How To Kid-Proof Your Home: The Importance Of Performance Fabrics

When it comes to selecting furniture for your home, there are various factors to consider: style, comfort, durability, and maintenance. The most important factor in achieving the look, feel, and upkeep is the type of upholstery fabric you select for your furniture pieces….it’s very important to kid-proof your home…even if you do not have kids!  This is just for the peace of mind to enjoy your home instead of living in a museum!

royal blue chairs designed by BGI Designs

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What is performance fabric?

Performance fabric is a type of textile (or any fabric with the performance finish applied) that has been engineered and treated to have enhanced qualities like durability and stain resistance. This makes them great choices for high traffic areas or households with children and pets; in other words “kid-proof” your home. This type of fabric is specifically designed to endure the demands of everyday life and maintain its aesthetics over time. Performance fabrics are commonly used for upholstery like sectionals and chairs, but are also seen in draperies and accent pillows.

Synthetic Fibers & their performance qualities:


A widely used synthetic fiber in performance fabrics. 

Known for its strength, resilience, and resistance to wrinkles and shrinking. 

Can be treated to provide stain resistance and moisture repellency, making them easy to clean and maintain.

Have good color retention, making them less prone to fading.


Strong and durable synthetic fiber that is also often used in performance fabrics. 

Excellent abrasion resistance, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas. 

Known for their softness, smooth texture, and ability to hold color well, making them fade-resistant. 

Can offer water and stain resistance, making them suitable for upholstery and outdoor use.


Olefin, or polypropylene, is a synthetic fiber that is naturally moisture-resistant 

Used in outdoor performance fabrics. 

Resistant to fading, staining, and mildew, making them suitable for outdoor furniture and cushions. 

Have a smooth texture and are often used in outdoor rugs, umbrellas, and patio furniture. 


Synthetic fiber commonly used in performance fabrics like Sunbrella. 

Known for its softness and resistance to UV rays and water. 

Acrylic fabrics are used for outdoor cushions, awnings, and umbrellas due to their fade resistance and durability. 


Many performance fabrics are made from blends of different synthetic fibers to achieve a balance of various qualities. 

A blend of nylon and polyester could offer the durability of nylon with the wrinkle resistance of polyester.

Blends can be engineered to provide specific performance features, such as stain resistance, moisture wicking, or enhanced comfort 

Any fabric with a performance coating is also considered performance fabric. This is why choosing a specific type of performance fabric can impact its performance characteristics. Different fabrics excel in different areas!  

Companies like FiberSeal are able to treat fabric that is not inherently performance and provide you will tools to maintain the protective coat. Their eco-responsible proprietary protection products reduce the absorbency of fibers. Spills are blotted away! They are a go-to for when you want to kid-proof your home.

beautiful dining room designed by BGI Designs

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Performance brands to know:


Crypton Home Fabric’s performance technology is resistant to stains, odor, and moisture, making it easy to clean up spills. 

GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it has low chemical emissions for healthier indoor air quality. 

Are also free from potentially harmful levels of PFOS, PFOA, formaldehyde, heavy metals, phenols, phthalates, and odor and skin sensitizers.

If you’re looking to furnish an outdoor space, Crypton Outdoor has all of the stain-resistant features of Crypton Home in addition to enhanced anti-microbial protection and fibers that are UV-resistant for up to 1,000 hours.


InsideOut Performance Fabrics® are resistant to stains, mildew, and fading from sunlight. 

To clean everyday stains, you just need a mixture of soap and water, but something a little tougher requires bleach and water. 

They also hold up against disinfectant spray if you want protection against germs.


Sunbrella®  fabrics are adapted for interior and exterior upholstery. 

They’re resistant to stains, mold and mildew, chemicals, and UV light. 

They can be power-washed, bleached, and sanitized, as well as they’re available in a range of styles that are both comfortable and beautiful. 

Sunbrella®  fabrics are used to make window treatments, cushion and pillow covers, awnings, and, of course, fully upholstered furniture. 

Performance fabric durability and maintenance: kid-proof your home

Woven using advanced techniques that result in tightly knit fibers to enhance the fabric’s strength and resistance to abrasion.

Made using high-quality synthetic fibers and blends that are selected for their strength and resilience.

Treated in ways that make them hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. The tightly knit woven fabrics makes it more difficult for allergens to become trapped within the fabric, making them an optimal choice for individuals with allergies or sensitivities.

The performance finish is applied to the fabric at high heat to create a protective barrier. This repells liquids and prevents them from being absorbed into the fabric fibers.

This helps to minimize the risk of stains caused by spills and makes it easier to clean up accidents without leaving lasting marks.

When a spill happens, the liquid beads up on the surface rather than being absorbed. Subsequently, this gives you time to wipe away the spill before it can seep into the fabric and cause a stain.

Stains can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution. 

Harsh chemicals, specialized cleaning products, and professional cleaning are often not necessary. 

modern farmhouse bedroom with navy accents and rounded nightstand

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Is it worth it?…to kid-proof your home…

When selecting fabrics for your home, you would want a long-lasting fabric that’s resistant to stains, fading, mold, and mildew, right? Not only does a performance fabric last (Crypton’s fibers resist fading for at least 1,000 hours, for example), but it’ll continue looking just as good over time as it did the day you bought it due to its clean-ability and minimal upkeep.

If you have kids and/or pets, you’ll value the ability to clean your upholstery thoroughly and easily. To “kid-proof” your home, you must think this through. Also, if you live in regions that get a lot of sun or rain and you enjoy spending time outside, it would make sense to get a performance fabric for your outdoor furniture and indoor furniture placed by windows. Therefore, you will want UV resistant fabric for furniture near natural sunlight a good part of the day so that it doesn’t fade.

If these options seem to overwhelming and you would like a professional that knows the ins and outs to guide you and recommend the appropriate fabrics for your home, the BGI team is here to help! We take the stress out of the choices!

To see more design inspiration & refreshing trends, visit our Instagram at @bgidesigner , our Facebook page here or Pinterest at @BGIDesigner13. We would look forward to you stopping by to say hi in the comments on our social platforms! Let us know how this article helped you revitalize your home.

I’ll look for you there,