Choosing the right upholstery fabric for furniture in a home or office can seem like a challenge. After all, most people want something that is durable and easy to maintain, yet reflects their individual taste and is aesthetically pleasing.
When looking for fabric that is both high in quality and easy to care for, linen makes the best upholstery fabric because:
- Linen is extremely easy to care for
- Linen exudes comfort
- Linen is sustainable
- Linen is durable and gets better with age
Here’s what you need to know about what makes linen an exceptional choice for furniture upholstery.
Linen Is Extremely Easy To Care For
Especially in high-traffic homes and businesses, having upholstery that can easily be cared for is essential. With linen, washing and caring for this fabric is straight-forward.
Slipcovers can be cleaned in the home using a washing machine and dryer, and upholstered furniture can be spot cleaned.
Our article, How To Wash Linen, outlines some easy cleaning techniques, though in general, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Hot water may weaken the fibers or cause it to shrink, which is important to keep in mind with furniture and pillow slipcovers.
- Linen fabric should never be twisted or scrubbed, as this can damage the fibers.
- Bleaching is not recommended since it can discolor the fabric.
- If putting slipcovers in the dryer, make sure the dryer is set to low heat and the linens are removed while they are still somewhat damp. They can then be ironed on a low to medium-hot setting while the fabric is still damp.
Here’s an important note: Make sure you test the detergent or cleaning solution on a small part of the fabric to ensure there is no discoloration before applying to the rest of fabric.
If a piece of furniture is stained, remove the stain as soon as possible. This can be done by soaking the stain with a solution made of water and detergent. You can also spot clean the fabric with club soda, baking soda or even a small amount of white vinegar, followed by blotting the stain with a towel.
Linen upholstery is also naturally anti-static. That means this type of fabric is less likely than other man-made fabrics like synthetics to be dust magnets.
Linen Exudes Comfort
One of the highest sought-after qualities of upholstery fabric is its comfort level. Linen is considered to be one of the most comfortable fabrics for several reasons:
- Linen is moisture resistant. In fact, it can absorb dampness up to 20% without even feeling wet. This can be especially useful in high humid climates. This quality also promotes good health since linen’s moisture resistance helps protect the material against bacterial growth, which can occur when there is hidden dampness.
- Linen is hypoallergenic. Flax, from which linen is made, is considered a natural fiber. It is friendly to a person’s skin and is perfect for allergy sufferers.
- Linen is breathable. Linen will keep an individual cool in the summer while providing warmth in the winter. Breathability of a fabric impacts how well a body can regulate its temperature.
Linen Is Sustainable
Today, many consumers are looking for sustainable products. Linen is one of the most environmentally-friendly textiles available. This is due to several reasons, but most notably because of how the flax fibers that create linen are grown.
When growing flax, very little water is required so farmers do not need to irrigate or fertilize during this process. Flax typically requires fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides as well.
In addition to this, very little is wasted with the flax plant. Its seeds, for example, can be used to produce oil or can be eaten as a food source.
Linen is also extremely durable, so it enjoys a longer lifespan. Even when linen is no longer needed, it is biodegradable.
In contrast, although cotton is another popular choice for upholstery, it is far less sustainable. Pesticides and fertilizers are often used in the growth of cotton, and because cotton is one of the largest non-food crops globally, its impact on the environment is also significant.
In fact, conventionally-grown cotton consumes more than 16% of all insecticides and 6.8% of all herbicides … even though it is grown on only 2.5% of agricultural land.
Linen Is Durable And Gets Better With Age
Linen can withstand a lot of use because of the strong natural fibers used to construct it. In fact, linen ages very well compared to other upholstery fabrics. That’s good news for consumers, who often consider furniture a major investment.
As linen ages, it gets softer, even after it is cleaned repeatedly. While other fabrics show wear and tear after multiple uses, linen remains fresh and gets softer.
To ensure the linen used in your upholstery project or manufacturing is top of the line, it is important to choose a linen supplier that guarantees quality. Our article, What A Linen Company Should Provide, further explores what your relationship with a linen supplier should look like, from effective communication to the delivery of products in a timely manner.