Outdoor Blog

How to Choose the Perfect Outdoor Fabric For your Outdoor Furniture

outdoor fabric on outdoor furniture

Today, outdoor living and other recreational exterior spaces are a common feature in homes and hotels. These outdoor spaces need outdoor seats and beds covered with tough fabric that can withstand the extreme climate. 

There are various outdoor fabric types, including cotton, nylon, acrylic, silk, polyester, and more. You can get overwhelmed when faced with an array of beautiful materials to choose from for your outdoors. Even so, we are here to help you if you are looking for “how to choose the perfect outdoor fabric for your outdoor furniture.

Which is The Best Fabric for Outdoor Furniture?

When selecting outdoor fabric, no one best solution fits every need. Homeowners have different preferences when it comes to color and texture. However, it is critical to remember that fabric is vulnerable to climate. Over time, it will fade and tear due to constant exposure to the elements. 

A piece of good outdoor fabric for your patio furniture meets your outdoor needs. For example, a type of fabric that fits the swimming pool daybeds may not be ideal for your open kitchen seats. 

Outdoor fabric for your exterior furniture can withstand degradation caused by sunlight. Even so, you need to keep your pillows and cushions away from harsh rays to avoid fading and tearing. 

What Makes Outdoor Fabric Different?

Unlike indoor fabric, outdoor fabrics are strong and resilient.  Moreover, the material is subject to a chemical treatment process at the time of manufacturing. 

Outdoor material is mildew and stain-resistant. Furthermore, these fabrics are durable and easy to clean.

What You Need to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Fabric for Your patio furniture

Before you select an outdoor fabric, it is critical to know the features contained in each textile. The type of material you choose to use will also depend on your environment and specific needs. Every outdoor space is unique and requires specific fabric textures and colors.

Therefore, some fabric features you need to review when selecting covers for your outdoor furniture include the following: –


If your outdoor furniture is exposed to extreme weather or is constantly in use, you require more durable fabric. For example, the loungers and daybeds in poolside spaces at an upscale resort. However, you may not consider durability if you entertain or eat outside on your patio on special occasions.


Some outdoor fabrics require minimum attention and are easy to clean. Others need unique products and intensive care to maintain their beauty. You may want to choose a material that is less costly to maintain and easy to keep neat.

Rain and Moisture 

Home and business owners in areas prone to high humidity and rainstorms may want to prioritize waterproof fabric. Retained water droplets can damage the material and also cause health issues.

Fading – Excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause the outdoor fabric to discolor and fade over time. However, some materials are fade-resistant, while others may peel and fade more quickly under extreme climates.

Types of Outdoor Fabric for Your Outdoor Furniture

We have highlighted four types of materials to help you choose the perfect outdoor fabric for your outdoor furniture. We shall look at some outstanding features and drawbacks of each fabric to give you a better view of what to expect when selecting an outdoor material. Furthermore, you must remember to look for fabrics labeled for outdoor use.

Some of the best materials to consider for your outdoor furniture include the following: –

  1. Polyester
  2. Nylon
  3. Acrylic
  4. Textilene 

1. Polyester, the Best Outdoor Fabric

The polyester fabric consists of synthetic fibers. This material is known for being sturdy and comparatively inexpensive to produce. 

Why is Polyester Fabric Good for Your Outdoor Furniture?

Your outdoor furniture is more exposed to the elements and stress when compared to your indoor furniture. Polyester fabric does not stimulate the growth of bacteria and is also resistant to dust and mites. Other features that make polyester ideal for your outdoor décor include the following: –

It is Durable

The durability feature of polyester makes it an ideal choice for your outdoor furniture cushions, pillows, and other coverings. Unlike cotton, this fabric consists of robust fibers which do not stretch, tear or pill easily. In addition, the polyester material can withstand extreme climate and abrasion from machine-washing.

It retains its Initial Figure

Unlike cotton or linen materials that wrinkle and require ironing, polyester is wrinkle-free and maintains its shape, rigidity, and drape. Polyester cushion covers give your outdoor furniture a newer look for longer.

It is Moisture Resistant

Some types of polyester materials consist of fibers that resist humidity. For example, moisture-resistant polyester fabric is a perfect outdoor fabric for your outdoor furniture. That is because it soaks up less than 1% of moisture content by weight.

