Is Performance Fabric Worth It? The Best Sofa Guide

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It amazes me how many of us still love our light and white sofas!

Out of all the many colours we can choose for our new sofa, the most popular colour to have is neutral or white. I get it. It gives you the flexibility to change up your decor and goes with everything. But not exactly the most practical.

While working in interior retail, whenever a client said they wanted a white sofa, it was always you have to go with performance fabric. Is performance fabric worth it? Yes.

Even if you don’t want the colour white for your sofa upholstery, using a performance fabric is always a good choice for peace of mind. 

This guide will tell you all about choosing a performance fabric for your sofa. And what to look out for as well as the benefits of having a high performance fabric in your home. 

What is Performance Fabric?

Performance fabric is made from a mix of synthetic and natural fibers.

Usually treated with a solution with a solution to increase it’s performance. Making it more durable and stain resistant to everyday use of life compared with natural fabrics. And it’s easy to clean. Common synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon and polyester.

Performance fabrics are often used on the upholstery for outdoor spaces as it’s water resistant and stain resistant. So it makes it a perfect choice for indoor use as well.

Protecting against stains on your furniture fabric such as red wine, coffee, other drinks and dirt. As well as other substances and marks you might find from having pets and children. All part of everyday life! 

Other common uses for using high-performance fabrics are rugs, throw pillows, window treatments and clothing. Performance fabrics are a popular choice in interior design for home and commercial spaces, like offices and hospitals too. 

Why Use Performance Fabric For Your Sofa?

performance fabric swatches

Performance fabrics have a much higher rub count than natural materials for your sofa. Meaning it’s a tougher fabric and it’ll have less daily wear and tear through the years.

Often with natural fiber upholstery, you’ll notice holes start to appear from constant use. It might cost slightly more for a performance upholstery fabric but it should last a long time. This is why having a performance fabric is great for high-traffic areas at home.

For pet owners, performance fabric sofas are a good option as pet hair can easily be vacuumed from the sofa. 

If you’re worried about small children getting messy in the living space, a big benefit is its stain resistance. It’s much easy to clean compared to natural fabrics.

Performance fabric is also known for its fade resistance properties. It has good protection against UV rays if you have a piece of furniture that sits in natural light most of the time.

Using a performance fabric is a great alternative instead of leather sofas. It gives the comfort of the fabric but is still wipeable and durable for daily use. 

Opting for a white sofa or a light colour in performance fabric is a popular choice. But there are many different colors and patterned fabrics available. As well as a variety of fabric textures as well mimicking luxurious textiles such as velvet and boucle fabrics. And different fabric weaves. So there’s plenty of choice.

With removable seat cushions, back cushions and slipcovered sofa options you can put the covers in the washing machine to get remove tougher stains. 

Bear in mind even high quality performance fabrics doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. These are more durable fabrics compared to your standard sofa materials.

Types Of Performance Fabrics?

There are different types of upholstery options made from natural fabrics. These are the most popular performance fabrics made from synthetic materials:

  • Acrylic – An alternative to wool fabric but made from synthetic material
  • Olefin – Made from polypropylene and upcycled materials
  • Polyester – A synthetic material blended with other fibres
  • Nylon – Often mixed in with cotton and other fibres

Performance Fabric Brands and Companies

Performance fabrics are not all made the same.

Most have the common qualities of being water repellent and stain-resistant fabrics with a variety of colors available. But there are some slight differences depending on which brand and company you go with. Think about what your most important needs are.

Here are some of the benefits of performance fabric brands and companies. 

Crypton Benefits:

  • Silver ion technology to helps against lingering odor smells and bacteria
  • It’s GreenGuard Gold certified
  • Eco-friendly with low chemical emissions
  • Soft feel blended fabric materials
  • Liquid beads off the fabric
  • Different colors, textures and patterns are available
  • Stain resistant

Some of the stores that carry furniture with Crypton fabric are Arhaus, CB2, Celadon Home, Lulu & Georgia, Pottery Barn and One Kings Lane. 

Revolution Benefits: 

  • Bleach cleanable 
  • Chemical free
  • Stain resistant 

Some of the stores that carry furniture with Revolution fabric are Crate & Barrel and Wayfair.

Sunbrella Benefits:

  • Great protection against UV rays and fading
  • Color core – technology dyed all the way through the acrylic fibre
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Best choice for outdoor materials
  • Different colors, textures and patterns are available
  • Some options are bleach friendly
  • Doesn’t pill
  • Stain resistant

Some of the stores that carry furniture with Sunbrella fabric are Restoration Hardware for their outdoor furniture, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. 

Ultrasuede Benefits:

  • Good for pet owners
  • Tight weave fabrics made from polyester very durable against claws 
  • Resistant to fabric pills
  • Odor resistant
  • Soft fabric
  • Stain resistant
  • Colorfastness
  • Doesn’t pill

Some of the stores that carry furniture with Ultrasuede upholstery are Century Furniture, Ethan Allen and Serena & Lily. You can find the full retailer furniture list here

Other companies known for their performance fabrics include Live Smart and Perennials. 

Some furniture retailers offer their own brand of performance fabrics too. Such as Restoration Hardware and Maiden Home and Pottery Barn.

Offering a variety of performance fabrics like, performance velvet fabric, basketweave, linen, boucle and tweed alternatives, just to name a few.


Remember to choose the right style sofa for your family and living room space. Because when ordering a sofa in a performance fabric, it usually will be a custom item. So you won’t be able to return the sofa.

You’ll see a few companies that have sofas in performance fabric as a stock option. But it depends on the size and style of the sofa.

Whether your sofa is a stock option or will be made to order, make sure you test out the performance fabric by ordering swatches first. This way you can test different liquids on the swatch to see how easily the stain comes out.

Also, some retailers also give the option to buy performance fabric by the yard if you’re thinking of getting new slipcovers for your sofas. 

How To Clean Performance Fabric 

It’s best to keep it simple and blot the stain and spot clean with water and a cloth to remove it. For tougher stains treat your upholstery with a mixture of mild soap diluted with 5 parts warm water. 

Solutions That Can Be Applied To Fabrics

There are solutions available that you can apply to your regular sofa to increase its protection. It will depend on your fabric upholstery and the solution you choose. Teflon and Scotchguard are options to use for fabric protection. Another is Nanotex from Crypton.

Those are all the options if you’re considering performance fabric for your sofa. Performance fabric is great for indoor sofas and outdoor seating too. It just comes down to picking the best option for you.


faqs performance fabric for sofa

What is meant by Performance Fabric?

Performance fabric is a material that has higher durability and resistance than natural fabrics. These are synthetic man-made materials such as acrylic, olefin, and polyester that mimic the feel of natural fabrics like wool and cotton.

What is considered High-Performance Fabric?

A high-performance fabric has a higher rub count than natural fibre fabrics.

It has a high resistance against water damage and staining. And often beads on top of the material instead of sinking into it. So it’s easy to clean and maintain.

How Do You Know If Fabric Is Performance?

Usually, the fabric will have performance in the name. Another way is to look at the details in the materials to see if it has acrylic, olefin (or polypropylene) as its main component.

Is Performance Fabric Worth It? The Best Sofa Guide

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