Furniture Care

Here at Ponsford, we understand just how important it is to look after your new purchase so that you can enjoy your furniture for many years to come. This guide will help you care and maintain your furniture; prolonging its life and keep it looking good.

Order Checking and Changes

Some of our manufacturers do not allow any changes to an order once it has been submitted to the factory. This is due to the way that the production process is scheduled and the way that goods are ordered. It is imperative that any changes to an order are made within 24 hours after the order has been placed otherwise we cannot accept any changes. This includes sizes, colour selection and finishes.



It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that any goods purchased will fit through the doors and into the room. We do offer a ‘check for access’ service and if you think that you will need this, please contact a member of the Sales Team to arrange an inspection.




Upholstery - Dress your furniture regularly by plumping cushions and smoothing fabric with clean hands. This applies to both fabric and leather upholstery. If possible, rotate seat and back cushions to maintain your furniture's fresh appearance.

Carpets - Vacuum regularly and take extra care in heavy-wear areas.

Mattresses - Turn and rotate your mattress regularly to ensure even wear of the whole mattress.

Dining Tables - Wipe regularly with a dry or slightly damp cloth. (Furniture polish is generally not recommended.) Move decorative items regularly to avoid changes in surface colour.

Moving - When moving your furniture lift appropriately. Avoid pushing or pulling your furniture as this may result in damage.



General Enquiries

Tel: 0114 255 0075


Customer Aftercare

Tel: 01246 290 898



Tel: 01246 290 898




The manufacturing process of making upholstery involves a great deal of hand finishing so please expect slight differences in the tailoring of each finished item. Upholstery is not an engineered product and should not be considered as such.

General - Avoid leaving furniture in sunlight as sunlight can cause fabrics to fade in a very short period. Prolonged exposure to the sun can also cause the fibres that make up the fabric to break down and become weak. This can be pronounced in areas such as conservatories and care must be taken to protect upholstery to avoid damage.

We recommend that you vacuum your upholstery occasionally using the soft brush attachment. If you have feather seat interiors brush the cushion cases with a soft brush instead of vacuuming. Whilst you will not be able to see them, minuscule dirt particles will get into the fibres of your suite with everyday use. These particles, whilst tiny, are sharp and can cause premature wearing of the fabric.

Seat Cushion Interiors - It is vital when purchasing your new suite that you choose the best seat cushion interiors to suit your needs. Many of our suppliers will offer a choice of seat cushion fillings (where the design allows). As fillings can only be exchanged on a chargeable basis it is important that you make the right decision first time.

Feather Interiors - Once sat on, feather cushions will immediately flatten and will require shaking to regain their shape. We would not recommend feather interiors to people with allergies or asthma.

Fibre Interiors - Requiring lower maintenance than feather interiors, fibre interiors still require regular attention. They give much the same feel as feather however the fibres work as millions of tiny springs making the cushions revive more easily than feather. Fibre cushions still need to be shaken (to get the air back into the cushion) and turned daily. Fibre interiors will lose their shape in time and interiors may require re-packing or re-filling by an upholsterer at a small cost. Failure to ‘turn and plump’ your interiors properly will result in you having to replace them earlier than you anticipate.

Foam Interiors - Modern day foams are very flexible and available in many densities. Different densities of foam interiors can give a firm or soft sit whilst retaining their shape better than feather or fibre. Foam is usually cut to shape from a larger block then wrapped in a thin sheet of dacron fibre to fill the cushion out. Foam interiors tend to give a crisp clean line to the cushion and upholstery. This particularly suits classic and formal upholstery shapes and suites with modern straight lines. Avoid sitting on the front edge of the cushion as this causes a rounding effect on it. Cushion interiors will lose some of their initial shape and soften through use - this is perfectly normal.

Sharp Objects - Take care to avoid snagging upholstery or plucking of woven or pile threads. If the pile weave has broken don’t pull it. It is better to cut it off rather than have an unsightly pulled thread running through the fabric.

Pilling or Bobbling - Tiny loose fibres woven in at the time of manufacture are apparent in many new fabrics and can cause fabrics to pill. This results in small balls of fabric appearing on the top surface of the fabric. These can easily be removed by using a device to de-pill the fabric such as a Remington Defuzzer. This is a characteristic of many fabrics and is not detrimental to the wearability of your suite.

