Your outdoor furniture is susceptible to elements like UV, rain, wind, pool and sea water, dirt and spillages. Therefore it is important that the fabrics used in outdoor furnitures are designed to be resistant against these elements to the extent possible. The qualities you should be looking for in outdoor upholstery is resistance against sunlight, mould and mildew, colour-fastness, waterproofing, solar protection against UV rays (for tents and canopies), and material sturdiness for wear, tear and abrasion. You may also be conscious about the fabric being anti-allergic and recyclable. Before you make the purchase of an outdoor furniture we suggest that you inquire about the relevant certification of the fabric used in the product.
Outdoor upholstery fabrics are made of synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and olefin. Materials such as cotton and linen are highly water absorbant. Once they get wet the water will get soaked all the way through to the cushion fillings and will not dry easily. This will cause formation of mould and mildew inside and outside of your cushions. They also fade and wear easily. If they are left under sun and damp conditions, these materials will not even last a full year.
Most outdoor fabrics are water repellent, which means a finish has been applied to the fabric. Dry cleaning is not recommended in outdoor fabrics but machine washing 1-2 times a year with mild detergents is possible. You would not want to go heavy on the washing and break away the water-repellent fiber coating on your products. In case of spillages or dirt we recommend you to wipe or brush away the dirt with a piece of damp cloth or soft brush then apply a mild soap with water, gently rub and rinse.
There is also another type of fabric used more and more in producing outdoor
In the end every fabric and every material has a useful life and you will need to replace it eventually. However investing in a better fabric, taking care of it as recommended, keeping it away from elements when not used would prolong its life and make it a great return for your money in the end.