"Performance Fabrics" are the current rage right now, every manufacturer is rushing to add them to their lines, so I thought a thread about them would be good to have in order to explain what they are as well as what they are not.

The term "Performance" means they are easy to clean. It does not mean it's more durable, and almost every customer I speak with is under the assumption they are more durable. Ease of cleaning does not mean it lasts longer. They are all 100% Polyester fabrics, regardless of the brand, just like microfibers.

Sunbrella and Crypton Home are the two major brands of Performance fabrics, and they differ in how they apply their coatings. Sunbrella is processed into the yarn itself, and once woven, no topcoat is applied to it. Crypton by contrast, is an applied finish after the fabric is made up and then its baked on after being vat-dipped in the chemicals. It will not come off, like the Scotchguard of twenty years ago did. They are both soap and water cleanable, and rub values typically are 25,000 to 40,000, and varies from fabric to fabric. Crypton Home is different from Crypton Commercial, the later has much higher rub values but can feel stiff, heavily top-coated and is for high use environments. Both Sunbrella and Crypton can be bleach-cleanable. All Polyesters will pill over time, as will Linens and Rayons. That comes when the rub value limit is reached.

You can read more on Performance Fabrics on the maker's web sites: