Now that winter is over, are you on the hunt for new outdoor furniture, cushions or other outdoor materials? As with indoor fabrics, there is a wide array of choices on the market–and understanding some basics for selecting outdoor fabric will make the shopping process much easier. Let’s take a look at what some of those are.
What do you need from your outdoor fabric?
The first step is to assess what you need from your outdoor fabric. Will your furniture be used all year or only for a few months? Do you live in a rainy area that would require waterproofing of your fabric? How much time do you want to spend maintaining the look of your fabric? Is your outdoor space covered or will the furniture be out in the open? Different elements of the furniture might not require the same fabric, which is why taking factors such as these into consideration is so important. Looking at the tag of the material can take a lot of the guesswork out, so start there. Some typical features that should be labeled include:
- mold/mildew resistant
- fade resistant
- stain resistant
- weather resistant
- UV blockers
- water resistant
- permeable or breathable
- machine washable or hand wash only
When it comes to outdoor fabric, solution-dyed acrylic has set the bar pretty high. Not only does it have great UV protection, it is extremely mold and mildew resistant. If your cushions and pillows will be exposed to sunlight and water then this type of fabric is what you need. When it comes to brands, Sunbrella is the most well known and respected. However, there are other companies that provide quality products that include a wide selection of designs.
If solution-dyed acrylic doesn’t fit into your budget or simply isn’t what you need, there are other solutions. Some options include acrylic coated polyester, vinyl coated or vinyl coated synthetic fiber mesh, spun polyester, and canvas.
Waterproof vs. Water Repellent vs. Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?
Waterproof fabric is impervious to water, meaning water cannot penetrate the surface. Water repellent means that water can penetrate the surface, but not very easily. It has been treated, which makes it more difficult for water to seep in. Water resistant can come treated, but it is the least successful at keeping water at bay. Any of these coatings can wear off over time, so it’s important to carefully read and understand the care instructions found on the label.
Before you buy…
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing your outdoor textiles is to think about how the fabric will be used, where it will be placed, and how much time you’re willing to spend maintaining it. You may have to make some compromises here and there, but with so many options, there should be no problem finding something just right for your outdoor living space. Be sure to stop by one of our locations or browse online to see our gorgeous selection of outdoor fabrics.
When you are looking for interior fabrics near you in Keller, TX, 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 luxurious drapery fabrics to colorful, heavyduty outdoor fabrics.