Inside Out & Outside In! 3 Performance Fabric Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss!

Nov 19, 2019

Fade-resistant and durable, but also incredibly gorgeous, outdoor fabrics are becoming the go-to choice for our firm and top designers across the country! I know what you’re saying, “Summer’s over. Why are we discussing outdoor fabrics?” The truth is, outdoor fabrics, or more rightly, performance fabrics, are taking the inside world by storm! Last month at High Point Market, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel with an incredibly talented group of designers and manufacturers. Hosted by one of our favorite industry magazines, Furniture, Lighting, & Décor, editor in chief Diane Falvey moderated the panel. With my dear friend and ASID NY Metro President Kim Radovich and two of the industry’s best manufacturing talents from Inside Out/Valdese Weavers and Revolution Fabrics Anderson Gibbons and Patrick Shelton. .


Editor Dian Falvey leads a spirited discussion on performance fabrics.


Editor Dian Falvey leads a spirited discussion on performance fabrics.

3 Takeaways you don’t want to miss!

  1. Know your UV Rating! Performance fabric has small differences that make them unique. Outdoor upholstery fabric needs extra protection because the fiber is exposed to weathering more than the fabrics inside of your living room. Outdoor fabrics are usually made of synthetic fibers. The outdoor fibers usually used to make outdoor fabrics are: Acrylic, Polypropylene, and Polyester. Ditch the Polyester for true outdoor living and go with Acrylic and Polypropylene. Both will perform the best depending on the UV stabilizers used in the fabric. Outdoor yarns have a higher UV rating because if the added UV stabilizers. This enables the yarn to be in direct sunlight longer and will slow down the fading process. All outdoor fabrics will eventually fade, but make sure you give every one of those gorgeous pieces a fighting chance!

  2.  Stain? What Stain? When living with the kids, the pets, and the rowdy wine club, denial is not the answer! Performance fabrics usually have a chemical protectant that helps repel water and stains. This stain treatment comes in handy when the fabrics are used in the living-room, bedroom, family room, dining room… well just about everywhere we live nowadays. Our active lifestyles demand performance AND protection. Because the fibers for performance fabrics are “solution dyed” (the color goes all the way through), we can spot clean, bleach clean, or even hose it down!

  3. Choices, Choices, Choices! According to our friends in the industry, the proliferation of performance fabrics has given them so many options they never had before. From fade resistant linens for drapery to soft and plush velvets for your dreamiest sectional our choices have never been more exciting. We happen to love industry favorite Perennials by the team at Sutherland as well as The Great Outdoors by our friends at Holly Hunt.

    “Outdoor fabric is trending due to the fabric’s performance characteristics”, says Ann Sutherland of Perennials, “It shouldn’t fade or stain and it’s now available in soft textures and beautiful patterns, making it a viable option not only for outdoor environments but for indoor applications as well” Believe me, If our clients didn’t love the final outcome, we would have move on years ago. For us, the performance fabric trend is here to stay!!