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Identifying Synthetic Man Made Fibres For Cleaning. What are man made synthetic fibres? Today we have many man made fabrics used in sofas. We will just focus on the the four main ones. The definition of Synthetic fibres is fibres formed as a result of chemical (petrochemical) synthesis.

  • Acrylic. Acrylic fibre woven into flat face fabrics give the appearance and feel of wool. This has advantage that they “give up” water based staining more readily. Pile distortion is not normally a problem when cleaning Acrylic VELVET.
  • Nylon. Nylon can be made stronger when it is mixed it with other fibres.
  • Polyester. Stains can be removed easier when polyester is mixed with other fibres like cotton.  This fabric is also much stronger and better wearing. 
  • Polypropylene. Solvents can damage polypropylene when its mixed with other fibres and bonded to a backing, so test before using any solvents.

So how do you identify these man made fibres? well you need to carry out a burn test. we have a great video for you to watch. you can normally take some fibres from unzipping a cushion and removing some from there.

Here is the burn test chart to indefiy your fibres from.

the most important sofa cleaning test

One man made fibre that’s not synthetic is “Cellulose” you need to watch out for this one as its is made into a velvet finish that looks the same a nylon velvet but weakens when cleaned with water. please read our page on cleaning velvet upholstery.

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