Our garden furniture cushions are made from a waterproof, fast-drying material, but can they be left outside like our metal garden furniture?
Well, we can jump straight in and answer that one with a big NO! Our advice would be to store them correctly (indoors in a breathable outdoor cushion bag) and don't leave them outside when not in use.
Yes, they are waterproof so in the summer if you leave them in the garden and they get caught in a sudden downpour, which let’s be honest, is highly likely, they will be perfectly OK.
The fabric is quick-drying and the cushion covers can be easily removed via a zip if you need to give them a clean. However, we would not advise you to leave them outside for any length of time as they will end up looking pretty shabby.
Waterproof does not mean they weatherproof like our cast aluminium. Long-term exposure to the elements will damage the fabric. Our furniture you can easily wash down with warm soapy water but fabrics will stain and mould can quickly form in our climate.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the materials we use, why we chose them, and how to clean them if they do get a little dirty.
Why buy garden furniture cushions?
Whilst cast aluminium is the perfect material for the UK climate, being both weatherproof and low maintenance, it is metal and can conduct heat making it hot to the touch in the direct summer sun. Our garden furniture cushions not only bring a little style but they up the comfort too, and you can still sit when the sun gets hot.
We offer an extensive range to compliment our range of garden chairs and benches, all with tie-fastening to secure them in place, so whether you’re after a single seat pad, lattice lounger, bench or curved back cushion, they have been carefully crafted to fit perfectly and not slide off.
To help make cleaning simple, the cushion covers can be removed via a zip and popped into the washing machine. We utilise a special outdoor fabric that is designed not to fade or wear and the collection is available in a range of garden-friendly colours.
What are outdoor furniture cushions made from?
All our garden cushions come with a foam pad filling that is made from 100% Polyester Fibre in accordance with Schedule 2 Furniture Fire Regulations 1988 (BS5852).
Polyester is the perfect material for garden furniture cushions as it has inherently unique qualities. It is extremely durable and resistant to sagging, shrinkage, wrinkling and stretching, meaning that with repeated seating, they retain their shape.
The fibres used to create the pad are very strong but lightweight at the same time. Even our large Lattice Garden Bench Cushions for example are easy to take on and off after use but strong and durable.
Just like the covers, the foam pad is quick-drying and easy to look after. It can be quickly removed from our cushion covers and easily washed by hand and dried if need be.
On our labels, you’ll see that the foam pad adheres to Schedule 2 Furniture Fire Regulations 1988 (BS5852), and this is the standard used to assess the ignitability of material combinations, such as cushion covers and fillings used in upholstered seating.
Outdoor pieces are often placed near BBQs, Patio Heaters, Fire Pits, etc, so this regulation ensures that all our cushions meet the required standard for safe ignitability.
They are not fireproof and you should keep them a safe distance from any naked flames. But for your safety, they will smoulder slowly if a stray ember was to land on them rather than bursting into flames.
We chose to make our covers from a combination of Polyester and Cotton in accordance with Schedule 4 and Schedule 5 Furniture Fire Regulations 1988 (BS5852), and we use these two fabrics together to deliver that combination of water resistance but a soft-to-the-touch cushion comfort.
The fabric is of a ‘medium weight’ and this gives it a more pliable feel than say a heavyweight fabric such as canvas, however, it is stronger and better suited for outdoor use than say a lightweight fabric you’d find on an indoor cushion. A happy medium if you will.
We have also UV-treated our fabrics so they will not fade in the sun. However, that is not an infinite amount of light hours. If you were to leave them outside in the direct sun you will damage them, so we would always advise you to store them when not needed.
In terms of the Schedule 4 and Schedule 5 Furniture Fire Regulations 1988 (BS5852) that we have printed on the care labels, just like Schedule 2 above, this shows that our covers also comply with the two required tests - Schedule 4 is the Cigarette Test, while Schedule 5 is the Match Test.
The Furniture Fire Regulations 1988 (BS5852) is the best practice guide for ignition testing in the UK Furniture & Furnishings industry, and they contain the requirements for the ignition resistance of our cushions.
How to care for and store our garden furniture cushions
Of course, if you purchase seat cushions to pair with outdoor furniture that is built to last, then it is important you care for and maintain them properly too. Our how to care for outdoor furniture cushions article has some great tips, advice and product recommendations.
Unlike our garden furniture, which can be left outside all year round, it is best to store our cushions correctly when you’re not using them.
Whilst they’re constructed from a waterproof fabric and filled with a quick-drying foam if you leave them outside and they’ll quickly get dirty, so they’re best stored indoors when not in use.
If they do get dirty, which happens when eating, drinking and generally enjoying your garden, then you can easily remove the fabric from the seat pad via a zip to give them a wash and refresh if need be.
The care label found on our cushions is shown in the image above and the BS codes and symbols mean the following:
1. Wash at 30 Degrees
If your cushion covers are looking a little mucky, then as per our care label, you can wash them in the machine at 30 degrees. This temperature (or lower) is sufficient for any covers that need a general wash, rather than targeted stain removal.
2. Hand Wash Only
My personal preference is to hand wash my garden furniture cushions, as it is the safest and most effective way of cleaning them. I fill the sink with warm water and a mild detergent, submerge the covers, and leave them to soak for a few minutes. For any stubborn stains, we would recommend you use a stain remover such as Vanish. When washed, simply rinse them with cold water but avoid ringing/twisting the covers to remove excess water as you can damage/misshape them. Instead, place them flat between two towels and push down and absorb any excess moisture.
3. Do not bleach
If you do get a particularly nasty stubborn stain on your cushion covers like say red wine, then the temptation can be to reach for the bleach. However, the Do Not Bleach symbol is on our cushions for good reason. Even a non-chlorine bleach seen as ‘colour-safe’ is a definite no-no.
4. Do not iron
Dry them flat and it will significantly reduce the need to iron them. Any light creasing will come out when used. If you hand wash squeeze out any excess moisture flat between two towels. If you machine wash, then add in a little fabric softener and only spin them on a gentle spin to minimise creasing.
5. Do not tumble dry
Even on a cool setting the dryer is best avoided. It will cause the colours to fade and actually damage the fibres by shrinking them. Leave them to dry naturally flat on a drying rack or hang them on a washing line are your best options.
Why purchase garden furniture cushions?
Our garden chairs are comfortable with or without garden furniture. They are ergonomically designed and contoured to fit the body. However, pair them with a seat cushion and that comfort is upped significantly, meaning you can sit for longer or on them safely if the sun is beating down.
They also add a stylish finishing touch to your set, especially when paired with a coordinating parasol to make your Lazy Susan garden furniture the focal point in your garden or on your patio.
If you’ve already purchased our furniture then you can browse our full garden cushion collection here. If you’re looking to purchase a new set from us, then please make sure you add them as a bundle deal in the gifts section.
If you have our Garden Furniture with or without cushions in your garden, then we’d love to see a few photos for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].