Wednesday, 17 June 2015
How To Choose The Right Fabric For Your Outdoor Decor.

Summer is here and it's time to enjoy your exterior and outdoor spaces with family and friends.  Outside spaces can be kept fresh and inviting with new covers for cushions and accent pillows or even outdoor curtains for your porch, deck or patio.

Outdoor fabrics are fade and mildew resistant, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.  Two of our most popular types of outdoor fabrics are spun polyester and solution dyed acrylic.  It's helpful to know the characteristics of each kind as you plan your sewing or upholstery project. 

Spun polyester

Spun polyester fabrics are made of 100% polyester that has been screen printed in bright solids, stripes and tropical, ikat and suzani designs.  These types of fabrics offer great variety, but are not as UV resistant in full sunlight as 100% acrylic fabrics.  They are best suited for cushions or accent pillows in areas that are mostly shaded, like covered porches.  These 54 inch wide fabrics can be cleaned with soap and water and are relatively inexpensive starting at around $9.50 per yard.

Solution Dyed Acrylic

More durable outdoor fabrics are made of 100% solution dyed acrylic, meaning the individual yarns have been dyed before being woven, so the color is not just on the surface.  Sunbrella is a well known brand of these fabrics.  There are other outdoor performance fabrics with similar properties which will also provide great results.  Available in a wide variety of solids, stripes and woven patterns, they can withstand full sunlight, keeping their original color longer than polyester.  These tough, well wearing fabrics are suitable for upholstered outdoor furniture, awnings, and boat covers and cushions. Most will last several seasons before they begin to show fading.  These are also water and mildew resistant and can be cleaned with a bleach and soap solution.  Prices for high performance outdoor fabrics start at $18 per yard.

Outdoor Pillows, Drapery & More..

What's inside pillows and cushions matters too.  Since outdoor fabrics are water resistant, not waterproof, the filler needs to "breathe" as well. This will allow rain or poolside water to pass through and dry out quickly.  Pillow covers should be stuffed with outdoor polyester pillow forms, and cushions should be filled with outdoor foam.  NU-Foam brand polyester outdoor foam is available in several thicknesses and can be custom cut to fit your cushion cover.

Outdoor drapery fabrics offer the same resistance to the elements, but are softer and more flexible for covering canopies or making panels for your porch, sunroom, deck or gazebo.  They are available in translucent, sheer and lightweight designs.  You may use grommets or tabs or gather them onto your curtain rod.  All outdoor pillows, cushions and curtains should be brushed clean and stored indoors during the winter months to reduce exposure to the elements when not in use.

Remember that for the best results outdoor upholstery thread will be needed for your project.  Coats and Clark brand is 100% polyester, and is UV and weather resistant.

Warm weather can extend well into the fall and your outdoor spaces are worth the investment of creating custom décor that reflects your personal choices of color and style.


If you have questions about which outdoor fabric best suits your project, or would like to discuss what we have to offer, Call Us: 615-376-6361 or Contact Us Here


Posted on 06/17/2015 2:02 PM by Brentwood Interiors
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