Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

 

Name
Name

51 Main St
Southampton, NY, 11968
United States

6312832300

America’s Original Source For Home Goods Bringing Our Best To You Since 1842!

Established in 1842 Hildreth’s is America’s first and the Hamptons largest in interior and exterior home furnishings and accessories.
Including the largest selection of indoor furniture Hildreth’s carries luxurious bedding, top of the line bath towels, spa essentials, housewares, candles and hostess gifts, table linens, baby cribs, children’s clothing, gifts and toys, area rugs, lamps & lamp shades and even sewing supplies.
With over 80,000 square feet in 3 convenient locations including East Hampton and Southampton Hildreth’s celebrates its 13th generation on the East End of Long Island and being in business since 1842.
Hildreth’s experienced sales staff, designers and decorators offer the best in customer service, the finest in quality products, all for an outstanding value…

Hildreth’s bringing our best to you since 1842.

Our Blog

Established in 1842 Hildreth's Home Goods is America's oldest and the Hampton's Largest in interior and exterior home furnishings and accessories. You will find everything for any room in and around your house. In our Blog you can read about Home Decor & Design tips, and so much more. add your comments we would love to hear from you!

Performance fabrics gaining traction

Hildreth's

performance-fabrics-hero.jpg

Performance fabrics provide a way for manufacturers and retailers to differentiate themselves in a crowded market and offer consumers a genuine added value — extra durability, resistance to soil and stains, and easy cleanability being the main characteristics that define performance fabrics for interiors.

"It's a long educational process, of course," said industry veteran Ralph Allen, a partner in sales and marketing firm HomCraft, which represents performance products Sunbrella and Ultrafabrics. "And especially in the residential segment, the performance isn't enough if it doesn't have the color, pattern and soft hand that consumers want."

No problem. That's because suppliers have invested in both technology and design to overcome the stiffness and boring styling that characterized performance fabrics of the past, when they were meant just for outdoor use. They've done such a good job, in fact, that it's virtually impossible to distinguish most performance fabrics, trims and vinyls from their "regular" counterparts.

Now there are chenilles, velvets and boucle constructions as well as plains and flatwoven jacquards. They cost more, naturally, but they also will stay cleaner and fresher, and last longer, than their counterparts.

The challenge is to educate manufacturers and retailers, and ultimately consumers, about how the use of performance fabrics for interior furnishings can improve the quality of their lives — for about $100 more for the average sofa.

One of the best responses to that challenge comes from Wearbest Sil-Tex, which launched its Bella-Dura product a couple of years ago. The company knew it had a product that was stylish, soft and high-performance, but decided to take its show "on the road," creating a hands-on demonstration for its customers to ensure they understood the product and how it worked.

As President and CEO Irwin Gasner said, "As we evolve Bella-Dura with brand extensions, warranty improvements and recycling information, it's vital that all our Bella-Dura partners are kept updated, and continuing education is the only way to do that."

At retail, the key to selling upholstery with performance fabric is presentation, according to Jack Arthur, vice president of merchandising at Norwalk Furniture.

"It all depends on retail presentation," he said, "carefully qualifying the consumer as both needing and wanting a performance fabric and then being able to sell the extra benefits ... to create value at the higher price.

"We work very hard, along with Glen Raven (producer of Sunbrella) to have point-of-sale materials at hand, and to be sure that retail salespeople are trained to make a proper presentation," Arthur said, noting that it's an ongoing challenge because of typically high rates of retail turnover.

Evolving properties

The definition of performance itself is fluid. Whether a fabric is a performance fabric depends on whether it achieves what the user wants, and that can range from easy cleanability to flame-retardancy to antimicrobial properties or embedded scents and moisturizers.

The properties of performance fabric in the apparel industry sound like science fiction, and some of those properties are migrating into fabrics suitable for furniture. For example, fabric and drapery source ADO has combined two of its fabric treatments, ActiBreeze and BioProtect, into its SmartFabrics line, which actually eliminate odors and reduce bacteria in the atmosphere.

"Our customers find it hard to believe until they actually test the product to see if it works," said Walter Herr, executive vice president. "We've had ADO customers test the fabrics with odiferous substances ranging from gasoline to cut onions, and they are always amazed at the results of these fabrics because they truly eliminate the odor."

Although the category has these exotic possibilities, overall the performance story has a firm tradition in residential upholstery. Offerings include the super-durable and cleanable nylon flock velvets, which have become the darling of even some high-end manufacturers for their improved styling, and the microdenier suedes and velvets that have been so important to the industry for the past few years, which also have been heavily marketed at retail as durable and cleanable.

Performance fabrics are important at Rowe Furniture, which offers a collection called WearSmart.

"Rowe's WearSmart handle includes 26 fabrics derived from a combination of technologies," said Stefanie Lucas, president and CEO. "We developed WearSmart to offer a broader range of applications and looks while still providing the stain and wear resistance."

Sunbury Textile Mills offers both Crypton and Sunbrella fabrics, particularly for the upper end.

"We design all our Crypton and Sunbrella fabrics with aesthetics foremost in mind," said Elizabeth Henschel, vice president of design, contract fabrics, at Sunbury. "New Sunbrella boucle yarns add textural interest to bold designs and continue to set the standard for performance and elegance.

"The fiber in our 100% post-consumer polyester Crypton Green fabrics are made entirely from soda bottles, for performance fabrics our customers can feel good about buying," Henschel said.