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A Quick Overview of Outdoor Fabrics: What To Know

A Quick Overview of Outdoor Fabrics: What To Know

Want to reupholster your outdoor furniture but feel overwhelmed by all the fabric options available to you? To help you choose, here's a quick overview of outdoor fabrics and what you need to know about each type.


Acrylic is an artificial fabric created from acrylonitrile, a derivative of polypropylene plastic. It makes a fantastic choice for outdoor fabric because of its durability. It's weather resistant, insect resistant, doesn't wrinkle or shrink, doesn't fade, and is easy to clean. On top of that, acrylic is amazingly soft, which makes sense, as scientists originally created it to be an alternative to wool! The Fabric Outlet Sunspoken line is 100% solution dyed acrylic, surpassing 2000+ hours rating.


Polyester is a unique resin that results from a chemical reaction. Manufacturers chiefly use it to create synthetic textile fibers. Polyester is strong, wrinkle- and scuff-resistant, easy to clean, and quick to dry. Compared to other similar fabrics, polyester is also lightweight.


Olefin is another artificial fabric that companies commonly use for outdoor furniture. It consists of a polyolefin, such as polypropylene or polyethylene. Like the other materials listed above, olefin is durable. It's stain-, abrasion-, and mold-resistant, and it also has excellent colorfastness. One con of olefin is that it breaks down under high heat, so it may not be the best choice for those searching for a fire-resistant fabric.


Last but not least on this quick overview of outdoor fabrics and what you should know about them is polypropylene. This is a fabric made of a thermoplastic polymer material. While very similar to olefin, it isn't the same thing. However, it does share many of the same benefits. It's strong and fade-, stain-, and moisture-resistant. Furthermore, it’s very breathable. Also, like olefin, it breaks down at high temperatures, so it's not fire resistant.

At the Fabric Outlet, you'll find outdoor furniture upholstery galore! Our Solar Flair SNS fabrics are both durable and beautiful. They can transform your outdoor space into an oasis instantly. Shop for your next project today. Our Sunspoken line is tested rigorously to ensure it stands up to all life’s messes!