When choosing the right kind of fabric for your outdoor home décor, you need to select items that are resistant to staining, fading and mildew. In the summer season, you need to take out your outdoor furniture and spruce it up with the right décor. The fabric of the table cloth, cushion, pillow, and other covers for your furniture should be made for outdoor usage. They differ from indoor furniture fabric, so take the time to purchase the right items for your needs.
Do outdoor fabrics require special handling?
Like everything you buy, outdoor fabrics also need special care and handling to help them last for a very long time. The following is a simple guide to help you to choose, care and clean for outdoor fabrics-
- Know your outdoor fabric –Outdoor fabrics are generally available in two kinds- printed and solution-dyed. The latter resist fading as the dye permeates deep into the fabric fibres. Printed fabrics, on the other hand, only have the surface of the fabric colour. To know whether the fabric is printed or solution-dyed, flip the swatch over. If the pattern and colour on its back are similar to its front, this means it is a fabric that has been solution-dyed.
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- Special coats of protection – Like carpets, outdoor fabrics might be coated for resisting moisture and repelling stains. For instance, synthetic mesh, olefin fibre, polyesters and acrylics are generally coated. These fabric protectors make the liquid bleed on the surface, and this accelerates drying. Again, ingredients deployed by chemical treatments might take longer to dry. So, if you do not like the idea of sitting on vinyl coated or acrylic surfaces, buy canvas fabrics instead.
- Cleaning and taking care of outdoor fabrics –Cleaning any outdoor fabric is very simple. Like your clothes, you need to check their washing labels for knowing the specific laundry instructions. Whether your outdoor cushion covers, seat covers and slings are made of cotton canvas or from a synthetic fabric like acrylic, washing them with your hands in lukewarm water with a gentle soap will clean them well.
If you can remove the fabric from the furniture, you can put it inside a washing machine with a gentle detergent. However, do not use the dryer. Try to avoid harsh detergents that remove the water repelling properties of some fabrics.
For mildew and tougher stains, clean the fabric with a soft brush with water and oxygen bleach (test it in a conspicuous area first). Like your indoor fabrics, try to clean liquid spills immediately to mitigate staining.
Last but not least, to make your cushions last for a very long time, check them at regular intervals for mildew and mould. Clean and, if needed, replace them. You can fill your new cushions with fibre filling or high-density all-weather foam.
For keeping water off your cushions, keep them in an upright position. The water will run down in the case of heavy rain. Keep the zippers of the fabric open as this will facilitate quicker drying.