Microfibers are a relatively new, rapidly growing category of FIBER, not fabrics. The term: “Microfiber” is short for “Microdenier”, that is the woven fibers are less than 1 denier in size. Microfibers are approximately 100 times finer than a human hair. These weaves make up what the consumer has come to know as Microfiber Fabrics.
Microfibers Come In 3 Primary Fibers. Microfiber woven fabrics can be made from several different fibers, polyester, cotton, and nylon. Cotton and polyester are most common. They can be made to resemble many traditional fabrics including silk, suede, and many more. It all depends on how the fibers are combined to create the finished product.
Certified professional upholstery cleaners perform all different types of cleaning for Microfibers. Trained and certified upholstery cleaning technicians know which method works best and safest on any particular fiber. The type of cleaning that can be performed depends on which Microfiber you chose, cotton, polyester, or nylon. Polyester and nylon can be very effectively steam cleaned with excellent results. Cotton has to be cleaned by a low moisture method because of the softer, more absorbent nap of the fabric. The nap of all 3 fibers will be properly set as it dries, by the professional cleaning technician at the completion of the process to ensure the new like look of the fabric.
All Microsuedes are Microfibers, however, NOT all Microfibers are Microsuedes!!!!
One of the first Microfiber fabrics to come on the market (1980’s) was “Ultrasuede”. Since that time, many companies have developed Microsuede fabrics. Microsuedes are usually 100% polyester and have a finish somewhat like true leather suede. It was sometimes very difficult, even for a trained professional, to tell a Microsuede from true leather suede. It is crucially important to know for sure which fabric you have, as the care for each is very different. Professional upholstery cleaning technicians know that the wrong method can permanently ruin that fabric or lather. That is why you should know that when the right professional cleans your furniture, ultimate care is taken to give the best and safest results. It is important that to understand that no cleaner can exceed the fabric’s limits or risk permanent damage. Certified upholstery cleaning techs know what those limits are and NEVER exceeds them.
In recent years, other types of Microfiber fabrics have been developed. Some resemble silk, and others more like upholstery velvet or chenille. Be sure to read the description carefully to determine whether the fabric is appropriate for your use!
The tag attached to the base of the sofa or chair, under the cushion is a description of what is in the body of the furniture. It is not the fabric content of the upholstery fabric you are buying.
Listed below are some of the advantages to using Microfibers:
These feel very soft and luxurious to your touch.
Microfibers are water and stain resistant, not water or stain proof.
Soiling liquids tend to run off the fabric rather than immediately soak in. This gives you some time, not a lot, to remove the stains.
They are lighter weight, but more durable, except for rayon.
They are cooler in warm weather because Microfibers are more breathable than traditional fabrics.
Microfiber fabrics are fade resistant and hold the dyes well. They should still be kept out of direct sunlight like any other fabric whenever possible.
Last, but not least, they are shrink resistant, except for cotton, which can still shrink and distort if left wet too long.
In closing, Microfiber upholstered furniture has its place in your home. We hope this information we gave you helps you better understand what will be best for your home and if Microfibers are what will perform well in your home. As always, anytime you have any questions about any cleaning matter, call your local certified upholstery cleaner BEFORE you buy a fabric for your home.