So many beautiful colors and materials, but which fabrics stand up to the blazing sun? Today, we will share Outdoor Fabric Buying Tips to Keep the Colors Popping. We’ll share everything you need to know about selecting the suitable outdoor textile for your desired durability and price.
UV Resistance is potentially the most critical factor when selecting an outdoor material; it measures the speed at which a piece of Fabric will deteriorate when exposed to UV light.
Why do fabrics fade? UV rays cause a chemical reaction of the dye or material, known as “photodegradation,” which causes fading.
Solution-Dyed Fabrics Will Keep Your Pops of Color Popping
You can place solution-dyed cushions and umbrellas right in the sun without worrying about fading. Instead of having dye on only the surface like most fabrics, they are colored to the core with a UV-stable pigment.
Sunbrella fabrics are an excellent solution-dyed brand that has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. Sunbrella benefits don’t stop at fade resistance when it comes to the sun. This material also blocks up to 98% of harmful UV rays.
Also, Sunbrella fabrics naturally resist the growth of mold and mildew, which is good news if you live in a damp environment year-round or have a swimming pool.
Printed Fabrics are Less Expensive But Will Fade Faster
Printed fabrics are typically acrylics or polyester and are printed on the material’s surface. Polyester fabrics will perform the worst because it has the lowest lightfastness rating, and they require a PFC chemical finish for stain resistance.
The last option is vinyl fabric, often coated in a color or pattern; it is very affordable and is perfect for heavy-duty upholstery.
Marine vinyl is an excellent choice for boats or automotive upholstery. Marine vinyl has been treated for water, stain, and UV resistance and has high abrasion resistance.
What is the difference between Water-Resistant and Waterproof Fabrics?
Waterproof fabrics have tightly bound cells, making it almost impossible for water or any other liquid to seep through them. They are usually synthetic, and many waterproof materials are available. These fabrics are more suited for marine use and awnings.
Water-resistant fabrics, also called water-repellent, are primarily coated with a finish that resists water breaking through the surface but is not impenetrable. These fabrics are more suited to outdoor cushions.