How do I care foy my fabric sofa?

Upholstered furniture gets just as dusty as cabinet furniture – the difference is that you can’t always see it. Vacuum or brush weekly to remove the dust and avoid colours becoming dull. Like clothing, upholstery will require cleaning from time to time; this is best done by a reputable cleaning company.

How should I care for my sofa?

Plump the cushions at the end of every day of use, particularly if they are filled with feather or fibre. This extends the life of the fillings and avoids permanent creases being formed. Where possible, turn and reverse the cushions to equalise wear.Try to keep pets off the upholstery and be careful of sharp objects such as belt buckles, toys and watch straps snagging the fabric.

  • If a snag does occur, cut off the excess and carefully tuck the end in – do not pull a thread under any circumstances.
  • Discourage lively children from using your new furniture as a climbing frame if you want to prolong its lifespan!
  • Use protective arm caps where possible as this is the area most likely to show soiling. Arm caps produced from upholstery fabric should preferably be lined to minimise wear.
  • Reversible seat and back cushions should be turned weekly.
  • Seat, arm and back cushions, including fixed pads, should be regularly plumped up to maintain the shape of your chair or sofa.
  • Upholstery can be lightly vacuumed or gently brushed to remove dust, but take care if vacuuming delicate fringe and braid details. Use only a brush, not a vacuum cleaner, on feather or down filled cushions, to avoid pulling feathers out.
  • If you notice creases developing (e.g. in the seat area) take care to smooth them out so they do not become permanent.
  • Sitting on the front edges of cushions or on the arms of furniture may cause distortion or damage.

Wood or decorative facings require minimal maintenance, and should be occasionally wiped with a damp cloth to remove dust. Do not use polishes or solvents, which might damage either the facings or the adjoining fabric.

It is worth bearing in mind some particular fabric characteristics:

  • Chenille and Velvet. These raised pile fabrics are soft and inviting to the touch but will flatten in normal use. This is an inherent characteristic of such fabrics. Although it may be possible for a professional cleaner to restore the pile, it will become crushed again when used.
  • Slubs and Seeds. Many fabrics contain slubs (random thickening of the yarn) and cotton or linen fabrics can contain seeds. These effects are inherent in the character of fabric which is produced from natural yarns with a home-spun appearance.
  • Pilling. Pills are small bobbles which appear on the surface of some fabrics. Pilling does not indicate excessive wear or an inferior fabric. It occurs as a result of friction on the fabric surface, which loosens fibres and tangles them.  Sometimes the fluffing appears and then disappears after a further period of use. These bobbles, which also appear on some garments, can be removed with a pilling comb or fluff shaver, generally available from department stores and dry cleaners.
  • Batch variations. Every effort is made to keep colours constant between batches, but fabric and leather manufacturers cannot guarantee exact matching.

How can I protect my new sofa against soiling?

Staingard Stain Resist Treatment*, applied to your new fabric-covered lounge furniture before delivery will protect it from spills and help resist gradual soiling. The cost is small compared to your investment in the furniture and it comes with a five year guarantee of stain resistance.

It is best to order Staingard at the same time as your new sofa, so we can ensure that the treatment is carried out before delivery. You will be offered the opportunity to enhance the five year guarantee, so that it gives you comprehensive cover for accidental damage, such as rips, burns or pet damage.

The Staingard guarantee only applies to domestic use. Even so, it is well worth ordering stain resist protection for a sofa which is destined for commercial use, for example in a house which is let for holiday use. The treatment will effectively protect the upholstery from spills and help resist gradual soiling.

How can I deal with a spill on the fabric?

A Textile Cleaning Kit* contains products to deal with various emergencies and is a good thing to keep in the house.

To avoid damaging your upholstery, if you spill something, act quickly to mop and blot liquid with a clean white cloth.

If this is not sufficiently effective, and you decide to risk more drastic action—which could itself cause damage—use a clean cloth to apply water to the mark and immediately blot it again to draw out the spilt liquid; repeat as necessary. Try to avoid spreading the stain and do not over-wet.

It is best to avoid using soap or detergent, which might cause a colour change. If you decide to take the risk, a little white toilet soap or a drop of “wool wash” liquid is safest. Do not rub: stroke a few times in each direction, in line with the weave of the fabric.

Always follow your manufacturer’s cleaning and care label instructions. Clean all parts of a suite of furniture together, as slight colour changes can sometimes occur. Occasional professional cleaning is recommended.

For professional cleaning, we recommend Safeclean: www.safeclean-duchy.co.uk  (If you do not live in Cornwall, you will be given the option to select another part of the country.)

Falmouth/Helston: 01326 319704. Penzance: 01736 368003. St Austell: 01726 64560. Email: info@safeclean-duchy.co.uk

How do I operate my manual recliner?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either a printed advice sheet or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

The mechanism of a manual recliner relies on the balance of your body weight to allow it to operate smoothly. There are normally only three possible positions: (1) sitting upright; (2) footrest open – with most models, the back is slightly inclined in this position; (3) fully reclined.

