, or chemical stain treatments of any kind. Revolution is constructed using a fiber known as Olefin, or polypropylene. Olefin has no dye sites for stains to “take” or set in, making it a true stain resistant fiber. Yes, Revolution can get dirty, but it can also be cleaned, easily! Liquid spills do not bead on the surface and they will sink into the fabric but with a little water and bleach, then rinse with clean water and blotted with a paper towel, the stain will be taken care of. We have recently developed a new outdoor fabric that repels liquid stains as well. Thank you for reading my blog on protecting your upholstery fabric. I hope some of the information you read was informative and helped you make some educated decisions on protecting your own upholstery.

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