Sun Distress on Sofa’s

I recently bought a couch that was made in 1961 by Kroehler Furniture Co., (a company I believe no longer exists). The couch is about seven feet long and has beautiful tapered wood legs, and an overall sleek and classy shape. It is perfect for my apartment. The problem is this: It seems that the original color of the fabric (a chocolately brown) has turned with sunlight (or age, or moisture?) an olive green color. It is now mostly olive green, except for the cushions, which must’ve had something piled on top of them during the color-fading period. So my couch is pea green with brownish cushions and other brown spots. (The fabric under the cushions has remained dark brown). The thing is, I actually love the green color. I would love to get the entire couch to be olive green. The tag says that the fabric is: 82% blended cotton felt and 18% polyether foam. The two cushions are made of 100% polyurethane foam. Is there a way to turn all of the fabric green? Re-upholstering isn’t an option right now unless I do it myself, and trying to dye the fabric seems like it might ruin the integrity of parts of the couch. What should I do?

Dear Erin,
The sofa sounds wonderful! In my opinion, the fabric is just too old and sun-distressed to experiment with. I think you will end up with a pile of shreds if you try anything. Plus, it’s very difficult to move things to another value of color – you can only add color to the brown that you have there. Save up for reupholster.

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