Plush & Velvet Fabrics - Creasing is a characteristic of modern plush and velvet fabrics and cannot be viewed as a fault as it would not be detrimental to the wearability of the cover. Pile fabrics can become flattened or crushed over time, which can give an impression of wear. Crushed pile can usually be restored by brushing and cleaning by a skilled upholstery cleaner. It is not a fault but a characteristic of this type of cloth. Flattening pile can make the cover look shaded as the light reflects off the cover. This is known as shading/ pile reversal. A plain fabric is more likely to show the effects of shading/pile reversal as there is no pattern in the fabric to draw the attention of your eye. This is a feature of the fabric and cannot be considered a fault.

Dye Transfer - Please ensure that any new fabrics that come into contact with your upholstery are colour-fast, as sometimes the colour (from say a complementary sofa throw, scatter cushions or a new pair of jeans) can transfer onto your upholstery. Dye transfer is more obvious on lighter shades of upholstery, but can occur on any piece, be that fabric or leather. As a precaution we would advise you to pre-wash and check for colour fastness any such new items before bringing them into contact with your upholstery.

Cleaning - We would always recommend that you use a professional cleaning company to clean your suite. If using spot cleaners (including spot cleaners supplied by ourselves to remove any marks yourself) we would always recommend that you test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it is compatible with the cover.

Fading - Any cover will fade in direct sunlight very quickly. It is more noticeable with dark colours, but is unavoidable if furniture is placed near a window that catches direct sunlight.

Fabric Protection - If there is a spillage, blot the loose liquid - DO NOT RUB. Consult a professional upholstery cleaning company for advice if you are unsure how to proceed.

Medical Conditions - Some medical conditions and operations that require medication can have unwanted side effects that can cause a person to perspire more than normal. When there is skin contact with upholstery this can cause premature wear or discoloration. This can happen with fabric or leather and customers should be aware that protective treatments or cleaning will have to be applied more frequently than normal to maintain the condition of the furniture.


Leather - When choosing a leather suite, it is important to choose a leather that fits with your lifestyle. Hides come in many qualities, and it can sometimes be difficult to know which is the most suitable. Many less expensive leathers would not wear well given everyday use in a family environment as they are not treated to do so. This is also true, surprisingly, of some much more expensive luxury leathers. It is, therefore, important to be aware of the different types of leather available. Imperfections such as colour and grain variations (roughness), scars and lines and natural markings that might be found on the leather surface are not to be confused with defects as they are natural characteristics confirming the genuineness and authenticity of real leather.

As with any natural material we would expect to find these imperfections and would not regard them as faults as during its life the animal will have been exposed to normal daily knocks and bruises. Scars can appear to be cuts or lines and can be quite pronounced when healed, but they do not weaken the leather nor is it possible to order a leather suite without such markings. Likewise, the grain of the leather can vary across the hide. Some areas will be plain, and others be heavily grained. Again, it is not possible to order a suite with a totally plain graining. We list below the main categories of leather and their characteristics.

Aniline Leather - These leathers are the closest to a pure and natural hide. They’re tanned and coloured with transparent aniline dyes. This dyeing process allows you to see rich colour hues unique to each hide as well as show off each hide’s one-of-a-kind grain pattern. This leather reflects the unaltered full top grain of the surface and offers a remarkable skin-like feeling. This is a very sophisticated hide for the connoisseur showing all scars that the hide has to offer. Rough patches in the hide may take more colour in the dye process than other areas and these dark patches can be a feature of this type of hide. This hide is not a high protection hide. This leather requires extra care & maintenance as it is very porous and will accept stains from liquids very easily.

Old Saddle Leather (Pull-Up Hide) - This leather is designed to look old, worn and lined. Everyday scuffs and scratches will show on this hide and add to the character of the piece. Panels will differ in colour and rough patches will not take the stain applied in the finishing process. Relax! It is not supposed to. This leather is soft and supple like your favourite leather jacket. If you’re looking for a more consistently coloured leather look towards a different type of hide.

Semi-Aniline Leather - These leathers contain a proportion of pigment but the surface retains the natural characteristics of the leather and therefore still shows all scars and natural markings within the hide. These leathers do have a degree of protection and are suitable for general use.

