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July 26, 2021

Picking the Perfect Fabric for Your Outdoor Oasis

Summer brings all kinds of opportunities to spend long days outside, whether it be on a patio at your favorite restaurant, the hotel pool, or at your favorite beach vacation spot. We’re spending more time outside with friends and family than inside more than ever. More than 90% of those with outdoor spaces are taking greater advantage of outside areas.  All-weather textiles have never been softer, stronger, or more stylish which entice people to embrace the great outdoors.

Outdoor living spaces are the new living room. With various improvements, outdoor fabrics can stand up to the elements while still being porous enough to maintain some flexibility. Not to mention many of these fabrics also work for indoor use as well due to their inherent nature to hold up to high-traffic areas like waiting rooms, lobbies, and collaborative spaces.

Things to consider when picking an outdoor fabric.

Flux in Sand

Cleanability

Having outdoor furniture with easy to clean fabrics is a must. And if the fabric is bleach cleanable while not compromising the integrity of the fabric, even better! This makes it easier to meet the hygienic needs, and requirements of busy environments, such as healthcare and hospitality. Consider a Sunbrella Contract fabric that is designed with complete fabric performance at its core.

Suggested outdoor fabric: Flux in Sand

 

Zion in Bluestone

Solution Dyed Acrylic Fabric

Color stability with performance fabrics is made possible by solution-dyed acrylic. Fabric fibers are saturated with color and UV-stabilized pigments before they’re spun into yarn. This means the pigment goes all the way through the fibers and not just the surface. This allows the color to stay true over time. This unique process makes outdoor fabrics inherently fade resistant, UV protective, and durable through cleaning, wear, or exposure to outdoor elements.

Suggested outdoor fabric: Zion in Bluestone

 

Westwood in Bronze

Durability

With high-traffic areas, especially those found in hospitality, healthcare, education, and workplace settings, it is essential to have furniture with fabrics that are durable, as well as contribute to the goal of a healthier environment. This includes mold and mildew resistance, stain and water resistance, abrasion tested, and designed to stand all the tests of time. Look for outdoor fabrics that have ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines for use in high-traffic public spaces, including High Abrasion (30,000 + double rubs Wyzenbeek method), Flammability, Wet Dry Crocking, Colorfastness to Light and Physical Properties, such as Pilling 3+, Breaking Strength, and Seam Slippage.

Suggested outdoor fabric: Westwood in Bronze

 

Chimera in Meteorite

Sustainability

Designing comfortable outdoor spaces, or high-traffic spaces, that have a positive impact on both the guests’ and the planet’s environment is also a win-win when choosing outdoor fabrics. Sunbrella Assure fabrics does just that. Its proprietary formula combats the absorption of water-based spills and messes from the start without the use of fluorochemicals, offering a safer more sustainable alternative. Sunbrella Assure can give designers peace of mind that they are contributing towards a healthy and sustainable space for places, indoors and out.

Suggested outdoor fabric: Chimera in Meteorite

Ready to get out(doors)?

Picking a fabric that is right for your outdoor space can be overwhelming. Contact us to talk to one of our fabric design experts. Want to see more? Visit our fabric gallery for additional fabrics.