What is the best fabric for outdoor furniture?

The Lazy Susan team is discussing which is the best fabric for outdoor furniture and assessing if some materials are more weather-resistant than others...

While the British weather is notoriously hit-and-miss, that doesn’t stop sun-loving Brits from spending as much time in their garden as possible.

Like you, we at Lazy Susan love nothing more than relaxing outside and maybe even entertaining a few guests.

Especially when the garden has beautiful outdoor upholstery.

But what’s the best fabric for your outdoor furniture? Are there some that are more weather-resistant than others?

There are lots of potential fabrics to choose from — and Lazy Susan is here to help answer your question. 

Let’s get started...

How to choose the best fabric for your outdoor furniture

When it comes to choosing the best fabric for your outdoor furniture, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Durability: It's important to choose a fabric that is durable and can withstand the elements, especially if your furniture will be exposed to the sun or rain.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: The fabric you choose should fit your personal style and the overall look of your outdoor space.

  • Overall Maintenance: Some fabrics may require more upkeep than others to keep them looking good. 

By weighing all of these factors, you can choose a fabric that not only looks great but lasts for years.

Let’s take a look at the different types of fabric you can choose from.

Solution-Dyed Acrylic Fabric

Solution-dyed acrylic fabric is one of the most popular fabrics used for outdoor furniture. 

It resists both mildew and mould and general wear and tear. It’s also known to be stain-resistant and easy to clean. The fabric is soft, making it cosy and comfortable for you and your guests to relax on.

What’s more, the fabrics are dyed before the yarn is created — preventing the colour of your furniture from fading in the sun. In other words, you can leave solution-dyed acrylic fabric outside all year round and they will not change colour. 

Overall, solution-dyed acrylic fabric is an excellent choice — but it’s also one of the most expensive.  

Polyester Fabric

Polyester fabric is a popular and budget-friendly option that comes in a variety of patterns and bright colors. It’s also water-repellant and easy to clean.

On the flip side, polyester fabric is less useful whenever there’s plenty of sunshine. In direct lieu of the sun, outdoor furniture made out of polyester fabric can lose its original colour over time. This is because they are batch-dyed after the fabric is woven — the opposite of solution-dyed acrylic fabric.

For this reason, if you decide to invest in polyester furniture, we recommend that you at least put it in the shade as much as you can — or be prepared to buy new pieces each year. 

Olefin Fabric

Olefin fabric is another type of synthetic fibre. It’s resistant to the sun’s UV rays better than polyester and therefore won’t fade as easily when left outdoors. It’s also cheaper to buy than acrylic, but more expensive than polyester.

The fabric is known to be resistant to staining and also very durable — including during periods of rain. This is because it dries fast and will not succumb to mildew.

As an added bonus, olefin fabric is one of the easiest outdoor fabrics to clean. However, it does feel rougher than acrylic, which may be an important feature for some people.

Textelene Fabric 

Texteline (or Textoline) is a generic term for a synthetic fabric that starts out as woven polyester before PVC is used to cover it.

You’ll usually find that sunshades are made from textelene fabric, mostly because it’s flame-retardant and waterproof.

Textelene fabric is also resistant to mould, which makes it a versatile choice for garden furniture.

A disadvantage is that textelene feels a lot like plastic. This can lower its aesthetic appeal, as well as reduce comfort levels.

What Next?

Whatever fabric you choose for your outdoor furniture, you’ll want to enjoy it as much as possible in the summer. This is why we recommend metal furniture as sold by Lazy Susan to go along with your chosen fabric, thanks to its maintenance-free nature, as well as its ability to resist damage from the sun and the rain.

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