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Buying Furniture that Lasts


By Nikki Willhite

Save Money Buying Wisely

When you buy a new sofa or chair, how long do you expect it to last? Will you keep it until it is hopelessly outdated, or will you have to replace it in 5, 10 or 20 years?

There are several factors to consider when buying furniture. In this article, I am going to talk about the fabrics that cover our furniture.

One of the classes I was required to take when I was pursuing my degree in Interior Design was a class in textiles. We did a lot of experimentation with fabrics in that class. We studied the different types of fibers that make up fabric, and did chemical tests on them to measure things like their durability. We learned that a fabric is only as strong as the weakest fiber in it.

When you buy upholstered furniture, take a good look at the fabric. The longest lasting fabrics will be one strong fiber, closely woven. Also, an additional advantage of a tight weave is that the fiber will be more fire resistant.

Many upholstered items come with colorful threads, woven together often in plaid or abstract designs. Use your fingernail and pick around them and see if some are loosely woven or break easily. If they do, chances are that the fabric will be unraveling or torn within a short amount of time.

Perhaps you remember going to your grandmother's home, and sitting on a sofa that felt like the short side of Velcro. It wasn't attractive, but it was impossible to hurt it! It lasted forever.

Fashion and style have prevailed over durability in today's market. If you want durability you are going to have to select carefully. Yesterday's sofas were made to last a lifetime. Now you are lucky if you can get 15 years out of them.

Most of us cannot afford expensive sofas. We don't know a lot about the "inner works". However, we can take control when it comes to the upholstery. You may have to look a little harder, but it won't necessarily cost any more money.

Creative Leather Furniture


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