When designing a home, an office, a commercial venue or any other space, one of the biggest challenges is striking a balance between aesthetics and function. A lot of people focus too much on looks to the detriment of purpose. Others fall into the other extreme, placing utility above all else and completely ignoring the need to create visual appeal.
None of these approaches is ideal, given that in interior design, functionality and aesthetics should go hand in hand. If you place too much importance on the first, the result will be a very comfortable and highly functional space void of any beauty, personality or style. If you take the other route, you’ll end up with an incredibly charming interior that lacks practicality and convenience.
Luckily for you, there’s no need to cut corners and favour one over the other because you can have the best of both worlds. It’s all about choosing the right elements that can help you design the space you envision with as little effort as possible. If you know which materials and pieces to pick, you’ll be able to easily create Instagram-worthy interiors without compromising on functionality or the comfort factor.
And one of the elements that you should absolutely include in your interior design, if you want to achieve a high level of comfort and visual appeal, is represented by performance fabrics. If you’re not yet familiarised with the concept, it’s time to find out what performance fabrics are and how they can boost your interior design game.
What are performance fabrics?
Performance fabrics have revolutionised the interior design world in recent years due to their unique features and benefits. If you’ve been furniture shopping lately, you’ve surely come across them. And yet, when most people hear the term, they tend to think about materials that are used in sports attire or, at best, materials that are specifically designed for outdoor use, although their use cases go well beyond that.
Performance fabrics are indeed a distinct category of materials that have only recently entered the mainstream, hence the limited knowledge people have of them. These fabrics are made of a mix of synthetic and natural fibres and have the capacity to withstand intense wear and tear and hold up well in all sorts of conditions and environments. They are stain and water-resistant, extremely durable and very easy to clean and maintain, being utilized mostly in the furniture industry, although they’re also commonly used in athleisure clothing.
The composition of performance fabrics usually includes synthetic threads such as olefin, acrylic, nylon, polyester or spandex combined with natural fibres like cotton and wool. The percentages differ from one manufacturer to another, but all these materials offer a certain level of protection against stains, moisture, mould, and microbes.
The benefits of including performance fabrics in your interior design
The advantages of performance fabrics are multifold, as it is obvious from their description, so they can be a real game changer in home décor. Although they were initially designed for outdoor settings, thanks to advances in textile technology, their range of applications expanded considerably, and now they’re widely used in interior design in upholstery, window coverings, or rugs.
In fact, the demand for performance textiles has increased so much lately that many providers are now also offering treatments that can turn any type of material into a piece of performance fabric. However, fabrics that have been specifically engineered with performance in mind remain the most sought-after materials, given the numerous advantages they provide.
Stain and water resistance
One of the best things about using performance fabrics in your home is their ability to keep stains at bay. No matter how careful you are, it’s simply not possible to avoid all spills and stains, especially if you have kids. This is why many people choose their furniture pieces based on their ability to withstand these mishaps. That usually meant picking a darker colour fabric or one that can be cleaned easily, even though it might not look that great.
Fortunately, now you have performance fabrics to help you get rid of pesky stains without sacrificing style or beauty. Given that performance fabrics act as a protective barrier against moisture and liquids, you’ll never have to worry about spills again. Their impermeability ensures liquids and dirt won’t penetrate the fabric, so you can simply wipe away the spillage and grime with a cloth.
Some performance fabrics also provide protection against the spread of microbes and bacteria, which is an important aspect to keep in mind if you have small children or pets running around the house. These materials have been treated with special substances in the manufacturing process in order to limit the spread of microbes and mould on their surface.
Another major selling point for performance fabrics is their durability. Looking for a material that can stand the test of time even in intense use conditions? Parents and pet owners know exactly what we’re talking about. Then performance textiles are your safest bet. They’re a lot sturdier than normal materials due to the strong fibres they’re made of, their robust structure and UV resistance. This means they can endure a lot and still look great even after years of usage, so you can enjoy them for longer and save a lot of money since you won’t have to replace your furniture as often.
Keeping your furniture pieces or other décor elements in optimum conditions often implies extensive maintenance, but that’s not the case if you opt for performance fabrics. These materials only require minimum care – rinsing them with a bit of cold water from time to time will do the trick.
Wide variety of options
The range of performance fabrics used to be quite limited when they first appeared on the market. But with time, the options kept increasing, as did the quality of these materials. Now you can find performance fabrics in an extensive array of colours, textures and finishes, so you can choose the ones that best suit your style and design vision and check the boxes for both functionality and aesthetics.
If you’re thinking about revamping your interior or changing your furniture, we strongly recommend you look into performance materials and their benefits. We promise you won’t regret it.