Sofa Brand, Price and Materials
I have lived in more than a dozen houses in my lifetime. I have experimented with various motifs, designs, layout, color-schemes, construction materials sizes and shapes of homes. And needless to say, I have had all sorts of appliances and furniture, from metal to aluminium, antique wood, die-cast, mass produced and custom made kinds.
But perhaps my most extensive experience with furniture is with the sofa. From cheap, 2nd hand ones in U.S. thrift shops to Singapore designer furniture brands I have had the chance to try an assortment of sofa.
And one of the most basic question in choosing a sofa is: “Which is better: leather or fabric?”
Fabric, Comfort and Affordability
And indeed, the battle over the best luxury sofa seems to have boiled down to a simple choice between leather and fabric sofa. Since time immemorial, these two types of materials have been the popular choices of families and individuals looking for the best comfort and style to their living room. Although other variants such as suede and canvass have persisted, they have found relatively small market and are options only among consumers working on tight budgets.
So from someone with extensive experience on the subject, let me ship in on the debate.
First, the fabric. Generally, fabric sofa is cheaper. In Singapore, most low-end, value-for money sofa are made from fabric. And aside from its reasonable price, it is also popular since fabric is a very comfortable material for sofa. Fabric sofas also provide a better variety compared to leather since they can be tailored from various hues of clothes, printed with assorted choice of designs and can be custom-made from special fabrics that provide different textures, softness or firmness.
Based on experience too, fabric is softer and do not absorb heat as leather and therefore do not feel warm after hours of sitting. However much of this softness and durability of the textile. Singapore fabric designer brands are usually made from more durable materials and can withstand more extensive wear and tear. Cheaper fabric materials like cotton or polyester or a combination of both are usually used as sofa fabrics but the sturdiness varies according to thickness.
Leather, Style and Durability
Most designer sofa in Singapore are however made from leather sofa. These high-end sofa material is significantly more durable than fabric and even gets better with age. Some of my leather sofas were still in good condition after a decade and the only reason I had to dispose of them was because I had to move out to another house with different space and thus needed new furniture.
There is also a variety to choose from: top or full grain leather like aniline, or pure soft leather and semi-aniline, or protected leather. Regardless of type, leather is extremely strong material although it does feel stiffer compared to fabric. It is also more resistant to color fading and stains. Most consumers however argue that despite its robust quality, the downside to strength of material is that it is vulnerable to scratches and cuts and are therefore not family friendly. It is also difficult to restore leather once it has been cut by abrasive materials or damaged by pets or kids. Or even if leather is not cut or shred, minor scratches in a leather sofa can be unsightly and difficult to remove even with special chemicals. Leather sofa are also not best for humid conditions.As for durability, cleaning and maintenance leather sofa still maintains advantage. Although high-end fabrics can also be durable, it still pales in comparison to the life-span of even low-end leather. The cleaning products for fabric are also cheaper but leather sofa is a lot easier to clean and often does not even require special cleaning solutions and often requires only water, towel and simple wash procedures.