Is Performance Fabric Worth It? - Crypton

Is Performance Fabric Worth It?

January 11, 2024
Crypton performance fabric is pet-friendly! This photo shows a cat walking across a white sofa.

Above | 855 Design Classic Sofa in Crypton Fabric by Thayer Coggin

Investing in new furniture is a big consideration. For most homeowners, the upholstered furniture pieces in the main living and dining areas combine to make up the largest concentration of furniture investment in the home. In addition to considering aesthetics and construction, homeowners also spend quite a bit of time selecting upholstery colors and fiber content. This is where things can get complicated. There are so many colors, patterns, and types of fabrics to choose from, and it can be difficult to know whether today’s selection will stand up over the course of several years as trends, personal tastes, and lifestyle changes over the life of the piece. 

That’s why so many people are opting for furniture upholstered in white, performance fabric. White is classic, it’s timeless, and it goes with everything. The catch, of course, is that white fabric can get oh-so-dirty, oh-so-fast, and be oh-so-hard to clean. And when you (or, if you’re a designer, your design clients) are considering an investment purchase that’s meant to last 10 or 20 years in the home, the last thing anyone wants to have to do is either replace or reupholster the piece before its time. This is why so many people opt for performance fabric when selecting new furniture. The big questions we hear from people considering performance fabrics for the first time are:

  1. Is performance fabric worth it? Does it make that much of a difference? 
  1. What are the different types of performance fabrics? 
  1. Why does performance cost more? 
  1. How long does performance fabric really perform
  1. Is performance fabric right for me and my lifestyle? 
  1. Is performance fabric safe for my home? 
  1. Are performance fabrics totally carefree? How should I care for them? 

Keep reading to get the answers to all your burning performance fabric questions! 

Clarkson Daybed in Crypton Vanni Velvet, Taupe, by Arhaus

Q: Is performance fabric worth it?
Does it make that much of a difference?

A: The answer is, it depends. There are a lot of fabrics out there claiming “performance” features, so you’ll really want to read the fine print. Many performance treatments are simply exterior coatings which wear down over time. If you’re considering increasing your investment to include performance, it will be worth it if you select Crypton performance fabric. What makes Crypton different? First, with over 30 years in business, we have the expertise, the team, and the technology to make the best performance fabrics on the market. Designers and consumers trust us for a reason. Second, all Crypton fabrics are designed to meet our high durability standards and most withstand 50,000 double rubs or more (which is 20,000 more than the 30,000 industry standard for durability in fabrics). Third, our fabric protection is sealed into every fiber of the fabric – not just layered on top – giving you lifelong stain, moisture and odor protection that never fades or degrades. Our state-of-the-art technology ensures that performance. 

What’s more, our fabric is supple and super comfortable! Crypton’s patented technology is customized to each yard of fabric to ensure we deliver the highest performance with the softest hand. Our team of scientists calibrate the amount of protection needed based on the fiber content and texture of each fabric, ensuring we use as little as possible while achieving maximum performance – a choice which is more responsible to our end-users and the environment. 

In addition to our lifelong promise of stain, spill, and odor resistance, cleaning is a breeze. This means saving time and money cleaning up inevitable daily life mishaps, and we feel that the savings you will enjoy in both areas over time will more than compensate for the additional front-end costs of performance fabric. 

Tap here to learn how to care for and maintain Crypton performance fabric
Crypton performance fabric is easy to clean!

Q: What are the different types of performance fabrics?

A: Not all “performance fabrics” perform the same way. This is why it’s so important to consider where you will be using the fabrics in your home and make decisions based on that! Here is some info. about the two primary kinds of performance fabrics:

Indoor-only performance fabrics like Crypton

  1. With Crypton, the design possibilities are endless! Enjoy unlimited fiber types and a wide array of aesthetics. Whether you are interested in polyester, linen, recycled cotton, or velvet, we have the pattern and weave that you want. 
  1. Crypton performance fabrics are designed to meet the highest durability requirements. In most cases, they meet or exceed high-traffic contract grade standards! 
  1. The patented Crypton process includes an immersion bath followed by a heat process that seals the technology into each individual fiber – not just the surface of the fabric. This is how we can promise that Crypton stain and moisture protection lasts the life of the fabric.  
  1. Because Crypton is designed for the indoors, our fabrics meet standard upholstery UV requirements. This means you can place your beautiful new sofa right next to the window! 

Outdoor performance fabrics

In most cases, it’s the yarn that determines whether a fabric is “indoor” or “outdoor.” Two commonly used indoor/outdoor yarns that are inherently UV-resistant are “Solution Dyed Acrylic” and “Olefin”. 