Additionally, it is stain-resistant, easy to clean, and also has distinct filling properties.

However, this material is less breathable. It gets hot during summer, and you can trap moisture if you sweat while sitting on a polyester cushion.

Sun Resistant

It is common for outdoor furniture to remain in direct sunlight throughout the day. Therefore, you require strong cushion coverings that can withstand fading. In addition, UV-treated polyester fabric contains sun-resistance properties that help the textile to maintain its color for longer.

It is Affordable

Besides being readily available, polyester is relatively less costly when compared to natural fabrics like linen. Furthermore, it doesn’t require a complex process to produce. You can manufacture polyester through most types of non-woven machinery.

Drawbacks to Polyester

Polyester is less breathable when compared to natural fibers such as linen and cotton. Even so, you can still enjoy polyester cushions on your outdoor coach because the fabric contains improved wicking properties.

This material is prone to holding odors when compared to nylon. As a result, you can feel a little sticky if you sweat on a polyester-covered pillow or mattress.

2. Nylon, the Best Outdoor Fabric

Nylon fabric is known to be tough and abrasion-resistant. In addition, outdoor nylon materials are coated with urethane to help repel moisture. 

This type of textile is best for use as cushion covers, patio furniture replacement slings, pillow casing, and more.

Why is Nylon Fabric Good for Your Outdoor Furniture?

Nylon is the way to go if you are looking for a softer touch on your patio furniture. Other features that make this fabric ideal for outdoor furniture include the following: –


Nylon and polyester have a lot of similarities. Both materials are lightweight and have synthetic properties that are stronger than natural fibers. In addition, nylon responds well to post-finishing processes, which makes the material ideal for outdoor fabric.  

Even though both polyester and have strength and durability, nylon is more resilient and stretcher than the former. Therefore, cushion covers, pillowcases, and furniture replacement arm slings made from nylon fabric should resist tear and wear for longer.


Nylon material is one of the best outdoor fabrics, which has a high resistance to sunlight. Additionally, it is much softer and easier to launder than polyester. 

You do not require a complex cleaning procedure, and you should not dry clean, iron, or tumble dry your nylon outdoor fabric. In most instances, a regular washing machine cycle completes the job well. 


Outdoor furniture is vulnerable to dust, moisture, winds, and harsh rays. Sometimes, these elements can attract mold and mildew to both your furniture and cushions, which may cause damage. You can reduce this defacement by using nylon fabric on your seats and couches.

Cotton and other materials made of natural fibers are prone to molds. However, nylon resists mildews and molds. As a result, nylon-made outdoor furniture décor lasts longer, which saves you on replacement costs.

Nylon is a perfect fabric for your pool area furniture because it is water-resistant and also dries quickly.

Drawbacks to Nylon

Nylon fabric lacks UV resistance properties – However, you can use it on shaded furniture such as patio furniture and outside kitchen stools or benches.

Easy to melt – Nylon fabric can melt if exposed to extreme heat. For example, an iron box on the hottest setting can melt a nylon furniture cover. Likewise, your nylon cushion covers can melt and damage your machine if put in a hot dryer.

3. Acrylic, the Best Outdoor Fabric

Acrylic, the best outdoor fabric

Acrylic fabric is a synthetic material woven or knitted with polymer fibers. In the United States, fiber qualifies as being “acrylic” if the polymer contains 85% acrylonitrile monomer.

Why is Acrylic Fabric Good for Your Outdoor Furniture?

Acrylic is commonly in carpeting and upholstery homeware products. It contains waterproof properties, which make it one of the best outdoor fabrics for your exterior furniture. Some of the qualities you need to consider when selecting acrylic for your outdoor furniture needs include the following: –


Acrylic fabric cushion covers, decorative pillows, and other upholstered pieces are easy to clean. Even though some acrylic materials are not machine washable, you can use soap and water to remove loose stains with little effort.

This product resists soiling and wrinkling. So you do not need to use harsh detergents to wash your seat covers. But, of course, mild soap and water does the job well.

You can replace any lost oils from the fabric with a spray that is available from the manufacturer. It gives your piece of textile a new look.

