If you are shopping for patio furniture, one of the things you will have to consider is fabric. Whether you are buying cushion furniture or sling, the type of fabric you choose will make a difference, so it's good to be educated enough to make the right choices for your lifestyle.
Sling chairs are those traditional patio chairs that have a stretched fabric seat but no cushion. They have been a favorite “go-to" patio furniture style for decades because they dry quickly, are easy to keep clean, and require no special care or maintenance.
Sling fabric that has a slick, plastic sheen is vinyl-coated polyester. A common name for this type of fabric is Textilene. This is a fabulous option for furniture that is constantly exposed to moisture; it is ideal for poolside and lakeside applications.
SOLUTION DYED VS PRINTED
Two ways are used to produce the color in outdoor fabrics; one is a method that simply stamps the color onto a black canvas; the other involves weaving the fabric from yarns that are themselves colored. In this case the actual strands are dyed before they are woven into fabric. An easy way to think of it is this: printed fabric is like a radish; the color is on the outside. Solution-dyed fabrics are like a carrot; the color goes all the way through.
Polyester fabric is one of the cheapest options for outdoor fabrics. Because it is a synthetic, it will not degrade like a natural fabric. However, polyester fabric is often printed fabric, which means if it is in the sun for any length of time, the color will fade from the cushions.
Polyester also comes in a solution-dyed version; this is also an economical option and will give you better color-fastness.
Olefin is a synthetic yarn that is often solution-dyed; it is more colorfast than polyester and is more hard-wearing. It tends to be water-resistant and stain-resistant. While this makes it a better option for outdoor fabric, it is not very soft.
Solution-Dyed Acrylic fabrics are by far the most popular fabrics used to upholster outdoor cushions. You may recognize the name brand, Sunbrella, the most well-known manufacturer of solution-dyed acrylic fabrics. Although solution-dyed acrylics are more expensive than polyester and olefin, the benefits far outweigh the cost. Outdoor solution-dyed acrylic fabrics are colorfast; they are treated with UV inhibitors. This fabric is water-resistant, making it a perfect choice for your backyard. The real beauty of solution-dyed acrylic, however, is that it is soft like cotton. So you get colorfast, water-resistant, durable and comfortable outdoor cushions.
When shopping for patio furniture, think about where it is going and how you are going to use it and choose your fabrics accordingly. Does it need to be water-resistant? Will it be out in the sun? How long do you want it to last? Consider all these questions and your budget and buy accordingly.
Read more >> Patio Furniture Buying Guide
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