design advice

A Family-Friendly Guide to Performance Fabrics

Family Friendly Performance Fabrics and Upholstery

High performance fabrics are a game changer for family-friendly homes, combining style, comfort, and above all, durability. This innovative fabric technology stands up to the rigors of a busy household, including spills, stains, and wear and tear from children and pets. It beautifully marries practicality with design aesthetics, ensuring your furniture not only lasts but continues to look fresh and inviting. Perfect for living rooms, playrooms, or any high-traffic areas, performance upholstery is a practical choice for families who want to enjoy a stylish yet resilient living space.

What is Performance Fabric Upholstery?

Performance fabric for upholstery is a durable fabric that is resistant to fading, staining, and damage. This makes it an excellent choice for furniture that is frequently used.

These kinds of fabrics are typically treated with special chemicals or have inherent qualities that make them resistant to damage from spills, sunlight, and the rigors of daily life. Ideal for homes with children, pets, or for furniture in high-traffic areas, performance upholstery elevates the longevity and aesthetic appeal of furniture.

What are Performance Fabrics Made of?

Predominantly made from synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, or olefin, performance upholstery is known for its durability and resistance to damage. Some high-end performance fabrics may also incorporate natural fibers like cotton or wool, but these are often blended with synthetic materials to enhance their resilience.

Certain performance upholstery fabrics are also woven in a particular way, often a tight weave, to increase their durability. In addition, they are typically treated with protective finishes, such as Scotchgard or Teflon, to repel stains and resist fading.

How to Clean Performance Fabrics

Caring for performance upholstery involves regular maintenance and prompt attention to spills or stains. Regular vacuuming helps to remove dirt and dust before they can become engrained.

For spills, blot immediately with a clean, dry cloth to prevent the liquid from seeping into the fabric. Avoid rubbing, as this can cause the spill to spread or the fabric to pill. For stubborn stains, use a mild, water-based cleaning solution and test it on an inconspicuous part of the furniture before applying it to the stain.

However, always follow the specific cleaning instructions provided by the furniture manufacturer to avoid unintentional damage. Regularly rotating cushions, if possible, can also help to ensure even wear and prolong the life of the upholstery.

Types of Performance Fabrics


Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is a popular material used in performance upholstery due to its impressive durability and stain resistance. This synthetic fiber is hydrophobic, meaning it does not absorb water, making it highly resistant to staining and perfect for use in high-traffic areas or homes with young children or pets.


Acrylic, a synthetic fiber, has gained immense popularity in the realm of performance upholstery for its durability, colorfastness, and resistance to mildew and ultraviolet radiation. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture, as well as indoor furniture exposed to strong sunlight.


Nylon is another commonly used synthetic fiber in performance upholstery. Known for its exceptional strength and elasticity, nylon has a high resistance to wear and tear, making it suitable for furniture that receives heavy usage. Its resilience against abrasion further enhances its durability, allowing it to maintain its appearance even after extended use.


Polyester is a highly versatile synthetic material that is widely utilized in the field of performance upholstery. It's well-known for its exceptional durability and resistance to various forms of damage, including staining, wrinkling, and fading. Another key advantage is its ease of maintenance - it's simple to clean, with many stains coming out easily with mild soap and water. Equally impressive is their commitment to sustainable practices, using eco-friendly materials and processes wherever possible.

Reputable Performance Fabric Makers

Fiqa Textiles

Known for their exceptional resistance to fading, stains, and wear, Fiqa's textiles are treated with advanced protective finishes to ensure they can withstand the rigors of daily use. Their range includes a diverse selection of synthetic materials such as olefin, acrylic, nylon, and polyester, as well as innovative blends that tap into the best qualities of multiple materials. Equally impressive is their commitment to sustainable practices, using eco-friendly materials and processes wherever possible.


Perennials' fabrics are crafted with state-of-the-art technology and superior materials, including the finest fibers like acrylic and polyester. Their fabrics boast commendable resistance to stains, mildew, and UV radiation, making them a preferred choice for both residential and commercial settings. Perennials' dedication to sustainability is evident in their production process, where they strive to minimize environmental impact without compromising on quality or design.


Sunbrella's performance fabrics are an excellent choice for outdoor and indoor furniture alike. Furthermore, Sunbrella fabrics are easy to maintain and clean, offering additional convenience to users. Their wide range of stylish patterns and colors ensures that their fabrics are not just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing. Sunbrella's commitment to sustainable practices is also noteworthy, with efforts in place to minimize water and energy consumption during production, and a clear focus on recycling and reducing waste.

Crypton Home

Emphasizing both aesthetics and functionality, Crypton Home's diverse range of colors, patterns, and textures cater to varied design tastes. Critical to their reputation is their patented performance technology that gives Crypton fabrics a significant edge in terms of resistance to stains, moisture, and odors. This makes their products a popular choice for homes, especially in high-traffic areas or homes with children and pets.