Prolonging the life of your upholstered furniture

Here are our top tip to help you keep your upholstered furniture in tip top condition:

  • Avoid sitting on the arms of sofas and chairs as extra weight can damage the frame.
  • Keep your furniture at least 50cm away from direct heat like radiators and fires, and air conditioning.
  • To keep cushions evenly supportive and perfectly shaped, try not to sit on their edges.
  • To help prevent your upholstery fading, avoid overexposure to sunlight.
  • Keep seat and back cushions in beautiful condition by plumping and straightening them daily.
  • When moving furniture, lift sofas and chairs by their bases to protect the frames – please don’t drag or pull by the arms.
  • To ensure furniture wears evenly, rotate cushions and make sure you sit on every seat – not just your favourite one.

Emergency cleaning

Act quickly when accidents happen. Don’t rub or soak the fabric or allow the stain to set in.

If the spill is a liquid, try to mop it up with a clean, white absorbent cloth. If it’s a solid, remove the excess with a blunt knife or spatula – being careful not to spread it – and then carefully dab the stain.

Don’t use washing up liquid, detergents or bleach to remove stains. And before using specialist upholstery cleaners, read the manufacturer’s care instructions and test on a hidden area of fabric.

If the spill is oil- or grease-based, we recommend using a specialist professional cleaning service.

Regular cleaning

Dust and dirt can cause fabrics to prematurely wear and discolour. This can be avoided by using a soft brush or vacuuming lightly using the curtain attachment on a regular basis. Don’t forget to vacuum beneath each seat cushion.

Be sure to clean all loose covers at the same time to prevent any variations in colour.

We recommend that you have fixed-cover fabric sofas and chairs professionally cleaned at least once a year.

Major cleaning

The effectiveness of specialist cleaning will depend on the degree of soiling, so be sure to have your upholstery cleaned before the material becomes too deeply soiled. Do not attempt to wash cushion covers or use a launderette’s dry-cleaning machine unless the manufacturer’s care instructions specifically say that you should.

We recommend that any major cleaning be undertaken by a specialist professional upholstery cleaning like Staingard or Homeserve especially if there are oil- and grease-based stains.

Cleaning pile fabrics

The flattening and shading of heavy wear areas on pile fabrics like chenille and velvet is unavoidable. Pile fabrics may be vacuumed lightly using the curtain attachment and brushed regularly in the direction of the pile with a soft brush.

Some acrylic velvets have a thick surface pile and, through normal wear, will display random crush marks and shading. This is not a manufacturing fault and is generally seen as an attractive feature.

Additional instructions for fabric-upholstered furniture

For maximum comfort and to keep your upholstery looking great, plump and straighten back and seat cushions daily and rotate where possible to ensure even wear.

Certain fabrics will show wear on areas of more use and colours may fade or discolour with direct exposure to prolonged periods of sunlight. Be sure to follow the care instructions supplied with your new furniture.

The truth about leather

Whatever type of leather you choose, remember that:
  • Leather has natural characteristics such as scars and blemishes – that’s what makes it beautiful and unique.
  • Leather colour, texture and finish may vary, even between sofas and chairs in the same range.
  • Leather will soften and relax with wear, and creases may appear.
  • Initially leather will stretch and wrinkle (known as “puddling”). The degree of stretching will then slow down significantly, and the appearance of puddling can be minimised by carefully smoothing the leather back.

Cleaning your leather furniture

Here are our recommendations for cleaning your leather-upholstered furniture. Remember to use only recommended cleaning products and services

1. Emergency cleaning

Liquid spills can be blotted with a dry cloth or kitchen paper. Be careful not to rub the area as this could damage the finish and cause discolouration.

2. Regular cleaning

Remove dust with a clean, soft white cloth, slightly dampened with pre-boiled water cooled to room temperature. Avoid soaking any areas. Family leather should be dusted with a dry cloth only. (Always keep a cloth specifically for leather furniture and keep it away from soaps and detergents as these may damage the leather.

Vacuum weekly at a low setting to remove dust and dirt, especially from under the cushions.

Do not use spray polish or any detergents as these may damage the finish.


There’s nothing more relaxing than a recliner. Be sure you’re getting the most from yours by using and caring for it properly. Just follow these simple instructions.

How to recline

Sit back in the recliner with a gap between the footrest and your feet. Pull the recliner handle or press the power button and the footrest will rise. Push back on the arm tops to recline further.

How to sit up

Close the recliner with your legs positioned centrally. Be sure the recliner action is completely closed before getting out directly forward.

What not to do

Don’t close the recliner if your legs are placed off to the side of the footrest. And don’t get up from the recliner whilst the footrest is extended as this will damage the mechanism.

Solving recliner problems

If your manual recliner feels stiff
The motion of your new manual recliner may feel a little stiff at first. Please allow time for it to ease into use. Seat cushions will soften with use, too.

If your power recliner suddenly stops working
You may have moved your recliner and dislodged the power pack or cable, or the power cables may have become entangled in the mechanism. Make sure that cables are routed under the recliner mechanism and to the rear of the recliner.

If there is a small gap between seat platforms
On all recliners, it’s normal to see a small gap between the cushions. This is to allow the seat pad to expand during use so that it does not inhibit the recliner action. This may be exaggerated, depending on the type of flooring you have.

Additional instructions for recliners
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling or disassembling your recliner. Recliners have fixed cushions which require smoothing and straightening regularly. Simply punch the top two corners and pinch them outwards.
359 Bradford Road
WF17 5PH
01924 440 600
01924 907 956
Mon 9.00 - 17:00
Tues 9.00 - 17:00
Wed 9:00 - 17:00
Thurs 9.00 - 17:00
Fri 9:00 - 17:00
Sat 9:00 - 17:00
Sun 10:00 - 16:00
Shackletons Ltd
Lucas House
Weaving Lane
WF12 9QR
Reg No: 03920668
VAT No: 772 3460 28
Please be aware that images are for illustration only. For example, suppliers only take images in one cover and the range might not be pictured in a middle price grade.

Abacus Furniture Solutions 2022