High-Performing Patio Fabrics

There is nothing better than basking in the heat and soaking up the sun. But, just the way you need to wear sunscreen to make sure you are filtering out any harmful UV rays, the outdoor fabrics on your patio chairs need to be protected and high performing, as well.

There are a lot of outdoor furniture fabrics on the market–you can buy them by content type, or there are some notable name brands that you can specifically look for.

Here are some of the more popular outdoor fabrics:

Types of Outdoor Fabrics

Olefin Fiber/ Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a man-made material often used for both cushion inserts and covering, but that tends to be stiff. However, there are now more pliable options. Olefin fiber is the generic name for polypropylene.


While easy to clean and relatively hardy, vinyl becomes hot to the touch as temperatures rise and do not absorb sweat, making for an unpleasant summer experience.

Duck Cloth

Also referred to as ā€œcanvas,ā€ this fabric is commonly used in tents, stroller covers, workwear clothing, and other products in which durability is a crucial element.

Textilene Fabric

Synthetic and made from woven polyester covered in PVC (vinyl), Textilene holds up well when exposed to the elements, but can be less comfortable than natural fabrics due to its PVC coating.


Used for centuries for outdoor cushions, cotton canvas is a popular choice for those looking for a balance of comfort and affordability but is prone to mildew and fading if not treated before use.


Fabric is strong, quick-drying, and often inexpensive. For those on a budget, it is almost certainly the best choice for outdoor fabric. Many patterns, colors, and styles are easily available in polyester. If properly cared for, this fabric can last for a long time outdoors.

Solution-Dyed Acrylic

Another synthetic option that resists mildew and fading well, but will remain soft to the touch and comfortable during all seasons.

Brands of Outdoor Fabrics

Sunbrella is the most famous solution-dyed acrylic brand. Sunbrella is known to be the most fade-resistant, water-resistant, and mildew-resistant outdoor fabric available. Sunbrella fabrics are much more UV resistant than many cheaper outdoor fabrics. They can be left outside in the sun for long periods without fading.

Olefin is another synthetic option that resists mildew and staining, fades well, and is known for its durability. It is frequently mentioned with polypropylene. These fabrics tend to be cheaper than high-end acrylic fabrics like Sunbrella. They are often used as umbrella canvases.

Outdura is a 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabric that is fade, stain, and water-resistant. Their award-winning designs are easy to clean and proudly woven in the USA in Hudson, North Carolina.

Spuncrylic is a 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabric that is fade, stain, and water-resistant.

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