Home » Blog » Which is More Important for a Recliner, Performance or Cleanability?

Which is More Important for a Recliner, Performance or Cleanability?

By Jeff Frank


 I am buying a Motioncraft reclining chair. I am choosing between twoSherrill fabrics. #1 is “yellow tag” meaning performance fabric, but has an S (not SW) for cleaning. It is 60% cotton, 23% Rayon, 17% polyester. Grade 25. 

#2 fabric is a “white tag” not performance, but has an SW and is 97% polypropylen, 3% polyester, SW Grade 11. 

#3 (The sofa I am buying with it is Yellow tag/performance, cleaning W, 96% polyester, 2% cotton, 2% nylon Grade 9). I read your cleaning guides about S, W, SW and have heard Grade is more about the expense of the design than about durability (Correct?) 

My question is: which is more important on the recliner – performance or cleanability? Does the performance rating have to do with the rub test for wear and tear, or the cleaning test? Also, which fabric sounds better to you, #1 or #2? Thanks for your help!

Oct. 15, 2020


1) In general cotton and rayon are not fibers that are easily cleanable. I have tried “high performance” cottons in the past and found that they were far less stain resistant than high performance polyesters and polypropylenes (olefins.)

Considering the cost, this is probably a densely woven material and the durability (abrasion testing) should rate at 50,000 double rubs (or higher.) This is probably the most comfortable of the three fabrics.

2) #2 should be extremely stain-resistant. 100% polypropylene performance fabrics are often bleach cleanable. I am not sure whether adding 3% polyester changes that.

Depending on the weight of the material, polypropylene (olefins) can be very durable, although not generally as durable as polyesters with the same weight. This is a case where you need to look at the abrasion test ratings.

  • Thin polypropylenes can have low abrasion test ratings. For a recliner, you want to have a rating of at least 30,000 double rubs (on the Wyzenbeek scale.) 50,000 or above would be even better.
  • Please note – some mills use other test scales where 15,000 double rubs is equivalent to the 30,000 on the Wyzenbeek scale. (I would be surprised if MotionCraft or Sherrill is offering a cheap, non-durable polypropylene fabric.)
  • Although you can find some fabrics with Abrasion test scores of 100,000 double rubs or above, not all mills test above 50,000. Crypton is one of those.

3) Polyesters are generally very durable, highly stain resistant and inexpensive. The small amount of cotton adds softness. The small amount of nylon adds increased durability. If it is also a high performance fabric, there should be some added stain and moisture resistance technology.


I could give more specific advice if I knew which high performance brands these fabrics are (Crypton, Revolution, Sunbrella, LiveSmart, Iclean, etc.) Usually furniture companies identify their high performance fabrics by brand.


I am particularly intrigued by what brand performance fabric #1 is. I thought Crypton stopped making high performance fabrics that were mostly cotton and do not know anyone else that is currently offering them.

Know someone who might be interested in this post? Please like and share this post with them. If you have questions or comments please leave them below.

Leave a Comment