Pigmented Leather - These leathers offer a higher level of protection as they undergo careful processing to make them more resistant to liquids, sunlight and wear and tear. The leather ends up with a more consistent grain pattern yet still retains as much softness as possible. The colour is more consistent throughout the hide. They’re easy to clean and are ideal for families with active children and pets. They are perfectly suited to the busiest areas of your home.

Creasing and Stretching - Your leather suite will begin to crease and soften once used. As leather is a natural material it will stretch as would a pair of new shoes. This is especially noticeable on the seats of sofas and chairs. This can make the leather appear baggy, but this is part of the look of a leather suite and is not a fault. If you look closely at a hide, you will see healed scars, scratches, scrapes, varied grain, wrinkles and insect bites. All these natural markings are the trademarks of genuine leather.

Loss of Colour - Any liquids dropped onto a leather surface can cause loss of colour. Do not rub the surface in one place as this is likely to leave a light patch on the hide. Please refer to notes in upholstery section about dye transfer.

Leather Samples - As the samples that we have may not come from the same batch of cover or hide as the item ordered, you can expect a level of variation in colour and texture. If colour matching is critical to you, then please make us aware of this at the time of the order.

DO’s and DON’Ts

DO where appropriate apply a protective cream when first delivered and after cleaning as this will help maintain the good looks of the suite.
DO clean your leather where appropriate 2-4 times a year with a recommended leather cleaning solution.
DO remove any dust particles with a soft cloth (or the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner).
DON’T put your furniture in sunlight because leather (as with fabric) will fade if exposed to sunlight over time.
DON’T put your furniture too close to your radiators as this can cause the leather to dry out.

Cabinet Furniture

Wooden Furniture - As wood is a natural product you can expect to find knots, marks and shakes (dark lines) in the grain on various surfaces. These marks show that the timber is real and reflect the nature of the product. These can be more visible in lighter timbers such as maple, oak and teak. The same piece of wood can vary in texture and colour, showing distinct lines when polished. These are not faults but part of the characteristics that you can expect from a natural material.

Crazing of Veneers (Feathering) - As with solid wood, all veneers will move slightly during their lifetime. This will result in a crazing of the surface, wax or lacquer. This is a perfectly natural occurrence and should be viewed as a feature of originality, apparent in some of the finest antiques.

Medullary Rays - Medullary rays are formed in the growth of the tree and are shown as light streaks in the wood. This is a natural characteristic of the timber making each piece unique.

Avoid Extreme Changes of Temperature - Keep furniture away from radiators and direct sunlight.

Movement - Wood is a natural product which ‘breathes’ in different temperatures. As it breathes some movement will occur in your furniture. This is perfectly normal, and most pieces of cabinet furniture are designed to allow for movement. In some cases, a white line may appear where two surfaces that meet have moved. This can easily be stained to match with the existing colour. In rare occasions some movement may occur in the drawer runners making them more difficult to open and close - this can be easily rectified. Movement can occur very early into the life of your furniture. Similarly, hidden pressures in the grain of any piece of wood can cause it to twist or ‘warp’. This is more noticeable in longer pieces of wood such as wardrobe doors and often becomes more apparent after changes in temperature and humidity. In areas of the house that are prone to extremes of temperature such as conservatories or sun-rooms we would expect solid timber to move in a more marked fashion.

Distressed Finishes - Many cabinet ranges today come with an antiqued or distressed finish. This is a deliberate feature adding character and individuality to each piece.

Painted Furniture - The hand finish on each individual item results in a subtle variation in finish between pieces and gives it a unique character. Over time, hairline cracks may appear in the paint finish. This is a natural part of the aging process and occurs on all painted furniture, this may be particularly noticeable on joints where the timber beneath is susceptible to movement.

Oiled Furniture - Where recommended to do so, oil your furniture regularly to avoid the furniture drying out as this will be detrimental to its wearability. When furniture is new it will need to be oiled every 4-6 weeks (you will see signs of it drying out). The wood is more porous in its early life and can absorb spills and stains. Please be careful and mop all spills and stains up immediately. To maintain your furniture, we recommend that in the first three months you apply a thin coat of oil with a lint free cloth once a month. Then more applications approximately 6 monthly should be sufficient to maintain the soft oil finish of your furniture.

