As anyone with a balcony, terrace or other outdoor space knows, most fabrics don’t perform well under the pressure of direct sunlight and the effects of the rain, wind and moisture. If you are keen on creating a welcoming outdoor environment, you need to use fabrics that can handle the effects of the elements. We have put together our pick of the best fabrics that are made for outdoor use:
Heavy duty canvas
Normally used for outdoor tarps and shade covers, heavy duty canvas is a terrific, durable outdoor fabric that will withstand the extremities of weather for years. It is usually constructed of heavy-weight absorbent fabric made of 100 percent natural cotton canvas, while a waterproof option is available if you need to protect equipment from rain, dew and other moisture. Make sure your canvas has heat-sealed edges, a fire-retardant coating and rust-proof reinforced grommets.
Manufactured specifically for outdoor use, solution-dyed acrylic fabric is a soft, comfortable material that will retain its colour and vibrancy for years. It cleans easily and is resistant to rot, mildew and atmospheric chemicals. It has a soft cloth-like feel that is similar to canvas, making it ideal for use for outdoor accessories such as throw pillows and cushions. As with any fine outdoor furniture supplier, Terrace Living only uses solution dyed materials for its cushions.
Woven mesh fabrics are particularly suitable to outdoor furniture. With high levels of resistance to UV rays, salt water, chlorine and pollutants, fabrics such as MBM’s Mirotex weave are ideal for outdoor use. It can handle extreme temperature fluctuations and, while Mirotex will soften under direct sunlight, it will always revert back to its original shape.
Some of the earliest and most effective sun-protective fabrics on the market were simply made from tightly woven, lightweight polyester. The synthetic fibres are non-absorbent, so they can withstand even the most arduous outdoor usage. Recent advances in chemical sun blocks also means the lightweight fabrics can now offer good UV protection even after many launderings.