What to Use for DIY Outdoor Patio Cushions

Do you want to spruce up your exterior furniture and wonder what to use for DIY outdoor patio cushions? No, you can’t use indoor fabrics outside, as they will not last when exposed to the elements. Learn how to choose the best outdoor fabrics based on their properties. 

Outdoor Fabrics Vs. Indoor Fabrics

Fabrics indoors can be crafted from virtually any kind of cloth that comes to mind. Indoor fabric can range from straightforward polyester and cotton to refined silk and wool. It is possible to weave, dye, and screen-print designs onto it to create any aesthetic while retaining the plushness you would expect to feel.

The problem with indoor materials is that they tend to wear out over time. Fabric that is resistant to fading and stains is something you should look for if you plan to place a couch or chair cushions in a room located near a large window.

Synthetic fabrics that have been solution-dyed are great for making outdoor fabrics. Brands use dyes in the manufacturing process of the yarn, which allows the color to permeate the yarn completely. This results in a hue that will not lose its vibrancy or become washed out when exposed to natural factors.

Importance of Using Outdoor Fabrics

To understand why you need to select fabrics designed for outdoor use, you need to look at the benefits of these fabrics.

UV Resistance

When fabrics for the interior of a building are dyed, the pigments are typically only left on the top surface of the fiber. As a result, these pigments are susceptible to fading when you leave the cloth in direct sunlight. 

Regarding pigmentation, the method utilized to color outdoor fabrics is distinct. Because the pigments in the fabrics are saturated rather than just on the surface, they are resistant to UV light, which prevents color fading in the short and medium terms.

Mold and Mildew Resistance

Also, consider how to protect the fabric from being damaged by mildew and moisture in an outdoor setting. Because precipitation (rain or snow) can significantly influence the fabric’s quality, it is common practice to treat outdoor fabrics so that they do not absorb any liquid. 


The terms “water resistant” and “waterproof” may appear equivalent. It is essential to be aware that waterproof fabrics actively repel water and frequently do not allow the product to breathe. 

Mold can start forming on the product if it absorbs moisture and stays damp for an extended period. The coating made to make a cloth water resistant also causes the fabric’s ability to repel water to diminish with time. 

However, a water-resistant fabric still repels water. Fabrics resistant to water typically have better breathability and are frequently more pleasant to the touch.

Best Type of Outdoor Fabrics

Solution-Dyed Acrylics

Fabrics made of solution-dyed acrylics undergo the dyeing process before the yarn creation. The majority of textiles start without any color. Then the fibers are spun into yarn, and then the yarn is dyed before it is made into a fabric. 

An acrylic solution is mixed with the dye before being made into a fiber and spun into a yarn. Because of this, the fiber already has a color when it is created. Because of this method, the color will not fade and will not be affected by water. 

Awnings and patio umbrellas are frequent places to find solution-dyed acrylics because of their flexibility and breathability, similar to the canvas. However, a softer and more porous variant of this material is also utilized for outdoor cushions.


Olefin is a synthetic fiber frequently combined with other types of fibers to make outdoor fabric blends. It’s utilized in several other applications as well, including home wrap, maritime coverings, and clothing, plus its common use in the production of outdoor furniture. 

Polyethylene and polypropylene are both names you can use to refer to olefin, depending on the chemical structure of the olefin. It is produced analogously to that polyester and nylon, respectively. To create lengthy strands, the chemicals utilized are melted and sent through a spinneret head, which resembles a shower head. 

Olefin normally has a smooth surface and is typically colored using a solution-based process. It is a long-lasting fabric that dries out quickly and is resistant to the effects of mildew, stains, chemicals, and weathering.


Sails, tents, backpacks, tarps, and even canoes are all made of canvas because they are durable outdoor fabrics that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Cotton and linen are the most common fibers in producing modern canvas fabrics. However, the canvas can be made from several materials. 

Canvas is a generic term used to represent various outdoor fabrics. These fabrics can be acrylic, polyester, or a combination. Because many authentic canvas materials contain natural fibers, there is a risk of mold and mildew.

Vinyl-Coated Synthetic Fiber Mesh

Manufacturers use this PVC mesh to produce fabrics for sling chairs, in which the fabric bears the weight of the user rather than the frame. This cloth does not stretch at all and is quite sturdy. Other sorts of fabrics are not durable enough to be used for covering these kinds of seats.

Most PVC mesh textiles are composed of acrylic yarns or vinyl-coated polyester. They might contain other synthetics, such as PVC and olefin. However, the precise composition of the materials used might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. 

They produce an outdoor fabric that does not encourage mildew formation. It is long-lasting, colorfast, easy to clean, and sturdy.

Acrylic-Coated Polyesters

It’s durable and resistant to wrinkling, fading, and mildew formation, so acrylic is a basis for outdoor fabrics. The combo of these results in a weather-resistant fabric that is ideal for usage outside. 

Polyester is responsible for many of these features. To manufacture acrylic-coated polyester, the fabric threads must first be woven. Once complete, the material must be colored and dipped into an acrylic coating. There’s also the option to purchase this material in a blend of cotton and polyester, which ordinarily has a more visually appealing appearance. 

Awnings and patio umbrellas made of acrylic-coated polyester or cotton-polyester mixes are commonly employed to protect boats and automobiles. 


The woven polyester that forms the basis for Textilene is then coated in PVC. Textilene is an outdoor fabric that is waterproof, fireproof, and resistant to mold growth. It is commonly used for sunshades and outdoor furniture.

However, Textilene has a texture that is somewhat like that of plastic. If you place high importance on comfort, you should try out a sample of this fabric before making a purchase.

In the End

Consider how exposed said cushions will be if you’re wondering what to use for DIY outdoor patio cushions. You mostly want fabrics that don’t fade in the sun, won’t be damaged in the rain, and are easy to clean. 

Your preferences and top priorities should guide you in selecting the appropriate cloth. You definitely get what you pay for when shopping for fabrics, just like with most other things, but our selection of quality fabrics always delivers! Check them out!

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