Upholstery Care

Cleaning and Maintenance

The Dining Chair Company is dedicated to helping you preserve the quality of your upholstered furniture.

It’s important to remember that some fabrics may be better suited to your needs than others. Below are some maintenance and cleaning tips to consider when selecting a fabric.


Velvet can be made from either synthetic or natural fibres.

Take care when choosing velvet.  Check manufacturers’ specifications.  Our upholsterers are highly skilled and experienced in working with velvet so are as delicate as possible but there are issues working with it.

  1. Pile crushing is an inherent feature of viscose velvets. With the handling and manipulation of the fabric during upholstery there may be uneven areas where the velvet pile appears marked. If a pile is pushed in different directions, it can appear bruised with marks or lines which is particularly noticeable on plain velvets. Sometimes noticeable when chairs are unwrapped following delivery. This should disappear over time.
  2. Velvet should never be stored vertically as wrinkling can occur which is not to be considered a defect.
  3. A deep pile is not suitable for piping and seams can appear uneven.
  4. Velvet naturally shades darker or lighter depending on the lay of the pile. With heavy use there can be displacement of the pile and wear developing. Minimise with careful brushing or hoovering.

Fine pile velvet requires a fine brush particularly a suede brush or lint roller.  Vacuuming with an upholstery attachment (or cloth over the nozzle) always in the direction of the pile will help maintain its look.

Water and liquids stain velvet easily. Most can be wiped with a barely wet sponge and blotted with a dry cloth without pressure.  Leaving the velvet wet can cause it to mark so use a hairdryer to dry quickly.  For stubborn bruising and marking, velvet can be gently steamed. If in doubt, use a professional service.


Wool is warm in the cold, cool in the heat, good anti static and environmentally friendly with inherent stain resistance.  However, it is thick and can stretch or shrink and so difficult to remove deep stains.  Clean by soaking up as much as possible then use luke warm water sparingly with light detergent. For stains resistant to water use a little acetone or turpentine.


A natural fibre, cotton is absorbent if not treated with anti stain protection.  Clean spills immediately with warm water with detergent.  For difficult stains, use a specific stain remover like Vanish but always test first and follow instructions.  We offer Scotchguarding to help prevent staining.


Strong and resilient, leather has many different finishes.

Issues to be aware of when choosing leather:

  1. Hides have natural scars like wrinkles, insect bites, branding marks and scratches so not all the hide can always be used. This is regularly only spotted when the hide is on the bench about to be used for the upholstery.
  2. Unfinished leather like aniline, suede or nubuck is processed to preserve and colour the leather but this leaves it vulnerable to marking and staining so not suitable for heavy use.
  3. Hides are irregular in shape and vary in size and suppliers give sizes as guidelines until the order is processed when they can confirm the exact hide size available. This often results in not enough leather being ordered or quoted for. Generally hides come only as full hides so there is often wastage.

Remove spills with a soft damp cloth taking care not to wear the surface.  Use a specialist leather furniture cleaner following manufacturers’ instructions. Lightly dry any excess liquid with a soft cloth avoiding force.  Regular light cleaning using leather specified products is recommended.  Leather improves with age only when it is looked after properly as it can dry out (particularly in hot environments) and so requires a conditioner every six months.

Faux Leather

A synthetic alternative to leather, Faux versions are usually made of vinyl, polyurethane or polyester.  One advantage is that it is sold by the meter so there is less wastage than real leather.  More resistant to staining, faux leathers require less care but can still scratch or even melt.  Longer term they can start cracking.  There are restoration products available to brighten faded colours.

To clean use warm water and detergent.  For tough stains try an alcohol based cleaner but take care not to lighten the material by using too much.

High Performance Fabrics

Many suppliers are now offering 100% solution -dyed acrylic fibre fabrics to resemble cotton, linen and velvet with a natural feel.  These are durable, fade-resistant and cleanable with all types of detergents.  Some have a technical finish to seal the surface of the fabrics so that water or substances such as oil, wine or ketchup simply run off the surface or can easily be rinsed off with water.

See the Alexa chair