Sit well back in the seat to ensure your body weight is in the correct position to operate the manual mechanism. To open the footrest, pull the release catch on the outside arm of the sofa or chair. Ensure the catch returns to its rest position to allow the recliner to return to the closed position.

To recline the back, remain sitting well back in the seat, place your hands on top of the arms and push back against the backrest.

To return the seat to an upright position, lean forward and sit well forward so that all your weight is on the seat cushion. Then ensure the release catch is in the closed position and pull back on the footrest with your heels until it locks in place.

How do I operate my power recliner?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either printed advice or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

A power recliner uses an electric motor to make the parts move. This makes it very easy to use, even for anyone who has found it inconvenient to use a manual recliner. There are two buttons: one opens the footrest and reclines the back; the other brings the chair back to an upright position. You can release the button at any stage of opening or closing, to find the most comfortable position.

The motor is operated at a very safe, low voltage. The current most often comes from a transformer. You need to plug this into the mains, making sure that the cables are safely located, so that they do not become trapped in the mechanism and do not pose a tripping hazard.

Alternatively, there may be a rechargeable battery pack, located either in or outside the chair. This needs to be charged before the first use and recharged when the power starts to run out. You have the advantage that the chair can be positioned anywhere in the room, without a permanent mains connection.

The operation is straightforward. To open the footrest, press and hold the open button. Continue to press the open button to move to the reclined position. To return to the upright position and close the footrest, press and hold the close button.

You will find more information on rechargeable power packs at https://www.gplan.co.uk/owners/operating/powerPacks

How do I operate my power riser recliner?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either printed advice or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

A power riser recliner (also called a “Lift and Rise” chair) can help you maintain your independence by making it much easier to sit down and rise from your chair, it also gives you a choice of sitting positions at the touch of a button. With a “single motor” model, the movement of the footrest is linked to the movement of the backrest. A “dual motor” model gives you much more freedom to choose the position which you find comfortable. You can, for example, have the footrest fully raised whilst the back of the chair is in an upright position. Riser recliners sold by Julian Foye are generally of the “dual motor” type.

The motor is operated at a very safe, low voltage. The current comes from a transformer. You need to plug this into the mains, making sure that the cables are safely located, so that they do not become trapped in the mechanism and do not pose a tripping hazard. There is sometimes a “back up” battery pack; this is normally only designed for one-time use, to allow you to return the chair to a convenient position if there is a power failure. The batteries need to be changed annually to ensure that they are always ready to deal with an emergency – but the old ones could still be put to use, for example, in a portable radio.

A “dual motor” riser recliner has two principal controls, each with a pair of “up – down” buttons. One pair of buttons controls the angle of the backrest. The other pair of buttons controls the lifting of the chair and the opening of the footrest. By continuing to press the “down” button, when the chair is at floor level, the footrest is opened. To close the footrest, press the “up” button and take your finger off the button once the footrest is closed; continuing to press this button will elevate the chair.

There may be an additional “reset” button, which returns you to the armchair position, with the footrest closed and the back upright.

Safety tips for all recliner chairs and sofas

You should ensure that there is sufficient space behind the chair to allow the back to recline. For a riser recliner chair this is about 18 inches or 45 cm. If you attempt to operate a power chair which is too close to the wall, you might cause permanent damage to the motor. You will also need sufficient space in front of the chair for the footrest to open.

You should make sure that there is nothing underneath the footrest which might prevent it closing.

You should ensure that you recliner is fully returned to the armchair position, before you attempt to get up or reach out from the furniture. You should always make sure that you close the footrest. This will also prevent anyone tripping over it and will avoid the possibility of causing damge by putting your weight on it.

Ensure that children or pets are not in the way or playing nearby, when the mechanism is operated. Also ensure that your own hands and fingers are clear of the mechanism.

Children should never be allowed to play on the furniture or with the controls.

Never sit or place your weight on the open footrest, or allow anyone to do so. This could cause damage and might tip the chair.

How do I wash and re-fit loose covers?

Loose covers should be cleaned regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Some slight shrinkage may occur, even with dry cleaning.

When removing and replacing loose covers, pull the fabric panels together to avoid straining the zip fasteners.

If washed, replace the covers when just slightly damp to ensure a better fit and minimise creasing. Allow the covers to settle on the furniture for a day or so. Ironing may not be needed but, if this is required, iron the covers on the furniture using a damp cloth.

Do not replace covers whilst actually wet, as this could damage the upholstery materials.

Tips for re-fitting a cover: Locate the zip fastener. Fit the wing or rear of arm nearest the zip. Fit the arm front. Repeat on the opposite arm fixing. Tuck covers on the inside of the arms and back of the seat. Fit the valance stiffeners where applicable. Close the zip, pulling the outside arm and back covers tightly to remove pressure from the zip itself.

*These products are on sale at Julian Foye showrooms.

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