Survive Stains in Style

Survive Stains in Style

What is the worst thing that spills and stains in your house? Mine is ketchup. Okay, maybe red wine, but I’d rather pick one we can blame on the kids.

As an interior designer, of course it’s important to me that the homes I design look beautiful. But, I know my clients also need to be able to live—and spill—in their homes. That’s why I am always seeking out the new fabrics that are stylish, but also resistant to staining.

ASTM label

We often see something like this on upholstery labels. The ASTM standards (American Society for Testing and Materials) are great but how do I know the fabric can handle a family?

I often choose contract-grade fabrics for areas of the home that get heavy use and spillage. These fabrics are designed for hospitality, healthcare and other industries where the fabric needs to last. Sure, you have to sift through to find patterns that look right in a regular home, but that’s what I’m here for!

Every year or so I come across new contract-grade fabrics that are suitable for residential use.  But can Nanotex, Crypton, etc., hold up in the homes of my clients? I had to find a way to know  could confidently recommend the right fabrics.

Kathy' Corbet's ketchup test

My solution is the KCI “not so standardized but very realistic” ketchup test.  It is conducted on my pantry counter.  A squirt of ketchup gets pressed into the fabric with my thumb.  I leave it there for 15 minutes before attempting to clean it up because that is what the kids do. Then I take it to the sink to wash off. No presence of ketchup after drying means it passes the test.

Kathy Corbet's stain resistant fabric Stylish fabric that won't stain Kathy Corbet's New Stain Resistant Fabric

All of these fabrics passed the test this month and now they are part of my library.

Check out these residential projects featuring contract-grade fabrics that passed my test with flying colors:

Cozy banquette designed by Kathy Corbet

Fabric that won’t stain is particularly important anywhere you are eating. Here the right shade complements the decor and holds up to family use.

family room designed by Kathy Corbet

This family room may look almost to pretty to kick back and relax in, but the right fabric means it’s both elegant and easy for everyday use.

This love seat holds up to coffee, snack time or even a malbec mishap.



Realize possibilities you never imagined and gain results beyond your expectations. We can help you fall in love with your home all over again.