Most importantly, you need to know that acrylic fabric will harden if you use water that’s too cold. Furthermore, it will also melt when exposed to boiling water.


Acrylic can expel water droplets from the skin. Therefore, this fabric can withstand rain, moisture, and cold temperatures.  Because wetness gets drawn to the exterior, acrylic material dries quickly and does not attract mildew and mold.

Fade Resistance

Extreme weather can damage the colors of your outdoor fabric. However, acrylic is resistant to sunlight and doesn’t change color easily. In addition, the threads of this fabric are dyed first before being woven, which permits it to maintain its color even if displayed in direct sunlight.

It is one of the perfect outdoor fabrics for your outdoor furniture whose colors remain unchanged for a longer time. In addition, acrylic is more fade-resistant when compared to nylon fabric.


Acrylic fabric can withstand 1,000 hours of sunlight exposure and rates high on robustness and durability. Besides being firm, it is stretchy and also has a softness that resembles that of wool. 

Cushion covers and other upholstery pieces made from acrylic fabric are mite-resistant. This fabric is ideal for use on garden and patio furniture pieces which are easy targets for mites and insects. 

Excessive exposure of fabric to direct sunlight promotes wear and tear. Unlike polyester that gets hot when exposed to sunlight, the acrylic cloth is UV resistant and remains cooler in hot weather.

Drawbacks to Acrylic

Flammability – The material does not catch fire easily, but once it ignites, it burns quickly. Acrylic fabric melts and drips like plastic. You can experience severe burns if it drips on your skin. However, you can minimize the risk of injury through burns by selecting acrylic material that contains flame-retardants.

Sometimes, acrylic upholstery fabric can develop small balls of fibers on the face of the material. The fuzz-balls are a result of abrasion on the exterior. This reaction is unsightly and also makes your outdoor fabric look worn.

4. Textilene fabric

Textilene fabrics are knit from extrusion coated PVC fibers using a polyester core thread. Exterior designers can use this robust material for décor on outdoor couches, beds, and seats.

Why is Textilene Fabric Good for Your Outdoor Furniture?

This fabric can withstand stress when exposed to direct sunlight, wind, dust, rain, and other elements. The material is also rot-resistant and does not lose its beauty due to UV rays or snow.


 It is moisture resistant, waterproof, and does not attract mold. Textilene fabric is ideal for décor on outdoor spaces such as patio furniture. Your cushion fillings remain dry even when exposed to wetness. 


The Textilene fabric has a combination of beauty and strength. It can withstand abrasion and doesn’t tear easily. In addition, Textilene material is resilient to extreme climates and functions well in both hot and cold seasons.

Flame retardant

Textilene is one of the outdoor materials that contain flame retardant properties. This fabric does not catch fire easily and does not melt or drop when ignited.

Drawbacks to Textilene

The fabric has a recognizable polyester feel. Textilene offers less comfort when compared to acrylic and nylon fabrics. You may have to do some touch tests before choosing an ideal Textilene textile texture for your outdoor furniture.

Tips on How Best to Use Outdoor Fabric

Experts in the furniture and upholstery industry suggest that 100% of your pillow fillings should be waterproof. Of course, you must cover your pillow inserts with marine fabric covers to keep out moisture.

Before selecting your ideal outdoor material, you need to consider how often you use your patio or outdoor space. Vinyl, polyester, and acrylic are some of the best materials if you intend to use your terrace all year round.

Remember that mold doesn’t feed on synthetic fibers. Nevertheless, it attaches itself to dust, skin cells, and pollen on the fabric. Marine fabric is dust and mold repellent, but you must ensure that you clean your outdoor materials often.


Outdoor furniture in homes and other business spaces repeatedly comes in contact with rain, dust, and sunlight. These elements can damage or deface your seat covers, furniture replacement slings, pillows, and cushions. 

Even so, outdoor fabrics for your outdoor furniture are robust and durable to withstand the elements. Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other marine fabric are ideal for your outdoor seats, couches, and benches. 

Additionally, these materials are affordable, easy to wash, stain-free, and readily available. You can choose from an array of colors and textures depending on your preferences. Ideally, outdoor fabric improves the beauty of your patio and other recreational outdoor space and provides comfort for you and your guests.