What is Performance Fabric? (Ultimate Guide)

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Are you shopping for furniture and wondering What is Performance Fabric? It’s probably a term you’ve probably heard repeatedly.

Performance fabric is a must-have for any families with kids and pets. It’s a game changer because of its stain-resistant qualities and low maintenance.

The fabric has features such as moisture-wicking, UV protection, breathability, and durability. People commonly use it in sofas, furniture, and decor due to its outstanding comfort, functionality, and durability.

In the furniture store I worked, as an interior designer, my favorite part was the show and tell with performance fabrics. I would take a swatch of Revolution, Crypton, or Sunbrella fabric and poor coffee on it.

Clients would watch in awe as I wiped it clean and removed the liquid. The high-performance fabric is truly an amazing innovation. It has completely changed people’s feelings about light-colored furniture.

Low-maintenance stain-resistant fabrics are the perfect blend of practicality and elegance. They elevate the look of any space and allow you to live and entertain with confidence.

If you’re looking for a spill-proof couch or furniture fabric that’s timeless and durable you need performance fabric in your life. Just think of the energy you’ll save, knowing you can enjoy your beautiful, kid- and pet-friendly performance fabric sofa worry-free.

This post is all about What is Performance Fabric and why you need it for your home.

READ MORE>>> Furniture Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

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performance fabric modular pit sectional sofa with brown velvet and stripe pillows
Beckham Performance Fabric Sofa Similar Style

What is Performance Fabric?

High-performance fabric offers benefits such as odor resistance, moisture wicking, abrasion resistance, UV protection, and more! People choose it for high-traffic areas of the home due to its strength, stain-resistant qualities, and functional benefits.

Essentially, it’s a perfect match for durability, cleanliness, and resilience. Its ability to resist stains and deterioration makes it a great choice for both indoor and outdoor living spaces.

The creators initially coined the term “performance” to describe a material that’s easy to clean and can withstand outdoor elements for the long haul.

And today, it’s everywhere, not just outside. You’ve got loads of choices in colors, fabrics, and patterns – you can make it your own!

Characteristics of performance fabrics include:

  • Mold resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight, stretch, and flexibility
  • Moisture wicking
  • UV protection
  • Quick drying
  • Odor resistant
  • Thermal regulation
  • Durability

With stain-resistant fabric in your home, you can relax and enjoy your living space without the constant worry of spills, stains, or damage to your furniture and textiles.

Is Performance Fabric Worth It?

In my opinion, performance fabric is worth every penny. While it may come with a higher price tag, it’s a decision you won’t regret, especially when you experience that first unexpected accident.

In the end, you have to decide if it’s worth the investment. If you have a busy household with kids and pets, stain-resistant fabric can be a lifesaver.

While performance fabric may have a higher upfront cost, it can save you money in the long term because it won’t need to be replaced and you can clean it yourself. Aside from that, you’ll have confidence knowing your furniture can handle anything that comes its way.

If you prefer furniture that is easy to clean and maintain, performance fabric is a great choice. It’ll save you time and energy if you have a busy lifestyle.

Reasons You Need Performance Fabric:

Performance fabric is a game-changer for your home and there are many reasons to make it a part of your living space.

Here are the top 9 reasons why you need performance fabric:

  1. Stain Resistance: Performance fabric furniture is like the Cadillac of stain resistance, designed to withstand spilled drinks and messy mishaps with ease.
  2. Durability: It can handle the wear and tear of active families, pets, and high-traffic areas, making it a long-lasting choice for your furniture and decor.
  3. Easy Maintenance: Cleaning stain-resistant fabric furniture is a breeze.
  4. Comfort: Performance fabric doesn’t sacrifice comfort for durability. It offers the best of both worlds and is the perfect blend of coziness and toughness so you can relax in style.
  5. Versatility: Whether you’re looking for a sofa, chairs, or even outdoor furniture, performance fabric offers a wide range of stylish choices to match your decor and lifestyle.
  6. UV Resistance: Many fabrics are designed to resist fading and damage from exposure to UV rays. This makes them suitable for outdoor furniture and applications in sunny environments.
  7. Moisture Repellent: They can repel moisture, preventing mold and mildew growth. This quality is beneficial for outdoor use and in damp or humid conditions.
  8. Wear Resistance: The fabrics will resist daily use friction without showing signs of wear.
  9. Environmental Considerations: Some fabrics are made from sustainable materials or are recyclable, making them eco-friendly options.

Types of Performance Fabrics

There are several well-known brands and types of performance fabrics designed for home furniture and decor. The furniture store I worked at offered these:

  1. Sunbrella: Known for its outdoor fabrics, offers durability and resistance to UV rays, water, and fading. The Sunbrella Fusion line combines style and performance with a wide range of design options for outdoor furniture.
  2. Crypton: People highly regard Crypton fabrics for their stain-resistant and moisture-repellent properties, making them a popular choice for indoor upholstery, particularly in households with children and pets. This brand is my personal favorite!
  3. Revolution: Revolution Fabrics specializes in stain-resistant and easy-to-clean performance fabrics, suitable for various indoor upholstery and home decor applications.

