Which is the Better Option – Leather or Fabric?

That’s a trick question. The answer is neither! Until a few years ago, there were really just two options for sofa and sectional covers – fabric or leather.  Now, there is a third option that is revolutionizing the upholstered goods industry and it’s the perfect solution for your ocean front homes.  It’s called performance fabric.

Performance fabric, originally created for the military, quickly caught on with sports apparel industry.  These fabrics then became the material of choice for awnings, outdoor furniture and boating.  Now, these covers are being used in the furniture industry to give longer life to upholstered goods.  In the past, a sofa may have had an average life span of 5 to 8 years.  With performance fabrics, the forecast is for 20 years or more.  Basically, you will get tired of your sofa before your sofa tires of you!

This new fabric option provides extra protection and comfort under extreme conditions.  Sometimes referred to as smart textiles, these fabrics resist fading, repel liquids, prevent stains from dirt and oils, and are also fire retardant.  Even bacteria, fungi and mold will not grow on this textile.  Although you would think they might feel hard or plastic, they feel soft and comfortable.  Before weaving in to a fabric, each individual thread is coated.  Once woven, the entire fabric is coated again.  The best part is that these easy-care performance fabric covers are available in hundreds of great designs and styles.

To test out whether performance fabrics could really cut the muster, we did our own inhouse test right here in Vallarta.  We poured red wine on a white performance fabric and left it overnight.  (We also spilled a few tears when we used up the red wine!)   With high hopes, we checked the fabric in the morning and true to its hype, the red wine came right off with just one swipe of a cloth.  No stain!   (For those interested in seeing this experiment with your own eyes, bring over two bottles of wine and we’ll show you – one for the experiment and one to drink while we wait!)

In the past few years, due to the demand for this type of textile, the price per square meter has dropped significantly.  There are a few upholstery retailers in Vallarta and Nayarit currently offering performance fabrics.  For ocean-side homes in humid environments, there is simply no better choice than a stain resistant, stylish and affordable sofa in performance fabric.


Sheryl Novak
Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over ten years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico – the online furniture store for your home in Mexico and The Furniture Store by SOLutions Mexico, a brick and mortar show store in Bucerias. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico.