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Common Problems With Upholstered Furniture


Posted on 30/05/2019 - Last Updated by THOMAS - 31/05/2019

Common Problems With Upholstered Furniture

Sofas are great, they're comfy, they look great in your living space. But they're not flawless.

But don't worry, Homeserve is here to help go through some common problems you might face!

No matter how much you look after your furniture, accidents are going to happen, and some issues occur naturally over time. In this post, we will be going over five surprisingly common issues you might face or have faced with your upholstered furniture and some solutions to these problems hopefully help you get your furniture back to that showroom standard you're missing!

Problem 1: Leather Fading

What is it and what causes it?

You might be sat there on your comfy leather sofa thinking "I'm sure this was a different shade when I got it".  And you might well be right. Leather dye can fade over time and there are a few things that can accelerate this. Natural body oils from sitting on your sofa can wear away the colour over the years and so can dust and dirt. But the real killer is light exposure, especially sunlight. If you're sofa is in direct sun light, you might notice fading a lot quicker. 



The solution.

If you're keeping your leather sofa next to a window, your best option here is to try and keep your sofa shaded on hot sunny days to protect the leather. Also, if possible, you should rotate any leather cushions regularly to make sure one side isn't under consistent heat and light exposure. You will still experience fading but at a much slower rate. The ultimate way to tackle fading leather however is to make sure you clean your leather furniture regularly and with appropriate leather protection and cleaning products. We have a guide here with more information on how to clean your leather sofa.

Problem 2: Pilling

What is it and what causes it?

An upholstery pill is a small ball of fibres than have risen to the surface of a piece of fabric. This is a common issue and you've probably noticed it before. Pilling is caused by friction and abrasion from everyday use such as when you shuffle in your seat to get comfortable. The fibres start to twist together and shape into these small little balls and because they're still secured they will push through the fabric for you to see. 

The solution.

The quickest, easiest (and cheapest!) solution to pilling is to purchase a pill shaver / debobbler. You can get a pill comb to do the same task however these are more manual. All you need to do is run the shaver over the area that is pilling, and it will remove the excess fibres sticking out making your furniture look much more fresh. If the pilling comes back, just simply run the shaver back over the area. Eventually, all the excess fibres will get removed and pilling won't happen anymore!

Problem 3: Fabric Wrinkling

What is it and what causes it?

First things first, don't worry, fabric wrinkles or "Comfort wrinkles" are normal and natural. Your sofa is still good. There's a big difference between wrinkling fabric and actual sagging fabric. The easiest way to tell the difference is that wrinkled fabric will spring back up after sitting down whereas damaged, sagging furniture won't do this. These wrinkles are caused from use and are where the fabric is naturally stretching. If the fabric wasn't designed to do this then your sofa would have a much shorter life span and would begin to tear which is much more serious!


The solution.

Although not really a problem, wrinkles can be carefully "ironed out". A handheld steamer will allow the fabric to reshape itself a little better reducing the wrinkles. Steamers are a lot gentler than using an iron. 

Please note! We advise you should always consult with your retailer, or a professional before attempting to steam out wrinkles as this could cause more damage if done incorrectly.

Problem 4: Stains

What is it and what causes it?

No matter how careful you are, stains happen sooner or later and you'd be surprised how easily it can happen.  Whether your pen in your pocket has leaked or you accidentally knocked over that cheeky glass of wine, stains are inevitable. Even water can leave stains! 

The solution.

Your best option is to prevent the stains in the first place.  If you know something messy is going to be happening near your nice clean furniture, use covers as a precaution to stop any dirty or potential stains from reaching your furniture.  You should vacuum your upholstery frequently to help keep the fabric in good shape and to clean larger dirt such as crumbs or dust. 

If the pesky stains are already there, then your first port of call should be to check your manufacturer's instructions and furniture tags. These will immediately point you in the correct direction of how you can and cannot clean your furniture. Deviating away from these warnings and instructions can lead to more damage or even worse voiding a warranty. 

If you're not sure on how to go about cleaning these stains yourself you can always hire a professional to clean those stains for you, such as us! Each of our technicians carries specialist equipment for cleaning stains and can offer more in depth advice on a case to case basis.

Please note! Homeserve always advises you check with your retailer or manufacturer before attempting any cleaning yourself for advice and guidance.

Problem 5: Your pets like your sofa too

What is it and what causes it?

Where to start with this one, there's so many things your lovely pet can do to your sofa that will make your heart sink. But that's okay, a lot of it is easy to fix! Usually. Let's start simple, pets (especially dogs) shed and get their fur everywhere. Your sofa is probably looking a little hairier than when you bought it if you have one of these lovable creatures. It's not just the fur however, those claws and nails can be awfully sharp and can scratch at the fabric or leather or even worse.  They might decide it's their new chew toy.

The solution.

Fur getting stuck all over your sofa is a fairly easy fix. You can simply wear a powderless rubber glove (You want lots of friction) to rub and gather all of the fur into one place to make it nice and easy for you to scoop up and clean it. As for scratches and bites, sadly these issues aren't easy to fix unless you are an experienced furniture repair technician.

Your best option is to prevent this before it happens. A lot of the time pets will cause a lot of damage if left alone or locked into a room. Especially if they're young or new pets. They want to explore their environment. 

If your pet does scratch or bite your furniture, we can help. Our re-upholstery service can make your sofa look as good as new and seem as though your pet never damaged it in the first place!

UK & Ireland's Largest Furniture Repair Specialists

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