Let’s Learn: The Most Family Friendly Fabrics
One of our biggest requests when starting the furniture stage of a project is the desire for family friendly fabrics. We get it. Our clients want to live. They want to enjoy their spaces and not feel as though they need to make certain rooms "sacred", for special occasions only, or drape sofas with throws or heaven forbid, plastic, as our grandmothers may have done.
When we're considering fabrics for high traffic items such as sectionals, sofas and chairs, we have certain content we're looking for. Keep in mind there are no fabrics that are indestructible. There are pros and cons to every fabric, however some have less cons than others offering a more suitable option for a family with young kids, pets, or simply a high use area where consideration is given for durability and maintenance.
Wool is a go to for us when selecting fabrics for multiple reasons. Whether modern, traditional or anything in between, wool is versatile in look and it’s fibres accept dyes beautifully. It is resistant to soiling and moisture repellent. The complexity of it’s fibres also add to it’s durability making it a great choice not only for it’s beauty and comfort, but also it’s durability and family friendly qualities.
Polyester has had a bad reputation in the past, (thank you 70’s!), however when it comes to fabrics for furniture it's one of our favourites for family spaces. Polyester is extremely strong and durable. It is resistant to most liquids and chemicals as well as stretching, shrinking, and wrinkling. It is also easy to care for and clean. Most polyester fabrics are soft to the touch so a perfect selection for those high traffic areas where comfort is key.
You don't hear of Crypton as often however it protects from spills with it’s impenetrable moisture barrier. You wouldn’t know it to touch it, which is one of the reasons we love it. Crypton fabrics are comfortable to the touch and a wonderful option for heavily used pieces of well lived in furniture. Think bar stools, dining room chairs, family room sectional, not to mention a living room where red wine may enter. Watch this video to see how spills clean up in a jiffy!
While leather has it’s pros and cons we do still consider it a family friendly material. Less and less are we seeing large scale furniture pieces upholstered in leather due to it’s cost, and sometimes cold feeling. Ottomans, bar stools, dining chairs and lounge chairs are ideal areas for leather to take the stage. It is easy to wipe clean and maintenance friendly. Leather does show wear over time so being accepting of this behaviour is important before investing. Items such as pens, markers and oils are not friendly with leather so taking precaution is key.
The fabrics we have reviewed above are considered as 100% of their content. There are, of course, many combinations of content that are added to these materials to enhance in certain ways, whether it be from a durability perspective, a sheen, a weave or simply a level of luxury, careful consideration must be given when truly looking for a family friendly fabric that will perform and ultimately meet expectations.