Shading & Mellowing - It is quite normal for a new piece of furniture to shade or mellow as part of the aging process. It is usual that shading/mellowing is more in evidence in new pieces of furniture as the hue of the wood comes through when exposed to daylight. This is more evident in items such as extending dining tables as the table surface is exposed to sunlight more than the leaf, therefore, the leaf will not shade/mellow at the same rate as the table as these are usually either hidden in the table or stored away. Once the leaf is exposed to natural light it will begin to shade to the same degree as the table. The principle is the same for all pieces of cabinet furniture.

Light - It is important to note that the colour of real wood matures with exposure to light. We advise placing products away from direct sunlight where possible and to rotate any items or ornaments placed on top of the furniture every so often.

Cleaning - To clean most surfaces wipe with a cotton cloth which is very slightly damp. For greasy marks add a few drops of vinegar to the water. Never leave a surface wet as this can be harmful to the finish. Annual polishing with a furniture wax will help to maintain the appearance of your furniture. Some ranges have an oil finish which requires more attention, especially if used often. A thin coat of boiled linseed oil (available from DIY shops) will keep the surface in top condition and will stop the absorption of liquids and stains into the surface. We would estimate that this should be carried out monthly when the furniture is new and as necessary after six months. Avoid using aerosol polishes as these are usually detrimental to the finish. Wipe up all spillages immediately as they can be harmful to the finish. Do not put hot items directly onto a wooden surface as this would be damaging. Always use a coaster or heat protective mats.

Adding To Your Collection - Please bear in mind that if you order furniture from the same range in the future your original furniture will have changed colour and will probably not match exactly. You may also find that slight details, finishes and specifications have changed from your original order. This is especially the case with leather and cabinet furniture.

Electrics - When ordering units with lights or electrical fittings please ensure that there is a power socket close to the unit. We supply the cable and plug into a standard UK power supply. We regret that our fitters cannot take on any electrical work. we are happy to liaise with a customer and customer’s electrical contractor when installing furniture but would need prior knowledge of this to avoid delays/added cost.

Modern Lacquer and High Gloss Finishes - Be especially careful to avoid scratching high gloss finishes by using only very soft, clean cloths and wiping with light pressure. For satin finishes, always rub in line with the existing sheen. Dust is very abrasive and can scratch the finish if wiped off with a dry cloth. To avoid scratching, dust the items lightly with a feather duster. Alternatively, wipe lightly with a soft damp cloth to pick up the dust, followed immediately with a dry cloth.

Travertine - Whilst travertine itself is a hard and durable product it is the finish on the top of the travertine that will react to spills and stains. Some companies use a more delicate high gloss finish; others use sealed finishes which can be more durable. When ordering a marble or travertine table top please speak with the Sales Team to ensure that you are buying the product with the correct finish for your usage.

Marble - Genuine marble has received a varnish treatment to ensure that the surfaces are resistant to grease, wine, spirits etc. The surfaces should merely be washed with a mild soap solution. Do not expose to solvents such as cellulose thinners etc… Travertine and marble are natural stone materials and as such can be vulnerable to hard knocks or scratches to edges or smooth varnished surfaces.

Conservatories - The extremes of temperature, humidity and prolonged sunlight can have a premature aging effect on any furniture used in a conservatory. It would not be considered unusual to see more marked movement of timber or accelerated wear on items used in these conditions. For your purchase to continue to look its best, please try to protect it from direct sunlight and environmental extremes.

Other Items

Electrically Operated Chairs and Beds - Make sure that the chair or bed is plugged in and the power (mains switch) is on. Ensure that the mains cable is free from damage or obstruction and entanglement with the chair or bed’s operational positions. In the event of the chair or bed being switched off or a power cut, the mains plug is sometimes fitted with a green reset button which will reset the motor. Most mechanisms carry a back-up battery supply to return the item to a safe position in the event of a power cut. Please ensure that you check and change the batteries regularly so that they are functioning properly should the need arise. If your chair or bed is still inoperable, do not attempt to carry out any repairs, please consult the store. Do not sit on either end of the bed when in the raised position as this could sprain the mechanism.

Wall Mounted Furniture, Mirrors and Pictures - It is our assumption when a customer purchases this furniture, that they have made all necessary checks to ensure that the items they have bought are able to be fitted to the wall at their home. Whilst it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the goods they have purchased are suitable for their home, we will on request, endeavour to check for access prior to delivery (although this must be within 48 hours of the furniture order being placed) to ensure that the goods are suitable for the space intended. Details of this are on the Check for Access area on the reverse of your sales sheet. We do not recommend that the mirrors that we supply be used in a bathroom or other environment with extremes of temperature or humidity unless specifically stated by the manufacturer.

