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Touchy feely

All about our fabrics

Brick Lane bed in Manuel Canovas Bernis Rose

At Sofas & Stuff we are very touchy feely. We don't have a daily staff group hug, but we do make sure our fabrics are just as good to look at as they are to touch and sit on.

I've spent a long time, weeks probably over the last twenty years, in the baking hot handloom sheds of Kerala, south India, getting sweaty choosing yarns and designing stripes with Sanjay in Cannanore.

But I still love watching handloom weavers pass the shuttle back and forth to make a few inches of wondrous fabric. Or chasing down the perfect kelim in central Turkey. It's worth travelling for a really good kelim weaver, the fabric is much better quality than Istanbul's tourist trade offers.

I don't have to go as far for our linen cotton mixes. They're made in UK mills. We're proud of that.

We've suggested what works well for different sofas. Chenille works best as a tight-cover; linen or cotton-linen for loose covers; cotton for washable covers.

We couldn't buy a fabric without holding it in our hands.

We wouldn't want you to either.

If you fill out our fabric request form, 24 hours later we'll send out berry coloured velvet, dark chocolate cotton, soft striped chenille… whatever your heart desires.



Chenille is a French word meaning caterpillar, and it's true that the soft ridges of chenille fabric have something of a fuzzy caterpillar look. Chenille can be made from natural fibres like cotton or rayon (derived from wood) or man-made acrylic fibres.



Velvet is a fabric with a thick soft pile, cut so the ends of the yarns form the surface, lending it a luxurious feel. You can achieve many effects with velvet. If the pile is brushed in one direction, for example, the cloth has a very rich, high sheen.



An ancient fabric made from the Flax plant and valued for its cool, fresh feel. It's considered a tad more exotic than humble cotton. Linen ages well, but is susceptible to colour change in strong direct natural light. It uses far less water in processing than cotton, a plus for the ecologically minded. My favourite.



The most widely used natural fibre in clothing and furnishings because of its soft, breathable and stable nature. As a plant it flourishes in tropical and subtropical climates.