The best fabric for re-covering a sofa

Updated February 21, 2017

Re-covering your sofa can instantly update the look of your living room and is an affordable alternative to replacing your couch. Several fabrics will work well for reupholstering your sofa.


The main factor to consider is the weight of the fabric; couches are very often the centrepiece of your living area and are frequently used. A heavyweight fabric made for upholstery or home decor will last much longer than a light or medium-weight fabric and will resist rips and tears.


Heavyweight fabrics come in all types of finishes. Traditional fabrics for sofas include chenille, velvet and wool, all of which have textured surfaces that are resistant to stains. These fabrics attract pet hair, however, so if you have animals in the home, you might consider a heavyweight fabric with a smoother finish, such as denim, twill or cotton sateen. Generally, smoother fabrics wear better and fray less than textured fabrics.


Upholstery fabrics come in a variety of types and therefore have a variety of cleaning and care requirements. Most fabrics can be spot cleaned as needed or steam cleaned when a deep cleaning is in order. Additionally, most fabrics can be pretreated with a solution to prevent stains.

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About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.