Lighting - Please ensure that you check the bulb rating on any lamp before installing into a fitting. Failure to do so can cause irreparable damage. All lighting supplied should be fitted by a qualified electrician in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All fittings must be correctly earthed and should not be altered in any way. If you are in any doubt, please consult a qualified professional.


Shading/Pile Reversal - Through use and in time, all carpets will flatten to a certain degree and as a result cut pile carpets will tend to shade in the same way that velvet curtains and fabrics do. This is called ‘shading’. The degree of noticeable shading will depend upon the amount of design in the carpet together with the depth of colour. A plain carpet is more likely to show greater shading than a darker, heavily patterned carpet as the design will distract attention from the shading. This effect can vary given the local lighting conditions and traffic.

Sometimes a ‘watermark’ will appear for no apparent reason, this phenomenon is attributed to site conditions, is inherent in all pile carpets and is not a fault of manufacture or installation. Shading is caused because the tufts throughout a newly laid carpet are almost parallel with each other, any inclination being regular and in the same direction. After a period the tufts will gradually assume a greater slant in the areas of most use and thus expose their sides to the light. The sides of the tufts are now reflecting more light than the tips and will appear lighter in colour. This is known as ‘pile pressure’ and there are no hard and fast rules as to when this will occur and to what extent. It is simply a natural characteristic of all cut pile materials. Please note that samples shown or supplied may not be from the batch that is eventually fitted. Whilst flooring supplied will be manufactured within fine tolerances, some variations of shade and finish are possible. A wider variation should be expected with ‘Berber’ yarns. Please advise us if colour matching is critical to your furnishing scheme. Vacuum at least once a week (or more in areas of heavy footfall). This will keep the pile clear of dirt and grit and keep the pile fresh.

Flattening will occur as a result of foot traffic which eventually flattens the pile and will become more noticeable in the main areas of use. This is commonly referred to as tracking. TV shuffle is a result of constant foot movement creating agitation to the pile in a confined space, such as in front of a seating area. Flattening is more noticeable on plainer carpets because the shadows created by pile pressure will not be disguised by a heavy pattern or design.

Carpet Protection - We are happy to provide a stain shield carpet protection service to help protect your investment. Please contact your carpet Sales Adviser for more details.

Shedding and Pilling - In the same manner as with fabrics some carpets can pill.  This is perfectly normal and can be removed. Please contact the Carpet Department for more details.

Beds & Bedroom Furniture

If required, sprung mattresses should be turned on a regular basis: monthly for the first three months and then quarterly to ensure even settling of the fillings within. It is normal during the first few weeks of usage for the fillings to settle unevenly but this will even out over time and is not detrimental to the mattress. Mattresses can compress during transport and initially appear short, but the mattress will spread after a short period to its correct length.

Visco-elastic and Latex Beds - Most non-spring beds and mattresses do not need turning over but can be rotated if required to even out any wear. It is normal to notice body indentations in this type of mattress over time and this would not be considered a fault.

Zip and Link Sets - Zip and Link mattresses and bases are usually fitted with a zip to both faces of the mattress. It is important to unzip these when turning or transporting.


DO’s and DON’Ts

DO turn your mattress regularly - firstly head to foot and then completely over.

DO remove dust and fluff from your mattress by brushing with a soft brush. Mattress protectors can be purchased from ourselves giving extra protection against stains and soiling.

DON’T consistently sit on the edge of the mattress as this places extra stress on the edge springs and borders and can cause flattening of the edges.

DON’T hoover the surface of your mattress as this can disturb the filling and pull fibres through the mattress.


Bedroom Furniture - Floors need to be level when fitting and assembling wardrobes and large cabinets and this is the customer’s responsibility. We have on occasion been able to help in levelling wardrobes where floors are not level, however, this can be time consuming and there may be extra cost involved. When ordering units with lights or electrical fittings please ensure that there is a power socket close to the unit. We supply the cable and plug into a standard UK power supply. We regret that our fitters cannot take on any electrical work; we are happy to liaise with a customer and customer’s electrical contractor when installing furniture but would need prior knowledge of this to avoid delays/added cost.