Sick of the upholstery on your furniture? Don’t automatically hit the stores to buy a new couch or chair! Furniture reupholstery is an excellent option for re-inventing your furniture and breathing new life into your older or outdated furniture. There are a ton of options out there for furniture and sofa reupholstery — and it could end up saving you thousands of dollars.

First, check that your couch, sofa, or chair is in good shape structurally. You can have a professional furniture company come in and assess your furniture, and diagnosis any problems you may need to address. Even if there is some structural damage, a high quality furniture repair company can take care of that for you.

Once you’ve decided to move forward with reupholstery, now comes the hard part: picking out the right upholstery fabric! There are endless options out there, depending on the type of upholstery you’re looking for the overall look, pattern, and design. Let’s look at some of the most popular upholstery fabrics that people choose:

Cotton

This natural fiber is used in many different textiles. People love cotton because it is comfortable, withstands time, and is easy to clean and maintain. While this fabric is popular, it does fade fairly easily, so it’s important that you opt for UV fabric protection to keep it the original color as long as possible.

Wool

This is a popular fabric, especially in colder regions. Wool is made from sheep fur, and has been used for centuries for warmth. Like cotton, wool can easily fade as well; however, unlike cotton, wool is harder to clean. An added benefit is that wool is fairly resistant to wrinkling and spillage.

Leather

People love leather furniture! Leather gives any room a sophisticated look, and matches almost any décor. It is also very durable and ages well. This upholstery is expensive, so it is crucial that you preserve your leather from the beginning, and regularly have it treated to prevent cracks and aging.

Vinyl

This is an inexpensive substitute for leather. It often can look and feel just like leather and is easy to care for, but it is not as durable or long-lasting. Depending on the weather, vinyl can be uncomfortable—it can feel sticky when it’s hot and humid, and very cold in cooler temps.

Silk

Silk is an elegant and beautiful option, but it is high maintenance. You must regularly have it protected against spills, as it is very hard to clean. Silk is an option for fancier rooms, and should be kept away from pets and children.

Microfiber

This synthetic fiber is growing in popularity for furniture reupholstery. It is soft and comfortable and is easy to clean, as well as long-lasting. It’s typically made of a blend of polyester and nylon. Microfiber is also lightweight, and resists stains and wrinkles well.

After you’ve decided the kind of upholstery you are interested, talk to a professional furniture reupholstery company and start looking at fabric swatches to get an idea about what pattern, color, and style would best fit your home. It’s always a great idea to bring swatches home with you and match them to your existing furniture and paint. Leave them there for a couple days to “live” with your decision