Since finding out about the discount I get from working at Plumbs, my mother is suddenly interested in buying some loose chair and sofa covers. She does love to count her pennies!
When trying to find our more about loose covers she asked me, what’s the best type of fabric to choose when buying furniture covers? Unfortunately I didn’t know off hand so I had to do some investigating and found that it is quite a common question, so I thought I’d share what I found.
The cheapest fabrics generally used to make furniture covers are nylon stretch fabrics. The flexibility you get with this type of material give a really close and snug fit around any piece of furniture, now just because they’re the cheapest doesn’t mean they are not good. These fabrics are great value for money, so why would you choose these fabrics:
- They are very easy to care for and can be washed at 40 degrees
- Because of their flexibility they can cover over 98% of furniture styles
- They don’t crease and very easy to remove and replace
- They are extremely hard wearing so last for years
The more costly fabrics are generally made of natural materials such as cotton and linen but there are also chenille and velvet fabrics that are either made in natural materials or man-made with a mix acrylic and polyester. Some of the best fabrics use a combination of both natural materials for a soft feel and man-made for improved practicality, such as preventing shrinkage in the wash and creasing. These fabrics are more rigid so give a more contemporary loose cover look but can be unsuitable for complicated styles of furniture. So why would you choose these over the more flexible fabrics:
- Give a more relaxed and contemporary look to your furniture
- Greater choice of fabric materials
- Heavy-weighted for a great finish
- The texture and feel is superb
According to a new study by Petplan on of the UK’s leading pet insurance companies, found a large percentage of dog and cat owners based their purchasing decisions on the suitability for their pets. The obvious one is holidays where 68% of dog owners and 47% of cat owners said that this was the most important area in which to take their pet into consideration, however many also include home furnishings such as sofas.
Pet hair can be real pain when is comes to your soft furnishings but as we explained in this recent post Threats to your Sofa, there are ways to protect your sofa from your pets hair, claws and any other dirty or smelly messes we all know pets can make.
More than just a beautiful fabric ‘Mandalay’ is one of our ‘Superweave’ quality fabrics that performs even better than it looks! Mandalay simply oozes luxury whilst the intricate design detailing creates pure elegance and style.
Cover a sofa in Mandalay design, available in 9 colourways, in Designer Elite make-up, now Half Price! Mandalay Chair Covers from £119, was £239, Sofa Covers from £189, was £379, in Designer Un-piped make-up. Furniture must be suitable for Designer make-up.
Click here to view the Sofa Cover offer in more detail…
What is the greatest enemy to your furniture covers? Whether you have fixed covers or loose covers, it could be muddy children, grandchildren or husbands. However if you have a sofa with washable loose covers the risk of damage is greatly reduced, the real evil enemy is in fact pets, more specifically our feline friends.
Why is it that cats just love to rake their claws down the side of the sofa, or snuggle up in the chair while purring away and happily dragging their claws across the cushions. My own sofa looks like it is growing hair as it has been the victim of many clawing sessions. Frustrating as it is, the cat won’t listen and refuses to stop.
Happily there is an answer, without resorting to banishing the cat. Various cat deterents are available such as sprays, sticky paws or simply choose to cover your furniture with hardwearing chenille fabrics rather than the old-fashioned stretch fabrics. These are washable too so any muddy paws are easily dealt with.
Dog and cat hair is another problem and a guaranteed way to cause irritation. Much has been written about asthma and likely causes but this entry is more concerned with how your furniture actually looks and solutions for keeping it clean. Again a good solution to the molting pet problems is washable loose covers.
Or of course, you could always buy a goldfish!
How do you decide?
On the one hand there are some tempting credit deals out there to replace your furniture.
On the other hand you might not want to throw a perfectly good suite away, and anyway how would you do it. Who is going to physically remove your sofa from your house?
If you just hate your sofa or it doesn’t fit in your home then the best option is probably to try and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way and buy new.
If you already have a well made piece of furniture that is comfy and fits in your home then the best option is probably to cover or reupholster, as your sofa will look like new for half the cost of a new one. With landfill sites filling up fast this is also a good choice for the environment.
- If the sofa is looking tired, and it’s time for an update, then loose covers are the least expensive option. Probably about a quarter of the cost of a new suite.
- From an environmental point of view, loose covers are also a great choice as you are effectively recycling your sofa or suite.
- Washability is also a big plus point. Being able to remove wash and refit loose covers is perfect for any household where stains pose a threat.
- Massive choice of fabrics. You can probably choose from hundreds of options.
- Fit is bit of a pro and a con. Loose covers do move and are not fixed to the furniture.
