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Upholstery Road Test: The Red Wine on Light Fabric Challenge

If the thought of white upholstery leaves you white-knuckled, check out this fabric stain road test I did before recovering my club chairs and ottoman.

To get white right, here are my must-haves: 1) stain resistance without being coated in chemicals 2) a good texture, color and weight for upholstery and 3) a reasonable price point. Not asking much, right?

After some research, I found that @revolutionperformancefabrics made products in colors I liked (I am not paid to review their fabric). I got some samples and used one to see what would happen if it came in contact with my top fabric assassin: red wine.

Although we don’t really eat in our family room, we do entertain in the room and red wine is usually served. I dumped a generous pour on the lightest fabric. I used a bottle I already had open, one of our favorites, Beringer Bros. Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend. While it was a bit painful to waste any of the good stuff, the heartbreak of a wine stain on a white chair would be worse. On with the road test...

The cleaning instructions said to blot the stain first, which actually took up a good bit of the wine. Because I could see a slight shadow of stain after blotting, I sprayed the fabric with my all-purpose household cleaner, Branch Basics, and rinsed it with water by spraying it from a water bottle.

Guess what? The wine came right out! Not a bit of evidence any wine was ever here.

No more stain! I was definitely skeptical that I could find a light fabric that would hold up to my family and guests, but here are my chairs after several months of wear. I’m happy to report they still look as good as new. I don’t want the maintenance of vacuuming the ottoman, so I keep a throw draped over it most of the time. It adds a pop of color plus it protects the fabric, and I can pick it up and throw it in the wash any time.

I love the look and feel of the light, bright room, and I’m so glad I didn’t let my fear of the fabric getting ruined stop me from going with what I really wanted.

What is your experience with white fabric? Any tips for others considering it?

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