Outdoor living has become almost as important as indoor living to many homeowners. More focus has been put on finding quality products to furnish outside spaces since they are now considered an extension of the interior of the home. A wide array of furniture choices is available, which means there is a wide array of fabrics to choose from as well. Here we’ll take a look at some common characteristics of outdoor fabric and what kind of materials are available.
Common Characteristics of Outdoor Fabrics
- Water resistant, not waterproof (however, there are waterproofing sprays you can use)
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Stain resistant
- Weather resistant
- Fade resistant
- UV blockers
In most cases, these characteristics can be found on the product’s label.
Now, let’s talk about what the fabric options are. We’ll break them down into 3 categories: best, better and good.
- Solution-Dyed Acrylic for upholstery, cushions and pillows
- Marine-Grade Vinyl/Nautolex for boat upholstery, patio furniture, car interiors, RV interiors, offices, home decor and automotive upholstery
Why they’re awesome:
Solution-dyed acrylic remains colorfast after sun exposure, as well as wear and tear because the coloring takes place before the yarn is ever created. Liquid acrylic solution and color are mixed together, formed into a fiber, and then spun into yarn, which contributes to its incredible fade resistance. It’s also soft, comfortable and breathable.
Marine-grade vinyl has special pigments that provide long-lasting performance when exposed to the sun and other harsh elements. It’s easy to maintain with a simple cleaning of soap and water.
- Vinyl-Coated Synthetic Fiber Mesh
Why they’re great:
Vinyl-coated synthetic fiber mesh is widely used on patio sling style chairs. Its ability to support the weight of the occupant without stretching is what makes it so popular. It also has a high UV rating, remains colorfast, and is easy to clean.
Olefin is a great choice for cushions, pillows and umbrellas because of its durability. Although it isn’t extremely water resistant, it can be treated for extra water protection. Comes in a wide array of colors and costs far less than solution-dyed acrylic.
- Spun Polyester/Outdoor Canvas
Why it’s worth considering:
Spun polyester is a good choice for pillows and cushions. Out of all the other fabrics, it is the most decorative and the most affordable. It’s strong and resistant to stretching and shrinkage. It remains resilient when wet or dry, doesn’t wrinkle easily and dries quickly. Patterns and colors also hold up well.
Caring for Your Outdoor Fabrics
Reading the manufacturer’s instructions tags are a great place to start when it comes to caring for your outdoor fabrics. However, there are some other things you can do:
- Cover outdoor cushions when not in use
- Store outdoor furniture during the winter months
- Avoid wrapping cushions in plastic as it does not allow the fabric to breathe. This could cause mildew if there is moisture present.
- Spread a towel over cushion when using suntan oils and lotions. Products such as these can break down the UV factor.
If you’re in the market for new outdoor fabric, check out our selection, which includes some beautiful colors and patterns.
When you are looking for a fabric store to buy winter fabrics near you in Keller, stop by our Cutting Corners location in Fort Worth, TX on South Hulen Street for great deals on discount designer fabrics. You will find something for every home interior project from gorgeous drapery fabrics to light weight cottons and luxurious Dupioni Silks.