June 5


Sofa guide: types of fabrics for upholstery fabrics.

Finding the right sofa – is admittedly not easy. Not only the look, style, dimensions, and comfort should fit, but also the upholstery needs to be chosen correctly. In this article, we will introduce you to our upholstery fabrics, explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of fabric, and what their key figures mean.

Here you can find information about the fabric.

If you have found a sofa in the overview that matches your idea of appearance and price, you can take a closer look at it. On the product page, under the tab “Function & Quality”, you will find more information about the fabric (we explain some technical terms below!).

Did you know that we also send you fabric samples of some models? You can recognize this option by the “Request fabric sample free of charge” button. If you want to know how your favorite piece of furniture feels, select this button. Your sample will automatically be added to your shopping cart, and you must complete the order. Then we will send you your desired fabric sample, which you can use to check the color effect and the quality of the upholstered furniture yourself. This service is free of charge, and you do not have to return the sample.

The textile types at a glance

Natural fiber

Natural fiber refers to fabrics from natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, or linen. Their advantage: they feel pleasant to the skin. Their disadvantage: they wear out faster and fade more easily. Since furniture covers are subjected to greater wear and tear and therefore have to be more robust than clothing or bed linen, it is challenging to produce fabrics from these materials that meet the high demands.

Synthetic fiber

Close-up of a bright orange synthetic fiber sofa in a contemporary living space.

These fabrics are made of synthetic fibers, such as polyacrylic (PAN), polyester (PES), polyamide (PA), or polypropylene (PP). These materials can have a very authentic feel like wool or cotton but are even more hard-wearing, color-fast, durable, and less expensive.

Blended fabric

A cozy living room featuring a blended fabric sofa in a warm, neutral tone.

Blended fabrics combine the advantages of the two variants mentioned. Natural fibers such as cotton or wool are processed with synthetic yarns so that the pleasant feel of the natural fabric is combined with the durability of the synthetic fiber.


An elegant living room with a plush, gray microfiber upholstered sofa.

Up to 100 times thinner than human hair, microfibers are usually made from polyester or polyacrylic. The fabrics made from them are very fine, extremely tear-resistant, dirt-resistant, and easy to care for. They have a similar soft touch to velour. Microfiber is produced in all colors; a special feature is synthetic fabrics in leather look, which look as full of character as ancient leather, but offer a softer skin feel.


Viscose is a semi-synthetic fiber. This means that although it is based on natural cellulose, the end product is manufactured in a man-made process. Fine fibers produce artificial silk, also known as “rayon”. Viscose is pleasantly soft to the touch, kind to the skin, and has a silky sheen.

Some types of upholstery fabrics

Woven fabric

Most fabric sofas are covered with woven fabric, and they can be finely woven like a dress fabric or coarse like a burlap bag – it depends on the yarns used. The preview image on our product pages will give you an approximate idea.

Textured fabric

Different thicknesses or shades of yarn are woven together in a textured fabric to form a decorative visual pattern.


Velvet is proverbially soft. The noble, shimmering fabric with a soft pile can be made of cotton or synthetic fiber.

What do the individual designations mean?

You will find much information on our product pages under “Function & Quality” and the cover fabric. But not everyone can make sense of the measurements, and explanations in our lexicon directly on the product page will help you. Also, here, we explain briefly how to estimate the upholstery fabric based on these factors.

Martindale value

This information tells you how abrasion resistant the textile is. It is, therefore, a measure of durability. It is determined with a testing device that rubs the fabric against a standardized wool fabric. Now the number of rubs measured is necessary until two threads of the test fabric are worn through. This number is the Martindale value, sometimes given in “tours.” For sofas at home, the material should have at least 10,000 to 15,000 Martindales; more heavily used furniture in public places (cafes, waiting rooms, transportation) should have at least 30,000, preferably more. Most synthetic fiber furniture covers at home24 have a Martindale value of around 40,000 – so they’re tough enough that you won’t have to worry about wear and tear.


Lightfastness indicates how much the fabric color tends to fade when exposed to sunlight. This is graded on a scale of 1 (very low light fastness) to 8 (excellent light fastness).


You know it from some polyester sweaters after a few washes: Individual fibers come loose, forming small nodules that litter the fabric surface. In simpler terms: it fluffs. “Pilling” is the technical word for this process, and the corresponding scale goes from 1 (“very heavy pilling”) to 5 (none).

As far as we can locate the manufacturer and supplier information, we give it on the product page.


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