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Outdoor fabrics by Mallory

Friday, May 4th 2012

There are many options of cushions out there all claiming to be outdoor. Sometimes it seems that if the fabric doesn’t disintegrate in the rain it’s okay to say it’s good for the outdoors. How do you know what will last and what will fade? First it’s important to know what the fabric is made from, Synthetic polymer fabrics like acrylic, polyester and olefin are the most popular choices. Acrylic is resistant to moths, oils, chemicals, and is very resistant to deterioration from sunlight exposure. Dyed acrylic fiber has highest light-fastness. The fibers in acrylic are very resilient compared to both other synthetics and natural fibers. A popular brand of outdoor fabric, Sunbrella, is exclusively acrylic that has been solution dyed to further protect it’s color fastness. Most of Forshaw’s furniture cushions are made from solution dyed acrylic fabrics, like Sunbrella. Polyester fabrics are also a popular choice for outdoors. Polyester is a very durable fabric, when looking at polyester outdoor fabric it’s important to see the back of the fabric. Often polyester fabrics will have a print on that doesn’t go through the fabric, it was stamped on. With fabrics like this as time goes on and the sun effects the fabric it will fade away the stamped on image and dull the look of the print. You will also see this on Olefin fabrics. Olefin fabrics are in the same family as acrylic and polyester, while it is a durable fabric, it does not hold it’s color and within a year you can see noticeable fading. Forshaw never uses olefin fabrics.
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