  1. “Solution Dyed Acrylic” means is that the dyes or pigments used to color the yarn are injected into the fibers themselves as they are being made rather than just sitting on the surface. This is a major benefit of synthetic fabrics. Unlike organic fibers, the color itself is part of the structure of the fiber. Thanks to this, acrylic fabrics are extremely resistant to fading caused by the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays. 
  1. “Olefin Yarn” is another engineered, synthetic fiber and it is made from polypropylene — a polymer byproduct of oil and natural gas production. Olefin shares a great deal of traits with the solution dyed acrylic fabrics described above. Since olefin is also synthetic and solution-dyed, it shares some of the same properties regarding ultraviolet light and fading (aka “colorfastness”), as well as a similar resistance to mold, mildew and other microbes. 

Q: Is Performance Fabric right for me?

Yes, we’re going to answer this question with some more questions! If you answer “yes” to any of the following, you will want to consider choosing performance fabric for your home.  

  1. Are you planning on choosing upholstery fabric that is light colored or white? Yes, performance fabric can still collect dust and needs to be vacuumed and maintained regularly, but the maintenance is so much easier than with other upholstery fabrics. And, when the inevitable spill or stain occurs, cleanup is a breeze. Most liquids roll right off and stains have a difficult time penetrating.  
  1. Where in your home are you planning to place your upholstered piece? For example, an upholstered headboard or frequently used dining chair should be treated differently than a decorative side chair in a low-traffic room. 
  1. Are you planning on selecting a luxury fabric like velvet? When you plan on enjoying a piece regularly, wear is natural. Wear tends to show a bit more readily when it comes to luxury fabrics like velvet, though. Choosing a performance velvet fabric will give you the confidence that your furniture will stay looking luxe for a long time.  
  1. Do you have children or pets? Sticky fingers, pet fur, muddy paws and shoes, spills, and drool (among other things) are just part of life when you have a family full of kids and fur babies. Choosing high quality performance fabric will make unfortunate incidents significantly less stressful and, ultimately, you can count on being able to get it back to looking new in no time at all. NOTE: Kitty lovers will get the best results from their Crypton-upholstered pieces when choosing a low-pile, tightly woven construction made of 100% polyester. 
  1. Do you spend a lot of time entertaining? If you’re anything like us, even the most careful and tidy dinner party involves at least a couple spills and drops. When you’re engaged in animated conversation, mishaps are just bound to happen! Imagine how nice it would be to spend no time at all leaving wildly interesting conversations to frantically fret over a little red wine spill? 
Photo courtesy of Anna Elisabeth Fabrics

Q: Why Does Performance Fabric cost more?

A: Simply put, innovation requires investment. The great thing about performance fabric is that you get such a massive return on your initial investment when you follow simple maintenance and care steps. Performance fabric that offers lifelong protection (like ours) ensures you won’t have to reupholster or replace it before you’re ready. Ever. Imagine all the money you will save, being able to stick with your investment for years. Imagine all the time you will save not having to strong-arm stains out of fabric late into the night after a long day. We think you will agree that the benefits are extremely valuable, both financially and personally! 

Crypton performance fabrics extend the life of your furniture. When you invest in quality upholstery like ours you are transforming your furniture into timeless, heirloom pieces. Choose Crypton to protect your investment. 

Q: What’s the best way to clean upholstered furniture?

A: Great question! Contrary to popular belief, performance fabric is a lot of amazing things, but it isn’t totally set-it-and-forget it. Like a fabric duvet cover, dust will naturally settle and needs to be vacuumed or cleaned to prevent your beautiful performance fabric from becoming dingey over time. That said, if you forget to occasionally vacuum and wipe clean, and notice your gleaming white sofa looking a little off after months or years, there are some simple and effective cleaning methods available to you. Read all about how to care for your Crypton performance fabric here.

Q: Is performance fabric safe for my home? 

A: Our scientists have been working on innovative technologies for years to ensure our products perform safely. We are very proud to share that all our fabrics are PFAS-free and produced using zero fluorine (that “forever chemical” you hear so much about). Many people think that “performance” is synonymous with “forever chemicals” but, thankfully, that’s just not the case anymore. You can rest easy knowing that Crypton performance fabrics offer the protection you desire while providing the safety you need.  

We are so confident about the safety of our fabrics that we put our technology to the test with several third party certification firms. Tap here to read more about our safety and sustainability certifications.

Floyd Home Upholstered Furniture – The Sink Down Sectional in Sand
Floyd Home Upholstered Furniture – The Gere Chair in Denim

Ultimately, only you can decide if performance fabrics are worth the investment. We truly believe, though, that if you’re investing in upholstered furniture that you plan to enjoy for the foreseeable future, choosing performance fabrics is the only way to lifeproof those pieces and ensure that they have heirloom potential. We have no doubt that when you choose a lifelong product like Crypton performance fabrics, you will see and feel the difference immediately. 

If you’re a “see-it-to-believe-it” kind of person, our at-home Crypton performance fabric spill test kit is for you! Tap here to request one.  

Learn more about the best performance fabric for upholstery at Crypton.com 

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