ADFSA: What Is Performance Fabric?

In searching for the right piece of furniture, you might start with the design style and size, then think through the colour and texture of the upholstery material. What else is important when considering your furniture purchase? A key characteristic that furniture hunters often overlook is the performance quality of the fabric.

If you have a busy household filled with kids, pets jumping on your nice furniture, or outdoor spaces that are vulnerable to degradation through weather elements, putting ‘performance’ at the top of your furniture requirements is essential!

You may be thinking, what is performance fabric? Performance is defined by the specific qualities of the material — key terms to look for include “stain-resistance,” “fade-resistance,” and “mildew-resistance.”

Every fabric has distinctive characteristics, and many have no performance characteristics at all, leading to a short furniture life or limited furniture use. Whether you are looking for a new sofa or reupholstering an existing piece, we have rounded up helpful tips for finding the best fabric to withstand your challenges.

How to Spot Performance Fabrics

One of the big differences between basic fabric and performance fabric is the colour quality. For most fabrics, the dye is applied as the last step in the manufacturing process, meaning its colour only penetrates the very top layer of the fabric. This makes it more susceptible to fading because of water spills, sun exposure, high use, and other daily challenges. In the safety of a rarely used living room, your couch’s colour could last. But if exposed to any daily challenges, the colour can quickly dissipate.

Some performance fabrics are specifically designed to withstand fading. For example, Sunbrella fibers are dyed and then woven into fabric, from the beginning of the manufacturing process, so that the entire textile is fully saturated with colour and is fade-resistant.

Most performance fabrics are also treated with a “finish” that acts as a coat of durability and defends against stains from spills, mould, and mildew. To ensure that the quality is built into the fabric, make sure the performance fabrics you are considering are not only a topcoat. Finishes will wear away after just a couple of spot cleanings, leaving the fabric underneath susceptible to staining and fading.

Performance fabrics from Sunbrella go beyond the finish, using UV-stable pigments to dye each thread, making the fabric fade-resistant. In addition, the fabrics are specifically engineered to resist mould and mildew, so you don’t have to worry about your outdoor furniture being subject to water damage either.

Cleaning Made Easy

Not only do performance fabrics increase the longevity of your furniture, but they also give you ease-of-mind through everyday challenges. With Sunbrella, your performance fabric furniture can be cleaned repeatedly without compromising its colour or durability, even with heavy duty supplies like bleach. Even bright coloured fabrics can be bleach cleaned! If the thought of using bleach on anything but white fabrics makes you nervous, you can relax knowing that most messes can be easily cleaned with dish soap or even plain tap water.

Sunbrella’s fabrics are meant for serious wear and tear, which is not exclusive to the outdoors. ‘Performance fabric’ is synonymous with indoor AND outdoor fabrics because of the perfect balance between durability and comfort that can be used in either setting.
ADFSA creates modern upholstery products with ultra-durable Sunbrella fabrics to give your home worry-free, lived-in luxury.

If you are looking to transform your space, start with a performance fabric sofa as the centrepiece. Choosing performance fabrics means you don’t have to shy away from timeless neutrals. A classic, soft-hued sofa will last season-after-season, no matter how often your personal design style changes. Investing in a high-quality sofa will save you money in the long run and gives you the versatility to refresh the style seasonally with accent pieces.

Sunbrella is dedicated to quality products that last longer, making it a good investment for the consumer and a better choice for the environment. Fabrics that need to be replaced less often leads to highly sustainable pieces of furniture and less waste. It is a win, win all around.

Find high performance fabric you can trust available at ADFSA.

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