Tips & How-to's7 min read

Performance Fabric: What It Is And Why You Need It

Performance Fabric: What It Is And Why You Need It

What’s the point of having beautiful furniture that you’re afraid to use? Sometimes when we create gorgeous spaces around our homes, we tend to focus more on beauty than functionality. Luckily, with performance fabric, you can have both!

This unique material has evolved dramatically over the past few years, and it helps homeowners keep their furniture looking cleaner and newer for longer.

If you’re looking to enjoy every space around your house without worrying about spills, stains, and wear and tear, then this guide is for you!

What Is Performance Fabric

Cream color performance fabric on outdoor furniture

In a nutshell, performance fabric is any fabric created to withstand wear and tear, while also being simple to clean.

Outdoor cushion and fabric manufacturers were the first to add performance fabric to their furniture pieces. Why?

Because adding material with these qualities to outdoor furniture makes sense, especially because of all the harsh weather conditions outside furniture can get exposed to.

But indoor furniture can also experience wear and tear. So, over the years, performance fabrics were also added to indoor upholstery.

If you have kids, pets, or a large family, then you know how challenging it can be to keep certain furniture around the house clean and in good condition. To help make this possible, you need furniture that’s both durable and stain-resistant.

Performance fabric offers you exactly that! It’s ideal for living spaces around your home—both inside and outside—that usually get a lot of traffic because the material is durable and easy to clean.

Is Performance Fabric Safe?

Family hanging out on coaching that have performance fabric

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to do is buy furniture that can be harmful to you and your loved ones.

After looking at some of the qualities of performance fabric, you probably have one important question — is it safe?

Creating safe, environmentally friendly, sustainable, and functional furniture is important to the Outer family. That’s why we decided to make our own materials to ensure we maintain quality and adequate safety measures.

The Outer Sofa, for example, is 100% recyclable. With this outdoor sofa, you’ll enjoy the pleasure of knowing all materials used on the fabric are safe for you, your family, and the environment.

In addition, we opted for solution dying, rather than piece dying. Piece dying involves a lot of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, and the process can end up contaminating rivers.

Solution dying, on the other hand, is more eco-friendly because it requires much less dye. As an added bonus, the color lasts longer.

Now that you understand how we make our performance fabric, let’s get to the top three benefits of this incredible material.

Top Benefits Of Performance Fabric

1) High Resistance To Color Fading

One of the most unpleasant parts about owning furniture is watching your favorite item start to lose its color.

When this happens, you may try to buy a treatment solution that promises to restore the color of the material back to its glory days. But these solutions seldom deliver on their promises.

At Outer, we used the lightfastness test to ensure our fabric would look bright and new for years to come.

In a nutshell, this tests how resistant the fabric is to sunlight. Our performance fabric meets the highest standards, meaning that you don’t have to worry about dull and faded cushions anymore!

2) Cleaner And Newer Look

Depending on the quality of the material, most new furniture has a lifespan of around five to nine years. During this time, if you often host parties, dinners, or just have a large family, your furniture can be exposed to lots of wear and tear!

If this sounds anything like you and your home, then you definitely need furniture with performance fabric.

In addition to the material retaining its color for longer, it’s also much easier to clean (more on this below!), and you don’t have to worry about stains that may reduce the aesthetic appeal of your favorite pieces.

3) Durability

We’ve already mentioned how our material is UV resistant. But rain, wind, and other weather conditions can also affect your fabric. Also, do you have pets? They can affect the appearance of your furniture, too.

You don’t have to worry about these factors with Outer’s performance fabric. From the material to the unique weaving patterns and UV-resistance, our fabric is built to endure tough conditions and last.

In addition to the above-mentioned qualities, here at Outer, we went ahead and added more features to our performance fabrics — sustainability, comfort, and impeccable beauty.

How? It’s all in the details, of course.

How Outer’s Performance Fabric Is Unique

Outer’s Performance Fabric outdoor furniture

1) Irregular Weave Pattern

Most modern weaving machines produce a standard weaving pattern. And that’s OK, if that’s what you’re looking for.