Other Stain Resistant Fabrics Include:

  1. Sustain: You can clean Sustain fabrics with a simple mixture of soap and water or bleach and water. The strong fabric can handle the use of at-home disinfectant solutions without the risk of damaging or discoloring the fabric. 
  2. Perennials: Perennials is a brand specializing in high-performance outdoor and indoor fabrics.
  3. Ultrasuede: Ultrasuede is a luxurious fabric used in upholstery. It’s soft, durable, and stain-resistant.
  4. Faux Leather: Synthetic leather fabrics are known for their durability and ease of cleaning. They’re awesome for upholstery, especially in high-traffic areas.

These are just a few examples of the types of stain-resistant fabrics retailers offer. The one you choose for your home furnishings and decor will depend on your budget, needs, use, and style.

Who Needs Performance Fabric?

Ummm… That would be you, my friend! But in all seriousness, the people who will most benefit from this durable fabric are:

  • Families with Children– Just think of all the nagging you’ll avoid. The stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabric will be a blessing in your relationships. Just saying!
  • Pet Owners– The durable fabric will withstand pet hair, claws, and accidents while remaining stylish.
  • Active Individuals: It’s great if you have family members who sweat and then sit on furniture. Also for high-traffic areas that get a lot of action.
  • People in Humid Climates: The fabric’s ability to resist mold and mildew makes it a great choice for those living in humid environments.
  • Seniors- Stain-resistant fabrics are easier to clean and maintain, especially for those with mobility issues. It’s also super comfy!

Anyone who loves style, comfort, and practicality will benefit from performance fabric. Whether you’re looking for a kid-proof sofa, a pet-friendly solution, or a stylish addition to your home or business, this material is for you!

Uses: Performance Fabric Furniture

High-performance fabric can be used in many different types of furniture. Anywhere you want durability, easy maintenance, and peace of mind.

Here are some examples of furniture that commonly use high-performance fabric:

Living Rooms:

Sofas and Couches: Sofas upholstered in this fabric will last longer and resist stains. It’s an excellent choice for homes with children or pets.

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Sectional Sofas: High-performance fabric is an excellent choice for sectional sofas that often see high traffic.

performance fabric sectional sofa collage

Chairs: People use stain-resistant fabric in dining chairs, accent chairs, and recliners to endure regular use and facilitate easy cleaning.

Recliners: Recliner chairs often utilize high-performance fabric, as they are subject to regular wear and tear.

Ottomans and Poufs: Upholstered ottomans and poufs benefit from high-performance fabric to maintain their appearance and functionality.

Benches: Stain-resistant fabric is great for benches, whether in the dining room, living room, or entryway.

Dining Rooms:

Dining Room Furniture: You can upholster dining room chairs with stain-resistant fabric, for peace of mind with spills and stains during meals.

Barstools: Upholstering barstools with high-performance fabric will provide comfort and ease of cleaning in busy kitchen or dining areas.


Headboards: Upholstered headboards in bedrooms may use high-performance fabric for its durability and stain resistance.

Bedding and Mattresses: Use this fabric in mattress covers and bedding to improve durability and comfort.

Other Rooms:

Office Furniture: Office chairs and waiting area seating in commercial spaces often feature high-performance fabric to withstand daily use.

Outdoor Furniture: Performance fabric is a game-changer for patio and outdoor seating. Furniture cushions and upholstery pieces made with this material are not just about aesthetics, they’re built to last. They’ll resist UV exposure, moisture, and mold.

These are only a few examples, but you can use this fabric in many ways depending on your needs and the vibe you’re after.

How To Clean Performance Fabric

Most small stains can easily be removed with just a little water and blotting. Stubborn stains, such as coffee or food spills, can typically be cleaned with regular household or upholstery cleaner.

Maintaining and cleaning performance fabric is a pretty simple process. Despite its durability, performance fabric still requires care.

Regular dusting or vacuuming can prevent dirt and dust from settling into the fabric. It’s also best to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat sources to prevent discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Everyday Care Tips

  • Blot spills right away
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to prevent staining
  • no vigorous rubbing
  • Gentle vacuum or light brushing regularly
  • Use mild detergent and cold water when washing
  • Test in a hidden spot BEFORE washing
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Air dry
  • Only use bleach or tough chemicals if it’s on the care instructions

Dealing With Stains and Deep Cleaning

Even though this fabric can handle stains like a boss, they can still happen. So, if you see one, deal with it ASAP to keep it from settling in.

Start by gently wiping off any excess stain you can. For fresh stains, a mix of mild soap and water is your go-to BFF.

For tough set-in stains, you might need a specialized fabric cleaner. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using it.

After cleaning, let the fabric air dry. DO NOT USE a hair dryer or heater – they can do more harm than good. For stubborn stains, call a professional to get the job done.

By Now You Know…

Stain-resistant fabrics are changing the way we think about furniture. Gone are the days when you needed to be afraid of a white sofa.

With this fabric, you can order with confidence knowing it’ll be easy to maintain. Despite it being a little more expensive your peace of mind will be worth the added cost.

Do your research and let me know what you decide. I love knowing I can throw my sofa covers in the wash at any time and it’ll look brand new.

This post is all about What is Performance Fabric and why you need it for your home.

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Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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