Your outdoor furniture project is almost finished. You have chosen the furniture, you have decided on the layout, and you know perfectly well where to place each element. Everything is perfect, only one detail of fundamental importance is missing: the selection of the right fabric.
The outdoor furniture may be classy, but if the coverings fade or cushions are no longer comfortable after a few months, all your work will have been almost completely in vain: the end-user will certainly not be satisfied with their garden furniture.
We expect that a high-level garden or terrace will guarantee many seasons of use without losing beauty or comfort. Therefore, it is a priority to invest in quality outdoor fabric, capable of excellent performance.
Fortunately for us, the world of luxury outdoor fabric has evolved in recent times. We are no longer limited to only heavy acrylics or rigid and annoyingly rough cushions. Instead, we can enjoy soft and elegant materials, able to compete with those used inside the home.
Choosing the right outdoor fabric for your project, and also reconciling aesthetic needs and durability, can be a time-consuming process. For this reason, we have come up with a small guide that helps professionals understand which characteristics are indispensable.
In the following paragraphs, we will give you a series of tips based on years of experience in the outdoor furniture sector. We will start with an examination of the materials, then tackle the topics of style and details that can make your fabric unique.
The right materials for quality outdoor fabric
Any outdoor fabric, to be such, is designed to withstand climatic agents and other aggressions from outdoor environments. Many types of material boast this feature, but in general, the performances are different both in terms of aesthetics and quality.
The most important features for luxury outdoor fabric include:
- Resistance to UV rays and fading
- Resistance to water and atmospheric agents
- Resistance to mold and mildew
- Resistance to wear and mechanical stress
- Ability to breathe
- Comfort and softness
Let's take a look at some of them in detail.
Resistance to humidity and mold
Rain, humidity, splashes from the swimming pool, or contact with wet swimwear can put a strain on outdoor fabric. Quality outdoor fabric is designed to let water slide off instead of trapping it and absorbing it.
This not only ensures that it dries quickly but also prevents the development of mold and mildew. The latter, in addition to being unpleasant, can shorten the life of the fabric by years.
Resistance to the sun’s rays
The sun's rays are very aggressive, and prolonged exposure can quickly fade and degrade fabric. Quality outdoor fabric will keep its colors longer, and the threads will not weaken over time, causing rips and tears.
The quality of the coloring also influences the fabric from this point of view. Dyeing in bulk already at the level of the yarn is preferable: the color will remain brighter, even after many days in the sun, intense use, and several cleaning cycles.
Washability and stain resistance
When you spend time outdoors, small accidents can happen. A little wine or food dropped on the furniture or splashes of mud on rainy days should not be a problem. Therefore, outdoor fabric that is stain-resistant and easy-to-clean is necessary .
The resistance must also extend to the cleaning itself: if the fabric cannot cope with regular washing, it will not last long.
Abrasion and tear resistance
In its daily use, furniture is subjected to frequent stresses. If you think of a chair, a bed, or a deckchair, they suffer friction and pressure every time someone sits down or gets up.
Abrasion resistance is a measure of how many times fabric can be rubbed before showing significant wear (usually defined as two or more broken threads). Tear resistance is a measure of how much strength fabric can withstand before it tears.
Depending on the intended use of the fabric, these characteristics will be more or less important.
Precisely because they have to be so robust, until recently, outdoor fabric was not as soft as indoor ones. Today things have changed: people want to enjoy gardens and patios with the same comfort and pleasantness of their living rooms at home.
Research has taken many steps forward, and luxurious outdoor fabric has reached a softness never seen before . This is an indispensable feature for quality outdoor furniture, one of the most discriminating between high-level furniture and lower-end solutions.
Types of materials
There are many materials used to make the fabric for outdoor use, let's take a look at the most popular and what differentiates them:
- Polyester : fairly soft, easy to work with; it does not rip or tear under pressure and resists abrasion. It also cleans easily.
- Acrylic : it is the most popular option for outdoor furniture. It is very soft and resists fading and stains.