But, for those who love uniqueness and personality in their furniture, you’ll appreciate the fact that we decided to take a less mechanical approach, one that blends both technology and hand-done craftsmanship.

To achieve this, we use a more irregular weave pattern and infuse it with the “ply” (twisting of) and “slub” (little lumps that get developed in the spinning process) of the thread. This helps to ensure that our couches stand out from the rest.

2) Comfort Is Key

A lot goes into creating performance fabric. For most manufacturers, this involves applying many coatings and blending synthetic materials. Unfortunately, this process also leads to the fabric feeling stiff and uncomfortable.

At Outer, we were able to make our fabrics feel as soft as cotton by using the material technology method mentioned above.

In addition, the fabrics also have low thermal conductivity, which means they feel warm and are great for those cold winter nights by the fire!

3) We Don’t Use Acrylic

Acrylic is one of the most popular materials used in performance fabrics.

While it does have many great qualities (it’s resilient and resistant to water, mildew, and different chemicals), unfortunately, acrylic falls into recycle code #7 on the International Standards list, which is misleading because it’s not actually recyclable.

With sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind, we use Olefin. This is one of the most commonly recycled durable threads (recycle code #5).

Olefin is also special because it doesn’t need to be treated due to its natural high-performance qualities. The fabric is also easy to clean and is resistant to water, chemicals, and mildew.

Cleaning Performance Fabric

We know how important it is to keep your furniture looking its best, which is why our sofas are incredibly water repellent and stain-resistant. No amount of wine, coffee, tea, or other liquid can destroy this fabric.

How did we manage this?

Eco-friendly nano coating is the special coating we use to make our fabric stain-resistant.

For water-repellent materials, most manufacturers opt for a coating called C8 carbon chain. Unfortunately, this chemical doesn’t degrade easily and is flagged as a chemical concern.

Staying true to our focus on eco-friendly solutions, we use the water-repellent coating commonly used in outdoor performance apparel because it performs without having any hazardous effects on the environment.

But how exactly do you clean our performance fabric?

The best way to get an idea is to watch this video. In just a few minutes, your couch and cushions will be as good as new!

The Best Furniture Pieces For Performance Fabric

Before buying furniture with performance fabric, it’s important to first understand where you need it. As we mentioned earlier, these will be areas both inside and outside your home that get used daily and are more vulnerable to wear and tear.

Patio Or Outdoor Seating

Roof top furniture that has performance fabric

Outside furniture naturally receives more sunlight and exposure to all sorts of weather conditions. Outdoors is also where you’re more likely to host family and friends when the weather’s nice.

Of course, this will probably result in food or drink spillage. So it makes sense to buy furniture pieces with performance fabric for this area, like The Outer Sofa.

Besides the incredible comfort you get from the multi-layer memory foam cushion, it also has those stain and fade-resistant qualities we’ve been talking about, so the harsh sunlight won’t damage its color.

This sofa is also made from eco-friendly materials, meaning it’s safe for the environment and your family!

Living Room And Dining Room Seating

In most homes, both the living and dining room areas get used quite a bit! This could be from family dinners, early morning breakfasts, or relaxing to watch some TV at the end of the day.

This is also the time when accidents happen (e.g. food or drinks spillage). And for that, it’s great to get performance fabric upholstery on your most loved pieces of furniture.

In addition to the above commonly used areas around your home, you can also use performance fabrics on other furniture pieces that are vulnerable to spills and often get used by your kids or pets.

This includes barstools, club chairs, desk chairs in your home office, and ottomans.

Performance Fabric For The Win

Performance Fabric on patio furniture

If you’re looking for furniture that will last, performance fabric is the way to go. And you can find it in Outer’s outdoor furniture.

From our outdoor armchairs to our 6-Piece Outdoor Sofa, you’ll experience the luxuriously comfy and durable benefits of performance fabric when you choose Outer.

Worrying about wear and tear—or even stains—is now a thing of the past!