- For many people they simply wouldn’t know it as traditionally made cotton loose covers fit so colsely to the furniture that is almost like reupholstery. There are however some of us who simply prefer the sofa covering to be fixed
- An extension of the fit argument is detail. Covers do not always respect every single detail of a piece of furniture no matter how well made. A good example is furniture with exposed show wood.
- Price wise a reupholstered suite will be around half the cost of buying new but this is a more expensive choice than loose covers.
- Another good choice for the environment – you are keeping your furniture out of landfill
- Comfort and sentimental attachment are not affected. You are making the furniture you already have quite literally look like new.
- Fit and attention to details are better than for covers.
- Again a vast choice of fabric.
- Finally reupholstery is a traditional craft. By choosing this option you are helping to support traditional British workmanship by genuine local craftsmen and women.
- Usually come with replacement seat cushions
- Service is a big plus as with this type of craftsman product the service is typically excellent.
- The big downside is having to do with out your furniture for 2-3 weeks while the work is done.
- Not exactly a con but reputation is important. Whoever you choose to do the work has to be trustworthy. You need to be sure that you are getting a hight standard of workmanship.
- Not cheap although certainly less than buying a new suite
- You can’t see the finished article before you buy – i.e. your own suite reupholstered.
- New furniture is untouched, unstained has never been sat on and it’s exciting to have brand new
- You can see and sit on lots of different styles before you buy
- There are some fabulous credit deals to be had
- The hassle of moving and disposing of your existing furniture.
- There is an environmental price to pay in throwing away your old furniture. Typically it will end up in landfill unless a charity shop or similar will take it. Occasionally for very good furniture you may be able to sell it.
- Interest free credit is not free, but is built into the price. Furniture is already the most expensive of the three and credit just makes it more expensive.
- Quality is a big issue as there is such a wide range. By buying quality recognised brands such as parker knoll multiyork, wesley barrell or bridgecraft you can be sure that you are investing in quality furniture. However there has to be concern over cheaper furniture which is imported. If you remove the VAT delivery cost, shipping cost from overseas and the sellers margin or cut then there often is little left. This raises a question mark over durability and quality
If you are tired of looking at the furniture in your front room or you just fancy a change then you can recover, reupholster, replace or do nothing. Think about price, comfort and the environment and the way forward should become clear.
We found a great article giving some enlightening ideas how to brighten up a dreary January, even more so with the weather we’ve had so far.
Karen McLauchlan from the Evening Gazette, says that “Just because the Christmas festivities and the New Year celebrations have been and gone, there’s no reason not to continue with this glamorous look which has made your home so shiny and bright into the new season.”
Read the article here:
DON’T let dark and dreary January get the better of you this year – and most importantly, don’t blitz that glitz.
Here are some more ideas to help brighten-up your home:
- Cover Up – Do you have a dark, tired looking chair or sofa? Now is the time to change them for lighter, brighter alternatives.
- Lighten Up – Change your lamp shade and match your lighting to the season – lamp shades are the shoes and handbags of the design world, so don’t be scared to experiment.
- A Room With a View – If your furniture is centered in front of a fireplace, think about ways to rearrange the look for spring. Try and change the focal point to a view of a garden scene.
- Store Silks – Remove dusty silk flower arrangements from your rooms and store them away for a few months. Instead, bring in fresh green plants and flowering pots. These lively touches can breathe life into winter-weary spaces.
- Re-Accessorize – It’s time to rework your accessories and makeover your shelves. Clean off winter dust and replace heavy objects with a selection of lighter, brighter alternatives. Set up a collection of pitchers or glass, and include plants and picture frames as well.
Welcome to the first post of our Blog, we hope you enjoy! To kick off we thought we’d tell you a bit about ourselves:
Plumbs specialise in traditional Upholstery, Loose Covers and Curtains and offer a free in home measuring, fitting and advice service by a fully trained Plumbs home consultant who lives locally to the customer. They will bring along samples and swatches so that people can match them to their carpets, upholstery and wall colours.
Plumbs have around 150 Home Consultants who will visit the home free of charge throughout the U.K. The Home Consultants can recommend an appropriate window dressing and reupholstery solution and advise on room colour co-ordination and any other home furnishings such as cushion covers and footstools. With over 350 different upholstery fabric designs and colours to choose from, and a range of materials to suit any piece of furniture, the choice is up to you. Please visit our sites here:
For our cusotmers who do not wish a consultant to visit their home, we also run two ecommerce sites that enable customers to buy both Furniture Covers & Curtains online, these are:
Plumbs Curtain Shop