There are a number of
different upholstery coverings currently offered by
The cover most
people are leaning towards is called Microfiber. This is a man
made polyester that is produced using ultra fine fibers. It is
comfortable, durable and very
easy to clean
. Microfiber covered upholstery used to
demand a significant premium because of the high cost of
production. Due to its huge popularity, production rates have
gone way up and many different mills are now producing it for
the upholstery manufacturers at much lower costs.
like Best & Lane offer a broad selection of
fabrics from which to choose
Not only does this give the consumer a broader choice of
colors, it also has led to things like brushed microfiber,
plush microfiber, and suede like microfiber. It is offered in
different names by different manufacturers.. Some of these
include; Fairview, Durapella, and Ultra-suede. Along with
these benefits, comes the lower cost of production which
translates to lower sofa prices for the consumer. All in all,
a win-win for everyone.
Not withstanding this swell of popularity, traditional covers
are also still offered by many manufacturers such as Lane,
Best, and Ashley. These include various Herculon type blended
fabrics, You can buy sofas made with cotton blends, Olefen,
Rayon, Nylon, Cotton, and non microfiber polyesters, Often
times, the manufacturer will provide the fabric content
percentages on fabric samples.
Various grades of leathers, and simulated leathers also remain
popular. All of these serve very important purposes in the
marketplace. For example, man made simulated leathers, like
Vinyl, Naugahyde, Boltaflex, and the newer polyurethane are
inexpensive and perfect for situations where liquid spills are
likely. They simply wipe off and require little or no
maintenance. They come in wide varieties of colors and feels
Sometimes, the look and feel of a leather fits the room or
occasion. There are now many offerings for this. They range
from Bonded/blended leather, to leather match, to split
leathers, to top-grain. Additional options include which
animal produces the leather. top grain cow hide is among the
higher end options. Consequently, it demands a higher price.
Many times, customers shop by asking only for "leather" and
incorrectly comparing products and prices. In other words, one
leather sofa is not the same as another leather sofa. When
making this type of purchase, try to determine your needs,
then find the sofa/recliner that best fits that need in your
price - comfort zone.
Blended leather is the least expensive form of leather. This
is made by literally putting natural leather and man made
product in a huge blender and forming a new combined product.
You will often see the percentage of leather included in this
blend, listed. Next is bonded leather. This takes a man made
base and bonds a thin sheath of natural leather to the top. If
you have read our discussion on veneers in wood, it is a
similar concept. Next comes a leather match.
Leather match consists of covering a chair, sofa, loveseat, or
sectional in natural leather wherever you will touch (seats,
seat backs, arms) and then matching a man made product where
it wont be touched, such as the lower sides and back of the
product. This still gives the consumer a complete natural
leather experience, but at a much lower price. Split leathers
are made by using smaller sections of leather and sewing them
together. This allows the manufacturer to utilize all of their
leather product in production and make an all natural leather
finished product at a still moderate price. Top grain product
is just that. Large sheets of natural leather applied to the
entire surface of the unit. This, of course, is the highest
cost way to manufacture, and consequently, the most expensive
to the end user.
Some manufactures let you choose your covers, some offer
numerous covers in the same style, while others just make one
or two options for a particular frame. All of these factors
have a bearing on your eventual buying price.