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What To Look For in Outdoor Upholstery Fabrics?

Usually, outdoor upholstery fabric bring the comfort of inside to your outside space. Opting for the best outdoor fabric for your space is not limited to just color and pattern. UV resistance, water resistance, durability, colorfastness, and cleanability all contribute to the enduring style of your outdoor space. Understanding the importance of these three factors will help them come up with comfortable, long-lasting outdoor furniture, pillows, and cushions.

When shopping for outdoor fabric, you want to ensure that you buy a material that will last beyond one season of pool parties and barbecues. To help with that, we will give you a brief overview of the three most essential factors in high-quality outdoor fabric. It is UV and Water Resistance, Colorfastness, and Cleanability. These three factors are most helpful for residential upholstery: poolside cushions, patio furniture, accent pillows, and backyard seating. Let’s talk about these three in detail:

  • Water and UV Resistance

It is always a good idea to keep your outdoor patio cushions or pillows when they are not in use. After all, less time exposure to external elements would mean a longer life for your outdoor fabric. Two leading factors in the deterioration of any fabric are sunshine and moisture. If you want to combat this, go for an outdoor fabric with high UV and water resistance.

UV resistance is one of the most crucial aspects of durable outdoor fabric. A high UV resistant rating implies that the fabric will last longer despite the exposure to the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays. For shaded places such as sunrooms, patios, porches, and pergolas, you can buy a lower UV resistance rating. However, the higher the UV rating for areas that experience full exposure, the better it is.

Water-resistant fabrics are not waterproof. This implies that water will bead on the fabric surface and roll off, but it will eventually soak through if it comes in contact with moisture for long periods. Of course, mildew isn’t far behind if water gets soaked in the fabric. Apart from being UV and water-resistant, a high-quality outdoor fabric should also be mildew resistant. It will protect your outdoor cushions and pillows throughout the seasons.

  • Colorfastness

Colorfast fabrics can maintain their color and pattern over time without bleeding or fading. You can determine colorfastness by the fabric’s ability to hold color while facing exposure to sun, snow, and rain over time. Typically, you will get the fabric’s colorfast rating with an estimated hourly exposure, such as “Colorfast to 1,000 hours.”

Since harsh sunlight is responsible for fading fabrics, colorfastness and UV resistance are largely related. This means if a fabric exhibits high UV resistance, the colorfastness will be higher, and the fabric’s pattern and color will endure longer.

  • Cleanability

Whether your fabric is cleanable is a factor on a sliding scale of importance, depending on personal choice. Typically, a fabric’s cleanability measures how easily a fabric releases dirt from the weave of the fibers and yarns. One can effectively spot clean most acrylic or olefin outdoor fabrics. Therefore, it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions specific to your outdoor material. However, if you don’t find any guidelines, the following cleaning steps are generally effective:

-Blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth. The key here is blotting. Rubbing the spill will help you drive the stain deeper into the fabric weave. For oil-based spills, apply an absorbent like corn starch and then remove it with a straight edge (again, avoid rubbing).

-Combine a mild cleaning solution of soap with warm water and apply it to the area.

-Thoroughly rinse the fabric, get the soapy residue out, and air dry.

You must look at these three essential factors before buying outdoor upholstery fabric.


Now that you know to look for UV and water resistance, colorfastness, and cleanability, it is time to begin shopping. You will find limitless color and pattern offerings in outdoor upholstery fabric. Waverly drapery fabric is one of the popular fabrics of today. Whatever your outdoor style, you can look for the factors mentioned above for your outdoor space.


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