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Upholstery Care Guide


Thank you for choosing to purchase your upholstered product from Made to Last. Each piece is individually manufactured using a combination of traditional bench skills and modern technology. We make our own frames from the very best selected timber and ensure the highest standards of quality control at each stage of the process.

We mainly try to source our fabrics from the UK and where necessary around the world keeping up to date with the ever changing designs in fashion. All fabrics are tested for their durability on the Martindale rub test machine. The overall reliance is still on the hand finishing throughout the production process, helping to make each item unique of which we are all very proud, and we hope this product (still made in the UK) will give you many years of comfort and enjoyment. Handmade upholstery is not an engineered product and should not be considered as such.

If you still have questions about caring for your upholstery after reading this guide then please give us a call on 01223 967901 or email us at [email protected].

Upholstered Furniture Care

  • When first unpacking a new sofa, sofabed or armchair, you may notice some packing indentations in the fabric or the fillings, usually these will disperse with use or simply require stroking with a hand or clean dry cloth to reconfigure the fabric pile or creases.
  • Cushions can seem compressed and may need plumping to redistribute the fillings.
  • When moving furniture within the home, lift sofas and chairs by the base to protect the frames, do not drag or pull by the arms as this can damage feet or weaken arms.
  • Sitting on the arms of sofas and chairs can damage the frame as they are not designed for the extra weight, equally standing on sofas can displace springs or supportive webbing.
  • Try to avoid sitting on the edge of cushions or perched on the front edge of chairs as this can mis-shape the fillings. Plumping and straightening cushions daily will keep the feathers or fibres from premature flattening. Change seat positions if possible to prolong even life.
  • Keep all furniture at least 1 meter away from direct heat sources such as radiators and air conditioning. Any upholstered furniture should not be placed near an open fire.
  • Sharp objects such as toys, buckles and pet’s claws etc can cause damage to the pile and the weave of the material, scratch leather and cause premature wear.
  • Vacuum your upholstery occasionally using the soft brush attachment to remove tiny dirt particles which get into the pile and wear out the fabric.
  • Extreme amounts of water / moisture are harmful to the fabric and will destroy it by loosening the weave and giving a baggy appearance.

Feather /Foam / Fibre Cushion Interiors

For feather and fibre fillings we strongly recommend giving them a good plump every day, and even every time you use them if possible. If the cushions are not plumped, they will lose shape and support rapidly and become more difficult to get back into shape the longer they are left. Please also note that this advice is from the moment that you receive your new piece of upholstery.

For cushions with a foam filling – we would recommend that the cushions are plumped once every 2 weeks and turned (where possible) every month.

Foam Seat Cushion Interiors

This type of interior helps retain cushion shape and are very low maintenance. Avoid sitting on the front edge, as this causes a rounding effect dragging the cushion case seam around.

Feather & Fibre Cushion Plumping

Feather cushions tend to settle and sink with use and can appear untidy to some but a sumptuous lived-in look to others. To keep them pert, frequently fluff the sofa cushions to help them retain their shape.

To do so:

  • Remove all cushions and place on a clean floor, flip and rotate each cushion changing seating position allowing the cushions even use.
  • Push inwards on the the sides of the cushion covers several times to concentrate the fillings into the middle and then fluff the filling by scrunching the feathers inside.
  • Plump the cushions from the sides again before placing back into place and brushing your hands over the top to smooth them.
  • Back cushions can be fluffed and shaken just like a pillow to redistribute the feathers, again rotate and change position before setting back in place.
  • Brush your hand across the face to smooth.

For more information and a comparison between Foam, Fibre and Feather seating cushions on sofas and sofabeds please read this blog post.


Today’s luxurious chenilles and velvets have a deep pile which when viewed from one direction appear darker than from another. Over time the pile is also subject to a degree of flattening caused by normal usage, this is a normal characteristic and should not be seen as a fault.


Swiftness in dealing with any spillage is of the essence.

Using a sponge dampened with warm water mop up any excess liquids.

There are cleaning kits available from leading retailers, however we would always recommend consulting a professional cleaning company.

No attempt whatsoever should be made to clean a fabric marked ‘dry clean’.

All cushions are fitted with a zip, this is not to facilitate home cleaning but merely the most efficient way to finish a cushion case.

Cleaning Velvets

Velvet is a very delicate material, which requires special care as it can be easily damaged.

Velvet is a very luxurious fabric, which isn’t easy to maintain. If not properly cleaned, its fabric can be crushed and damaged. Velvet made from synthetic materials is easier for cleaning.

Follow the advice and tips presented below to avoid damaging the smooth surface of your velvet upholstery.

  • Vacuum clean your upholstered furniture with the attachment designed for furniture.
  • Make sure you collect all the loose fibres (i.e. dust, feathers, hair) from your upholstered furniture, running it back and forth until the excess disappears from your velvet furniture.
  • Examine the pile of your velvet upholstery by running your hand from back to front, if its smooth this is the direction of the pile, brush it in this direction using a soft brush.
  • If you want to remove stains from your velvet upholstered furniture, you should make the stain dry by applying a soft clean cloth on it to absorb any liquid. Don’t apply too much pressure as this can crush the fibers.
  • You can use a dry cleaning product to remove some stains (any good hardware store, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully!).
  • After you clean the stain, let it dry well and brush it in the same direction as the pile with a velvet brush, until the velvet returns to its normal appearance.
  • Its always best to consult a professional to conduct dry cleaning.
  • A steam cleaner is perfect for removing stains, dirt and debris, disinfecting the velvet fabric. Do not touch the fabric with the steamer head as this could crush the velvet. This process is best performed by a professional.

Sofa bed mattresses

Just a quick note that we have a related guide on how to care for your mattress. So if you have purchased one of our sofabeds then you may want to see the sofabed mattress care section in that guide.

Caring for Leather Upholstery

Nubuck leather aftercare and advice

Nubuck is a top grain cattle leather which is buff-brushed (sanded) for a slight nap (raised) effect. It has an extra soft and velvety surface and is some of the most expensive leather to purchase. The pores of the leather are not sealed so this type of Leather is ‘breathable’ unlike with most other leather products, it feels less old when first sat on but cooling during prolonged use.


Because the leather is extra soft, it is more susceptible to surface scuffs and scrapes. Over time your furniture will experience ‘natural’ aging. Your Nubuck will no longer be identical to another piece, it becomes your own personal unique patina from use.

• Your new furniture product will likely arrive with surface scuffs/scrapes and creases already on the surface. This is completely natural. It is impossible to avoid the marks on this kind of Nubuck leather, this is a key feature of this material
• The highly attractive natural property of the Nubuck also makes a little more susceptible to staining, it is very difficult to protect due to the soft nature of the sanded leather. Care is needed especially with fatty foods and coloured drinks.

General leather Product Care

• Always use reputable leather cleaning products and follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions. Regular wiping with a slightly dampened cloth /soft cloth is often enough to keep a leather sofa looking pristine.
• Vacuum your leather sofa regularly, to remove dust and dirt, especially along the stitch lines.
• Keeping your leather seating at least 50cm from a heat source will avoid the leather “drying out” or cracking.
• Spilt liquid should be blotted ‘immediately’ with a dry cloth or kitchen paper until it is dry, do not rub the area as this could cause discoloration damaging the finish. The longer the stain sets on the Nubuck the more difficult it will be to remove.
• For more persistent stains, it may be necessary to contact a professional leather cleaning service.
• Avoid overexposing your furniture to sunlight, it will help to prevent colour fading.
• Beware of sharp objects that could tear, cut, or scratch leather.