They resist stains and look great doing it: Meet our high-performance fabrics!

Do you find that the most memorable stains seem to happen in slow motion? The wine glass tips over, the cup of coffee wobbles, the kiddo squeezes the grape juice box and a purple fountain shoots upward. Slowly, torturously—because you’re too far away or too slow—the liquid falls through the air and lands before you can stop it. It leaves a permanent stain on your furniture and a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

And how about the stains you find after it’s too late? Like when your beloved pet stains the sofa during the night and leaves it for you to find in the morning. You try to laugh it off and tell yourself that “life happens”—except in this case, life just happened to soil your major furniture investment.

Never fear; high-performance fabrics are here! Ethan Allen introduced four lines of them in Fall 2017: a linen blend, a textured chenille, a herringbone, and even a plush velvet (yes, you read that right: velvet). In Fall 2018, we’ll be introducing even more high-performance upholstery fabric options, so you can dress your furniture in style and protect it, even in your household’s heavy-use areas.

What Is a High-Performance Fabric?

High-performance fabrics give you an extra line of defense against all kinds of stains: liquid spills, oil-based blotches, and even streaks left by crayons and markers. Red wine and soda can’t sink into a fabric designed to cause liquid to bead on contact with the surface. Muddy paws are no match for a fabric that can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

It may sound like magic, but it’s actually science: a stain- and liquid-repellent material covers the surface of each fiber to prevent stains from taking hold. And when you choose high-performance fabric, you don’t have to send style to the cleaners; these fabrics feel and look beautiful in all kinds of spaces.

What Happens when Life Happens?

When paw prints, coffee spills, crayon marks, and salad dressing dribbles come into contact with a high-performance fabric, they’re easy to clean. Mix enzyme-based detergent, like Tide laundry detergent or Dawn dish detergent, and warm water. We recommend a solution that’s about 1% to 2% detergent, or about one tablespoon of detergent mixed with a quart of water, which you can easily store in a spray bottle.

Once the slow-motion spill lands—or when you find the surprise stain—spray it lightly with solution. There’s no need to soak the fabric. Blot it—don’t rub—with a paper towel. This simple process cleans up fresh marks and removes most stains.

How About when Life REALLY Happens?

These fabrics are fantastic, but they’re not bulletproof. Some stains are more challenging than others. For tougher stains, like oil-based stains, let the detergent do the work. Spray, let soak, and blot, repeating the steps until the stain has dissipated.

Some substances are really tough to remove from a fabric. The worst culprits are lipstick, nail polish, and every parent’s worst nightmare: permanent marker. Ethan Allen offers Guardsman Gold Complete furniture protection plans for those times when even high-performance isn’t enough. These plans also protect your investment when fabric rips, tears, or gets punctured or burned—in other words, when life gets overwhelming.

Life-Proofing Your Space

In today’s world, formal living rooms are largely a thing of the past. We want our kids and our pets with us, and we want them to be free to climb, play, and explore without worrying that their messes can’t be undone. Ethan Allen furniture and accessories aren’t just for looking at; they’re for living with. For even more options that can help you kid-proof, pet-proof, and life-proof your space, check out our post on high-performance pet-friendly rugs.

To get even more great tips on designing great spaces that are easy to live in, subscribe to The Art of Making Home.

CATEGORY: Behind The Design

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