A Guide to Performance Fabric For Your Home

Feb 25, 2022

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CoCreative Interiors Site Icone

Written By cocreativeinteriors

Performance fabrics are more durable than the fabrics you find at your local craft store. They are made to be water-resistant, easy to clean, and will hold up to heavy daily use. These fabrics are usually made from materials that on their own are nothing special, but they are then treated to make them performance fabrics perfect for upholstery. By blending regular and performance fibers and then treating them with a protective coating, these durable fabrics are made! 

There are six leading brands of performance fabrics available. Each company offers different treatments and features. Depending on how you plan to use the fabric, take time choosing one with all the features that will increase longevity and have the most durability for your home. 

Types of Performance Fabrics

Crypton Performance Fabric

Crypton fabric is made by coating the fabric in a unique mix of materials that prevent the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and mildew. Many different fabric types can be put through the Crypton process to turn them from regular to performance fabrics. Cotton, linen, silk, wool, acrylic, rayon, and polyester can all be made into a Crypton fabric. 

Most liquids will roll right off Crypton fabrics, so blotting the surface with a towel keeps it clean! This makes it the perfect choice for high-traffic areas that are used often! Imagine just blotting coffee, juice, or red wine off your sofa with no stains left behind! For tougher stains, a simple mixture of water a laundry soap can work wonders. 

Crypton Super Fabrics are made in their manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. 

Crypton Performance upholstery Fabric
Photo: Crypton Website

Sunbrella Performance Fabric 

Have you noticed your curtains or furniture in the direct sunlight fade over time? With Sunbrella fabric, this is not an issue. Traditional materials are only dyed to deposit color on the surface of the textile. Sunbrella fabrics are saturated with UV-stable pigments, making them fade-resistant.  

Since the process makes the material so resistant to fading, it is no surprise that they have both indoor and outdoor fabrics. Sunbrella fabrics are designed to resist mold and mildew and are easily cleaned. Since the color is saturated, it can even be cleaned with bleach! For lighter cleaning, soap and water solutions can be lightly misted and scrubbed for quick stain removal. 

Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured in a facility in Anderson, South Carolina. 

Sunbrella Performance Fabric
Photo: Sunbrella Website

Ultrasuede Performance Fabric

Ultrasuede is one of the most durable performance fabrics available. It is soft to the touch, and because of the way it is created, it is stain resistant, pet friendly, and does not fade in the sun. It also is breathable, so when it is hot, the fabric feels cool to the touch, and when it is cold, you are nice and warm.

If you pour liquid on Ultrasuede, it beads up and rolls off so you can blot it up right away. A wet cloth can gently blot and lift the stain if liquid soaks in. Once the fabric is dry, you can use a soft brush to restore the texture. 

Since Ultrasuede is so versatile, it is used across many industries. Interior design, automotive, and fashion are just a few places where Ultrasuede can be found! 

ultrasuede performance fabric
Photo: Ultrasuede Website

Revolution Performance Fabric

If you have pets, Revolution performance fabrics might be perfect for your home. Tightly woven and created for stain resistance, they can stand up to sharp animal claws and pet accidents. Some people even like this fabric for their dog beds. They are also resistant to fading and can be in direct sunlight for 500+ hours before any fading can be detected. 

To clean Revolution fabrics, blotting can get most spills. If you need to do more deep cleaning, water and bleach solutions can be sprayed and rinsed from the material. This fabric is an excellent choice for a living space with lots of traffic and wear and tear. 

Revolution Performance Fabric has many uses for interior and exterior furniture and can be found all over the country. 

Revolution Performance Fabric
Photo: Revolution Website

 Inside Out Performance Fabric

Inside Out Performance Fabrics (IOPF) is named for the main feature; it can be used both inside and out! These all-in-one fabrics can hold up to the elements of the outdoors and all the messes that happen inside. This makes it an excellent choice for homes with pets and children. While IOPF will repel liquid, it is not waterproof, so anything outdoors should be brought inside during rain or snow. 

Spot cleaning works well on IOPF for light to medium upholstery stains. For more severe stains, a mixture of enzyme cleaner and water solution can be sprayed and lightly scrubbed to remove. 

Since Inside Out Performance Fabrics are versatile, you can consider using them for your indoor and outdoor needs. 

Inside Out Performance Fabric
Photo Inside Out Performance Fabric Website

Brisa Performance Fabric  

Brisa fabrics are perfect for high-traffic areas. These fabrics are not only stain-resistant, but they also have sound absorption properties. This makes Brisa performance fabrics great for office spaces, restaurants, and lobbies. They resist typical spills like coffee and wine, but ink can also be removed easily. 

Most stains can be wiped off immediately with a wet cloth or soap and water. For tougher stains, a bleach and water solution or isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove the stain. 

Brisa Performance Fabrics by Ultrafabrics is an excellent option for high traffic areas. While it is perfect for an office, it could also be suitable for the home if you have a lot of wear and tear in your everyday life. 

Brisa Performance Fabric
Photo: Brisa Website

 Glossary of Performance Fabric Terms

As you shop for performance fabrics, you will hear some words used repeatedly to describe the materials. We created this handy vocabulary list to understand precisely what each fabric includes and what you are looking for when shopping for your ideal performance fabric. 


A man-made fiber that is made from polyacrylonitrile. It is soft to the touch and feels like wool. It can be machine washed and retains color, and is resistant to fading from sun exposure. 

Abrasions Resistance

How a fabric maintains its appearance through extended surface wear, rubbing, chafing, and other friction.  

Air Permeability

Measures the porosity of fabric by how air passes through. Air permeability is how blanket warmth is determined. Standard testing equipment is used to test fabric performance in terms of air permeability. 

Anti Microbial

A fabric that has been chemically treated with an anti-bacterial agent makes the fabric resistant to microorganism growth. 

Anti Mildew

Fabric with natural or man-made properties that prevent mildew. 

Anti Static

Fiber or fabrics that do not allow the build-up of static electricity when friction occurs.

Bleach Cleanable

Fabric that can be cleaned with a bleach solution without damaging the fabric.


Measured by the movement of water or water vapor from one side of the fabric to the other. It may also be called moisture transport.

upholstery fabric options

Double Rub

Measurement of the resistance of a fabric to surface wear. High double rub (DR) numbers help extend the life of the fabric. Double rub measurements are determined using a test called the Wyzenbeek Method.

  • 8000-12000 DR = lightweight upholstery fabrics
  • 12000-29000 DR = standard residential upholstery fabrics
  • 30000-50000 DR = heavy duty upholstery
  • 50000+ = commercial grade upholstery


A measurement system that determines the weight of a continuous fiber filament. The lower the number, the finer the fiber. The higher the number, the heavier the fiber.


A process in which the fabric fibers are coated with a filmy substance to create high-performance features.


A man-made fiber of continuous length that is extruded from the spinneret.

Flame Retardent

A chemical is applied to fabrics or added to fibers during production to reduce flammability.

Flame Resistant

Fabrics are treated with a special chemical agent that makes them resistant to burning.

Fade Resistant

Fabrics that are resistant to color fade from UV rays.


The way that fabric feels when it is touched. Terms used to describe the fabric’s feel include soft, crisp, dry, and silky.

Hydrophilic Fibers

Fibers that absorb water quickly, take longer to dry and need an iron.

upholstery fabric

Hydrophobic Fibers

Fibers that cannot absorb water.

Impact Absorption

The ability of a textile to cushion and absorb the energy of a sudden shock to the person wearing the material.

Laminated Fabrics

Fabrics that have been joined together through a high-strength scrim.


The first completely synthetic fiber developed. Nylon is a high strength, abrasion-resistant and flexible.

upholstery fabric


A manufactured fiber that is a lightweight, high strength, and abrasion-resistant. Transports moisture well and works well for indoor-outdoor carpets, lawn furniture, and upholstery.


Lightweight, high strength and abrasion-resistant manufactured fiber.

PFC Free

No perfluorinated compounds (PFC’s) are used in manufacturing.

Soap and Water Cleanable

Can be cleaned with soap and water without damaging the fabric.

Stain Resistant

Resist standard household stains or marks by preventing permanent penetration of the fabric.

Water Repellant

Fabrics that have been treated with a finish that makes them shed water and resist water penetration. Treatments can include wax coating, resin, silicone, and fluorine derivatives.

While performance fabric is not the most exciting topic, it is essential if you want your upholstery to be durable and long-lasting. If your head is swimming from all the options available, get in touch! We love working with our clients to make the best choices for their interior design projects.

CoCreative Interiors is delighted to work with our interior design clients around Charlotte, North Carolina. Whether you are designing your whole home or a single room,  book a complimentary discovery call, and let’s talk about your project and how we can help you create the home of your dreams.


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