When you are working out, you select clothes that can handle the abuse you are about to dish out – whether it’s hot yoga, an intensive cardio day or even a day spent on the ski slopes in colder weather. Just as you alternate your wardrobe, the fabrics you select for your home’s furnishings should be able to withstand your level of intended use (and potential abuse) and be ideal selections for the locations in which you plan on placing them. Fortunately, manufacturers have answered the challenges of modern lifestyles with myriad performance fabrics designed for almost any environment.
Here’s a primer on just a few of our designer’s favorites and how and where they work best. (Just a note – all of the fabrics we’re mentioning here are stain resistant, which is perfect for real life, so we’re looking beyond that basic at how they perform in other areas.)
If you are looking for a fabric that is luxurious and soft to the touch, Sensuede is a great option. Ideal for anywhere you would normally use suede but where you need stain resistant durability – think living room sofas or dining room chairs – this fabric cleans up with soap and water. In fact it’s so soft we’ve even seen it used in bedding. Plus, it’s made from recycled materials – including PET soda and water bottles- which makes it not only an intelligent selection but a green choice.
If allergies are a primary concern – along with stain and water resistance – Crypton Home Fabrics might be the healthy choice for you. Crypton fabrics are treated with a water-based solution of antimicrobial and fluorochemical agents. The antimicrobial part is comprised of disinfectants that kill bacteria, viruses, mildew, mold and algae while the fluorochemicals make the fabric water and stain resistant. Best of all, since Crypton is a process, it can be applied to different types of fabrics – like cotton, linen, silk, wool, acrylic, rayon and even polyester. That gives you a huge variety of placement options – you can literally use the Crypton version of a fabric anywhere you would use the original.
When you think of the standard for outdoor fabrics, Sunbrella almost always comes to mind. Sunbrella was founded in the 1960s to create durable, sun- and weather-resistant awnings and outdoor canvases and was the go-to for decades for boat coverings, outdoor furnishings and more. Over the years, the fabrics have matured along with the company, expanding from the sturdy canvas offerings to include soft and luxe versions.
The fabric fade and UV resistant and will stay true to the color you choose much better and last far longer than other alternatives in our California sun.
But don’t neglect how well this fabric works indoors. We absolutely love it on Hooker Furniture’s Arabella side chairs. The collection offers a new take on French style that combines classic European elements with modern forms, then adds metals and a touch of glam to create an industrial luxe look. And how fitting is it that this industrial glam look is so versatile and stain resistant?
No matter what your style and your lifestyle, there’s certain to be a performance fabric that fits both beautifully.