Ultimate Guide to Sofa Fabrics: Types & How to Choose the Right One

Choosing a sofa fabric that perfectly complements your living space can be tricky. Not only should the material you select withstand the wear and tear of everyday life (and maybe a few spills here and there), but you must also consider how it works with your style. 

With so many types of sofa fabrics out there, an ultimate guide such as this can help make the process easier. By studying different materials and understanding the essentials of choosing suitable fabric, you can choose something that will last for years while also providing outstanding aesthetic appeal in any home.

12 Types of Fabrics

Upholstery fabric comes in various materials, such as cotton, linen, wool, leather, acetate, jute, silk, polyester, Olefin (Polypropylene), acrylic, rayon, and chenille. To make upholstery fabric, one can use either a single yarn type or a yarn blend. In this article, let’s explore the types of fabric available in Malaysia.

1. Cotton

Cotton is the most widely used natural fibre , providing comfort, stability, and a soft feel to furnishings. Since it is prone to dust and dirt particles, regular cleaning is necessary to maintain the fabric’s sheen and appeal. 

Despite its drawbacks, cotton is an ideal product for durability and resistance to fading thanks to its breathable nature that keeps materials cooler in summer and warmer in winter. 

2. Linen

Despite its suitability for curtains, linen is a tricky fabric for upholstering couches. It is lightweight and slightly sheer, much thinner than other fabrics commonly used for furniture. Furthermore, linen’s tendency to crease and attract stains make it less than ideal in households with children, pets, or generally uncoordinated adults who might accidentally spill drinks or food while sitting on the couch.

In addition, linen shrinks when it is washed, so cleaning must be done professionally if you want your cushions to remain intact unless you want a distorted furniture set at home!

3. Wool

Wool is a resilient material favoured by many for its superior resistance to pilling, staining, and wear and tear. Not only can it endure high levels of foot traffic, but it also looks great in any room – the only downside being that when wet, it can generate an odour that can be difficult to eliminate.

4. Leather

Leather upholstery is often an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or households with pets. It is a durable fabric that can withstand everyday wear and tear while providing a cosy look to your space. 

Additionally, its vacuum-friendly nature makes it easier to keep clean and presentable when hair accumulates on the surface.Furthermore, leather lasts many years if properly maintained and cared for, making it one of the most cost-effective options when deciding on a furniture fabric.

5. Acetate

Photo by Dmitri Kalvan on istock 

Acetate is a cost-effective answer to silk and provides a glossy, luxurious look visible from any corner of the space. Its texture brings out sophistication while maintaining an elegant appearance – perfect for any room where visitors flock. 

Rest assured that it comes prepared with protection against moisture and mold, but beware that it cannot be easily washed and must be handled with care at all times as it can be prone to damage. 

6. Jute

Photo by lookslike on istock 

Jute has numerous advantages, particularly for those who want to make responsible choices regarding the environment. As a natural material with few chemical agents mixed in during production, jute is an ideal option for fabric for furniture and more, as disposal won’t add to pre-existing harmful wastes.

There are some drawbacks, however: jute generally cannot be washed due to its porous nature, only dusted or vacuumed clean; it may also turn yellow under prolonged exposure to sunlight if used outside. 

7. Silk

When choosing fabric for your furniture, silk is one of the more expensive options. However, it can add a touch of luxury to a formal living room. Just remember that silk is less durable than some other fabrics and may need to be professionally cleaned if something is spilled.

8. Polyester

Photo by timnewman on istock 

Polyester microfiber is a perfect choice for an interior design aesthetic that exudes a sense of luxury. The fabric is attractive, easy to match with any decor, and gives furniture pieces such as couches and armchairs a luxurious feel that rivals genuine leather upholstery – but without the hefty price tag. 

9. Olefin (Polypropylene)

Photo by Rancic Aleksandar on istock 

Olefin is a very versatile fabric, capable of surviving regular wear and tear, and even more resilient to extreme weather conditions – it’s fire, heat, and water-resistant. It’s lauded as one of the most challenging fabrics to stain, and spills can quickly be taken care of with a little bit of bleach. 

Moreover, since its dyes are blended into molten plastic while weaving it up, olefin won’t lose its luster anytime soon. Befittingly enough, oil-based stains remain tricky to remove, and prolonged exposure to the sun could damage the fibers over time.

10. Acrylic

Photo by whyframestudio on istock 

Originally formulated as a faux substitute for wool, acrylic has grown in popularity due to its resistance to fading, soiling, and wrinkling when used to make outdoor upholstery fabrics. 

