Is this sofa fabric going to make me miserable?
December 29, 2019 10:26 PM   Subscribe

We found a sectional we really like at Macy’s that comes in about 100 or more different fabrics (in store) and we’ve taken home swatches to consider. I love the look of velvet and we’re leaning towards a navy velvet (I don’t know what material is made of and assume it’s probably a microfiber velvet-look). Anyone have experience with this kind of upholstery — dark, velvet — in everyday life?

We will be purchasing the protection plan so any rips, wear, etc is covered and reviews seem to say it’s easy and generous to use. All the cushions can be flipped. I’m not really worried about the wear of the fabric. I have no worries about the color itself and know I’ll be happy with how it looks, I’d just love to hear if this color and material combination has caused anyone else regrets in terms of being too much work to keep clean. The salesperson very dourly told us (more than once) that any velvet of any color would be too much work and that we’d be crazy to get it because no one is ever happy with it. She had a lot of other Opinions that were questionable so I’m turning to you all to see what you think!

We have two large dogs and one cat, two with dark fur and one with tan. Only one dog, the tan one, gets on the furniture with us but is good about targeting a throw we put down.

I’ve had a microfiber velvet-look sofa before when I had less pets and have a velvet ottoman now that gets a ton of use (dog and cat lay on it all the time). I like how easy it is to use a glove or wet cloth to remove pet hair from this kind of upholstery. In contrast, I hate how difficult it is to get the tan dog’s short and stiff hair out of woven upholstery of all sorts. I have given up on our current sofa which is no longer very pleasant against bare skin with the layer of dog hair poking you (though you can’t even see it because it blends very well with the light gray upholstery we currently have). I love how soft velvet is against bare skin. I like that it doesn’t pill up. I like that my cat isn’t interested in scratching it.

I am not sure why the salesperson insisted it would be more maintenance than a woven fabric, is it really that much worse? My velvet ottoman is ridiculously easy to clean, but it’s a cream color so the tan dog fur blends in. Yet even the black cat fur doesn’t show up very much and is easy to wipe away with my hand. Anyone take the plunge on such a darkly colored velvet upholstery on their main living room and have anything they can share about the experience?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
We've had a dark gray-green velvet sofa for about 5 months now and love it. I am not a clean freak by any stretch so maybe there is a downside I'm not noticing, but it still looks brand new to me. My husband spends a lot of time on it and is a somewhat messy snacker, but I haven't noticed any issues from that (other than the one time he apparently fell asleep with a peanut butter cup in his hand, which melted onto a cushion. But I carefully scraped off the blob of candy with a knife and then washed the remaining spot with a little dish soap on a rag, and the spot is completely gone.)

We have a cat who loves to sleep on the back of the sofa, so there's usually silky/fluffy hair on it, but it does wipe off easily when we happen to notice or care about it.

I'm really happy with the couch, it is super comfortable and nice-looking. No issues to report.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:42 PM on December 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


We don't have a sofa in that fabric (yet, I want one) but we do have multiple large throw cushions in a dark green poly velvet and two longhaired cats, and I love those cushions. Cat hair comes off so easily in comparison to everything else I own! Nothing has yet stained them, they still look great. Maybe a bit less soft and more creased than when we got them, but not at all high maintenance.

Maybe the salesperson was thinking fancier velvets? Cotton velvet is fussier and more prone to crushing. Silk velvet will get watermarked if it ever gets wet. Polyester velvet though? Whole different beast.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:26 AM on December 30, 2019


I’ve had a navy polyester velvet covered couch (West Elm’s velvet upholstery) for about five years now, and I absolutely love it. It’s incredibly easy to clean, totally durable with my dog, and I’ll never get a not-velvet couch again.
posted by amelioration at 7:22 AM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


We have a navy velvet couch and love it. With one big dog, we’ve gone through several couches and this one has held
Up the best by far.
posted by scantee at 7:56 AM on December 30, 2019


Oh hey! That's my couch! I don't have it in velvet, but I can speak to the couch itself. Yes, the cushions are flippable, except for the chaise cushion. That has been...problematic. We're looking into a board or something for underneath because it sags so much now. The back cushions also got "soggy" (no better way to describe it, really) much faster than I thought they would, but I'm going to get more fill to make them better (when I remember...when I have time). I absolutely love the way you can re-configure the layout of the couch. It's been a sturdy couch for us, all-in-all.
posted by cooker girl at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


Looks like I'm buying the damn blue velvet sectional, then! I just needed the tiniest of nudges, though in theory until I can get to the store I'm still open if anyone has a compelling dissenting opinion. Thanks for the direct experience, cooker girl, I'd read that in some reviews about the chaise / cushions and it's why we're going to pay for the protection plan :/ but similar has happened on all my previous sofas anyway so I'm just glad to be forewarned.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 9:01 AM on December 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


I have a textured red velvet couch and loveseat (yup you read that right) for fifteen years and f* me I still love it! Enjoy your couch!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:06 AM on December 30, 2019


I have a medium gray velvet couch and love it. My dog abuses it and I prefer to sit on one particular cushion, and even with that it’s held up well after 6 years.
posted by sallybrown at 9:07 AM on December 30, 2019


Oh and I also have hairy cats. No issue except that they tried it as a scratching post :/ otherwise in Perfect condition still.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:13 AM on December 30, 2019


I guess I'm in the minority, I bought a velvet chaise lounge recently and I hate it because the fabric is a little more slippery than other furniture I've had, and my butt ends up sliding down the seat and I wind up in an uncomfortable position and keep having to readjust myself on it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:42 AM on December 30, 2019


> That's my couch! I don't have it in velvet, but I can speak to the couch itself. Yes, the cushions are flippable, except for the chaise cushion. That has been...problematic. We're looking into a board or something for underneath because it sags so much now. The back cushions also got "soggy" (no better way to describe it, really) much faster than I thought they would, but I'm going to get more fill to make them better (when I remember...when I have time).

That's my couch, too! And I agree about the cushions deflating. It's annoying. But anyhoo, I have it in a velvet-like fabric, I have cats, and it's fine.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:51 PM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


I've got cats, and I basically only do velvet. My cats don't scratch it, but they will jump off of it frequently. Previous couches would develop puncture marks from their rear claws. These couches do not.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:42 PM on December 30, 2019


There are many different kinds of velvets. You probably want what is often termed "performance velvet" which is made to stand up to stains and friction. Other types of velvets may show wear and creasing, and can be made of materials like cotton and silk which stain more easily.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2019


Happy update! We ordered the sofa in blue velvet (I think Macy’s fabric name and color is "Bella Ink"), it finally arrived last week, and I’m typing this while sitting on it. I’m so happy with my decision. I’m highly sensitive to how fabrics feel against my skin and this is a dream come true.

Only time will tell how it holds up, but for what it’s worth, while it shows white fuzz or tan fur easily it really isn’t that noticeable unless you’re very close to it, I love how soft and comforting it feels, and it’s made both me and my partner smile whenever we see it — and she initially wasn’t enthused about the velvet before we ordered it. My cat hasn’t tried to scratch it yet, but he also has never scratched my velvet ottoman so I think he's just not that into it.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:59 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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