- PVC mesh fabric : they are very resistant to water and are especially suitable for curtains and solar covers.
- Alcantara : often used for boats and cars, it is treated to resist water, stains, and ultraviolet rays. It is also highly resistant to abrasion.
The quality of workmanship in luxury outdoor fabric
For furniture, even outdoor furniture, the details make the difference. In addition to the choice of material, it is very important to pay attention to the quality of the workmanship and finishes.
Luxurious outdoor furniture, in fact, must not only resist outdoors but must also contribute to the aesthetics and refined style of the entire project.
One of the details worth noting is the thickness of the yarn. A thinner yarn, once woven, will make up more refined fabric than one with a larger diameter. The latter, on the other hand, will be considerably more robust. Therefore, the choice must be carefully weighed according to the needs and contexts of use.
The fibers must be long and thin to keep the surface smooth. If instead short threads are used, the effect will be rougher and less uniform, due to the greater number of knots.
The "twist" , i.e., the degree of the twisting of the wire, affects both the strength and the softness. The best quality outdoor fabric is inherently more resistant and can, therefore, be made of yarns with a light twist, in favor of greater softness.
Another feature that must be considered well is the plot. The direction of the threads inside the structure can make fabric stronger or weaker. For example, a simple weave is less resistant than a twill one, in which the yarns are braided diagonally and therefore distribute the pressure over the whole fabric.
The density of the threads per unit of surface also makes a big difference: the more threads there are in a square centimeter, the more robust the fabric will be. At the same time, fabric that is too heavy is harder and less pleasant to the touch.
As is imaginable, a crucial quality factor lies in the regularity of the fabric itself. Only if all the fibers are of the same thickness and density at each point can you be sure that there are no weak points. Very often, a small vulnerable area is enough to compromise the perfection of a luxury outdoor fabric.
The broadest possible choice for luxury exterior fabric
Recent advances in materials and manufacturing techniques have paved the way for a whole rainbow of colors and an infinite number of motifs to choose from for quality outdoor fabric. Choosing the right fabric to cover furniture or cushions is, therefore, crucial for the final aesthetic effect and is closely linked to the tastes and preferences of the designer.
For this reason, it is important to rely on companies capable of providing the widest possible range of quality fabric, both in terms of shades and graphics or decorative patterns.
DFN, for example, guarantees an extensive choice , comparable in appearance and variety of the range to the best catalogs of interior fabric. For those who desire it, each textile product can be customized by inserting the company logo or the family crest or freely deciding on any type of motif or decoration.
In addition, the company offers its clients a very high-level consultancy service . DFN experts will be able to suggest the best fabric for any context, such that it adapts each time to the style, ideas, and tastes of every client.
In addition, DFN has developed, in partnership with its suppliers, fabric designed and produced exclusively for its furniture lines so that it can offer its clients a unique offer, different from that of other operators. An emblematic example is an outdoor fabric made of copper wire that the Samuele Mazza logo reproduces .
This fabric is the result of our constant search for unique and unusual materials . This captivating copper texture combines the shine of the metal leaf with the softness of an exquisite fabric.
If, on the other hand, the designer already has a trusted manufacturer and knows what they want, the furniture can also be made with the fabric it supplies , in complete freedom.
Beauty and resistance, softness and functionality . Today, luxurious outdoor fabric is required to be a synthesis of many different qualities, a result that is difficult to obtain and at least equally complicated to evaluate, if you are not an expert.
The risk of making the wrong choice is too great : if the fabric deteriorates or fades after a year of exposure, the entire project is to be considered a failure.
On the other hand , too narrow a selection of colors or an error in the choice of finishes can affect the furniture from an aesthetic point of view.
Finally, the furniture must be comfortable and pleasant to the touch, at least as much as the interior is, and this is a result that only the best manufacturers can guarantee over time.
For this reason, it is essential to have a reliable and professional company at your side, which includes DFN, the most capable and expert figure in the outdoor furniture sector.