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The Home Depot

Maintenance for 5 Types of Upholstery

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Upholstery > Maintenance for 5 Types of Upholstery
Maintenance for 5 Types of Upholstery

If you are into decoration and furniture you may be aware of the idea that is upholstery and fabric repair. But many people are not well versed in the topic and most are not aware that there are five different types of upholstery. This is why we have compiled a list of those five types of upholstery materials so that anyone interested in upholstery or renovation can easily access the information and use it to upgrade their own home.


If this is your first time with upholstery we recommend either hiring a professional so that you don’t mess your furniture up or just doing a lot of research. Upholstery really isn’t that hard and the end results are always great. Upholstery is a great way to update the furniture in your home without spending all the money it takes to replace everything with new pieces.

  1. Proper maintenance of any type of upholstery includes making sure the fabric is not always exposed to sunlight or damp areas.

    1.Rayon Upholstery

    Rayon upholstery may be one of the worst options you can use for furniture. Rayon is made and composed from fiber that comes from wood chips. The only positive aspects of using rayon for upholstery are that it is quite cheap, easy to work with and it is quite moth resistant. Some of the negatives are it can shrink/stretch when damp, requires dry cleaning and it is extremely flammable.

  2. 2.Cotton Upholstery

    Cotton is a pretty popular fabric used to reupholster furniture. As most of you know, cotton comes from natural plant fiber so it is one of the less processed forms of upholstery. It also dyes rather easily which is helpful for intricate designs and home decoration purposes. It is great at absorbing liquids, so it is a great fabric to have when there may be children in the house. It is resistant to moths, can resist normal amounts of sunlight without fading and in general it is pretty easy to care for. It does wrinkle easily and can catch on fire rather quickly unless treated previously.

  3. 3.Wool Upholstery

    Wool upholstery is very strong but often has trouble since it is a moth-attractant. It does rather poorly in sunlight so you should be careful to store the upholstered furniture in a darker area – but not one that will be close to dampness or moths. It is rather difficult to clean if any is spilt on it or makes it dirty and it will require dry cleaning. It is one of the most high maintenance and sometimes troublesome types of upholstery to have, so if you can stay away from wool we would probably recommend it.

  4. 4.Nylon Upholstery

    Nylon was actually the first synthetic fiber produced (in 1928) and one of the more popular types of upholstery fabric available on the market today. It is quite strong and resilient and still remains relatively easy to care for. It is also one of the more durable types of fibers and the only negative it seems is that nylon does not bode so well with sunlight. If you don’t want fading or other sunlight damage to occur, do not put your nylon upholstered furniture in direct light.

  5. 5.Olefin Upholstery

    We decided to include olefin last since it was one of the newer synthetic fibers to have been created lately. It is rather cheap and is heat sensitive, which is a definite plus if you want to store it near a window that gets a lot of sunlight. The fiber is able to resist most water and liquid based stains, and it is also resistant to both chemicals and insects. Olefin is one of the better types of upholstery to use if you don’t want to spend too much money.


    Proper maintenance of any type of upholstery includes making sure the fabric is not always exposed to sunlight or damp areas. Along with that, it is important to get the proper type of upholstery if you have children present in the home since some fibers bode with will spills and kids climbing on it than others.

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