However, it’s important to note that if low-quality acrylic is used in the fiber blend, pillage can occur — an unwanted consequence of lower-grade materials. Thus, quality acrylic is key for superior outdoor upholstery aesthetics and performance.

11. Rayon

Photo by Pavlo Tovtyn on istock 

Rayon is one of the most comfortable fabrics to wear. Its fibers are semi-synthetic, making them more durable than natural fibers like cotton. It also has a softer feel, making it ideal for a sofa that you want to feel cosy in.

12. Chenille

Chenille is a luxurious and elegant fabric made from cotton, silk, rayon, or wool. It is popularly used to create sofa covers and furnishing because of its soft feel and the distinctive way it captures the light. 

Generally speaking, Chenille is durable and resists pilling and wrinkling. Moreover, it doesn’t easily trap dirt or dust since it does not have a pile as deep or thick as velvet or plush fabrics. 

Factors to consider when choosing an upholstery fabric

1. Fade resistance

When selecting furniture, you want to keep it looking vibrant and new. If a room gets a lot of sunlight, fade resistance is significant. Fades look bad, but more importantly, they also reduce the fabric’s effectiveness in terms of its ability to resist dirt and regular wear and tear. 

Investing in furniture with fade-resistant properties is one way to ensure that your couch looks excellent for years to come. With this protection, you can trust that bright sun rays won’t take away from your enjoyment of luxurious seat pieces. So remember to look out for fade-resistant qualities if you’re shopping for a new sofa in Malaysia

2. Mildew

Try a mildew-resistant material if you’re looking for a sofa fabric that won’t mildew in high-humidity areas. These fabrics are treated to resist bacteria and fungi growth, making them ideal for humid environments.

3. Allergies

Fortunately, when purchasing new furniture, such as sofas, there is now an option that offers relief: microfiber material. Not only does it offer superior comfort compared to other fabrics, but its lint-free design doesn’t attract dust easily and thus prevents many of the risks associated with allergies. 

With this kind of fabric available in an array of colors and patterns, it’s easy to find something just right to offer allergy sufferers protection while still giving them the style they desire.


What is the safest fabric for a sofa?

When you are making the important decision of what kind of sofa fabric is best for your home, safety should be a top priority. Natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and linen tend to be the most durable and safest options when it comes to sofas. 

Cotton is an especially great choice: its fibers make it smooth and soft while also being fire retardant and resistant to wrinkles. Wool can keep your sofa looking new for years with its soil-resistant properties but is also more expensive than other fabrics like microfiber and polyester. 

No matter what material you choose for your sofa, customizing it with a washable slipcover will ensure that it’s hygienic and in excellent condition for years to come.

What is the most expensive fabric for a sofa?

The most luxurious and expensive fabric for a sofa is silk. Silk is an absolute classic when it comes to furnishing your living space. Not only does it look stunningly beautiful and sumptuous, but it also provides effective insulation from cold and heat, making sure you’re comfortable all year round! 

The fabric is quite strong, making it durable and tough to everyday wear and tear. Soft to the touch, silks come in many different colors that can create bright or dull, muted interiors that will wow your guests. 

How can you tell if a sofa is good quality?

One of the easiest ways to determine a quality sofa is by looking for good construction. A well-crafted piece of furniture should have even stitching, tight seams, and solid, supportive corner blocks. If it has all of these features, chances are it’s of sturdy and reliable construction. 

Look out for any exposed wooden components, too – they should be smooth and free of splinters. At CUURA Space, you can find comprehensive reviews of couches made using various materials and offering multiple levels of comfort. Their sofas are built with quality in mind and look beautiful in any room – all while still being budget-friendly! 

What is the most popular fabric for a sofa?

The most popular fabric for sofas today is polyester. Due to its durability, a wide range of colors and textures available, and the fact that it’s easy to clean – perfect for family rooms, dens, and living rooms alike. 

Polyester can act as a great neutral material while providing subtle texture or pattern and taking on dyes easier than other synthetics. It looks like more expensive fabrics and will last just as long with proper maintenance. 

With options ranging from plush velvet to linen-like textiles, it’s no wonder polyester is a top choice for crafting comfortable and stylish couches.


With the wide variety of fabric choices available today, selecting the suitable sofa fabric can be challenging. Knowing the basics of upholstery materials and the benefits associated with each is key to choosing a fabric that is aesthetically pleasing and built to last. 

To help craft the perfect sofa for your space, the ultimate guide to sofa fabrics offers an in-depth look at all fabric options and provides valuable tips on selecting a suitable option. From the hardy durability of leather to the plush appeal of linen, this guide has all your upholstery needs covered—ensuring you make an educated and informed decision when investing in a new sofa

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