House clinic: which upholstery fabric is the easiest to clean?

We've teamed up with Homes & Gardens to bring H&P readers this decorating and interiors Q&A service
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Celia Rufey, Homes & Gardens decorating expert

Our expert Celia Rufey answers your questions

Celia Rufey has been the Homes & Gardens decorating expert for over 30 years and she also has her own range of fabrics.

Upholstery fabric
I would like to re-upholster two sofas in a light neutral fabric. As they are for a family room, I wondered if there were any fabric that could be cleaned on the furniture without the need for calling in the professionals?

Some fabrics can be cleaned on upholstered furniture with a sponge and mild detergent. Alcantara faux suede (1, 2 and 3), £195m, GP&J Baker, 01202 266700,, can be sponged, while Majilite Novasuede (4, 5 and 6), £148m, is a wipeable faux fabric from Fox Linton, 020 7368 7700, Otherwise, upholster the sofas in calico, adding tailored removable covers in a washable fabric such as Linara, £33.70m, Romo, 01623 756699,

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How to submit your questions

Read our interiors expert Celia Rufey's answers to decorating problems and conundrums free every month at If you want to ask Celia a question, you can do so free if you are a Homes & Gardens subscriber. Email your query to Celia at: Include your full address and subscriber number.

For non-subscribers, there is a £12 fee per query. Cheques and postal orders are payable to IPC Media Ltd. Send query, payment and a self-addressed envelope to the address below. This is a subsidised service. We are unable to answer more than one question per reader each month.

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Decoration service

Do you need help with your home? Supply us with the details and, for £85 per room, Celia Rufey will send you samples of suggested fabrics, wallpapers, paints and floorings. Allow a month for a reply; please include your name, address and telephone number.

Tell us how the room is to be used, giving dimensions, plus the number of windows and which direction they face. List any furnishings you wish to retain, and supply swatches or colour references for fabrics. Outline any particular preferences or dislikes you have in terms of colour, style or pattern.
Are there children or pets to be considered? Provide a budget for any furnishings that you wish to replace.

Send your letter, a colour photograph of the room, plus a cheque or postal order for £85 per room, payable to IPC Media Ltd, to: Decoration Service, Homes & Gardens, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU.

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