The world of fabrics may look dull and boring to most eyes. However, the vibrant colors spark curiosity to some eyes and allow individuals to carve a masterpiece out of some of the fascinating sights. Talking of fabrics, how can the outdoor fabric be left out. These fabrics are specially crafted for outdoor elements like chairs and sofas.
So what exactly are outdoor fabrics, and how are they used?
The outdoor fabrics are a particular type of material built, keeping the outdoor elements in mind. Some of the distinctive characteristics of the fabric include:
- The structures are UV protected
- The fabrics are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial protected
- Most fabrics are stain proof
.. and so on.
These characteristics of the fabric make it unique and fit for outdoor applications. However, the element comes with a bit of a surprise. The ultra-violet property protects the colors from being faded away. However, this does not imply that the furniture should be left out in the open. Make sure to move the furniture inside when not in use.
The same applies to the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of the fabric and hence should be taken care of. In hindsight, if taken proper care, the rest is smooth sailing.
Different Types of Outdoor Fabrics
Outdoor fabrics differ from the other materials in many aspects. The outdoor fabrics vary even from the manufacturing state and are specially treated with chemicals to make sure that includes all the desired properties. However, despite being chemically treated, the outdoor fabrics differ a lot based on the compound it is treated with.
Some of the famous names include:
- Solution-Dyed Acrylics
- Acrylic Coated Polyesters
- Vinyl Coated Synthetic Fiber Mesh
Here is a detailed review of each type of fabric.
Most ordinary fabrics are colored after being spun into a yarn. However, in the solution-dyed acrylics, the colored threads are turned into a yarn. In the following material, a liquid acrylic solution is formed from mixing with the dye and is then spun into fabric. The following process makes the fabric into water-resistant and colorfast.
The solution-dyed acrylics are known for their canvas-like breathable features and are commonly found in awnings and patio umbrellas. However, a softer and porous version of the same is used in outdoor pillows and other materials.
Acrylic Coated Polyesters
The multi-faceted solutions of the acrylic make it usable for several reasons. The clothed dipped formed in the process are known for their durability along with resistance to fading, wrinkling, and mildew growth.
The polyester shares the same fabric and hence could not be ignored. Both the elements combined form an excellent material for the outdoor fabrics. The preparation process is quite similar to other tissues. The fabric threads are woven first and are then dipped into an acrylic coating color.
However, that is not the end of it. The fabric is available in cotton-polyester blends that are quite appealing and hence are used widely. The acrylic coated polyesters being highly durable are generally used in boat and car protectors.
Vinyl Coated Synthetic Fiber Mesh
Also known as PVC Mesh and slingable fabric, the vinyl-coated synthetic fiber mesh is one of the most popular outdoor fabrics. The structure is often used for sling-type outdoor chairs, which supports the weight of an individual. In terms of physical properties, the fabric is durable but is not stretchable. On the other hand, other materials like the solution-dyed acrylic, printed acrylic, and printed polyester are not as suitable as this fabric for outdoor furniture and hence is widely used.
The slingable outdoor fabric is composed of vinyl-coated polyester along with other synthetics like the olefin and PVC. However, the composition of the final product depends on the manufacturer, which makes it durable, colorfast, and easy to clean. Furthermore, the use of chemicals does not promote the growth of mildew.
Olefin is a manmade fabric that is blended with the other synthetic fabrics to prepare the final product. This makes the final product suitable for outdoor furniture usage and other solutions like house wrap and marine coverings.
To add on top of it, the substance is also known as polyethylene or polypropylene and is manufactured similarly as the nylon and polyester.
The chemical is melted and fed through a showerhead like structure during the preparation of threads. On the other hand, the fiber has a smooth texture and is solution-dyed as well. This makes the outdoor fabric weather resistant, chemical, stain, and mildew resistant as well.
The outdoor fabric canvas is a sturdy and heavy-duty outdoor fabric that finds its application in things like tents, sails, tarps, and backpacks. The modern-day canvas is made up of a number of the fabric. However, the traditional ones are made from cotton and linen.
However, despite the durability, the product is not mold and mildew resistant and limits the fiber's use. The actual canvas is made of natural fibers, which make it less useful as well.
Now that we have learned the type of fabrics, it's time for a buying guide. Not all fabrics are the same, and learning about them does not make you an expert.
Things to Consider While Buying Outdoor Fabrics
You don't need to be a designer to decorate your home. Designs and patterns are intuitive, and hence one should consider a handful of things before rushing into making a purchase. Some of these factors are as follows.
Now that you have shown interest in the purchase of outdoor fabric be realistic. Do you have the necessary skills to work on upholstery? Pause and take your time to think way out of it. If you have basic sewing skills, make sure to brush up a bit to work on your upholstery. The rest is smooth sailing.
The next thing in the list is that do you have enough capacity to hold on to the stress of body weight? If you have been searching online, focus on the following keywords.
- Outdoor Fabric
- Weatherproof fabric
- Home décor
- All-weather fabric
- … And so on.
If your search marks tick at almost every point, one should try for it.
Is it water resistance?
The next criterion that cannot be ignored at all costs is the water-resistance properties. Ask yourself before buying an outdoor fabric – is it water-resistant? Will it survive the rough weather? Most outdoor clothes are moisture, mold, and mildew resistant and hence should not be ignored at all costs.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The last item to look on the list is the cleaning and the maintenance of the fabric. Most fabric these days are stain proof and do not need additional support other than a simple dusting to be cleaned. If the answers seem positive, then there is no turning back.
When it comes to outdoor fabrics, there are a ton of things to take care of and hence should not be ignored at all costs. On the other hand, most popular ones come with dozens of features and thus are suitable for all seasons. However, one should be cautious with all the factors before jumping into solutions. The lesser the liabilities are, the better it is and hence should not be ignored at all costs.
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