Which Fabrics for Outdoor Slipcovers Are Waterproof?

Outdoor slipcovers are an easy way to protect your furniture from harsh elements. You will find different materials to choose from when shopping for a waterproof slipcover.

Check out the best waterproof outdoor slipcovers to protect furniture from moisture and harsh weather. This guide will also show you what makes the fabric waterproof and water-resistant.

What Are Outdoor Slipcovers?

Slipcovers are fitted and removable covers you can secure around your furniture pieces. They’re easy to make your old furniture look brand new without reupholstering. These items can upgrade the vibe of your couch while protecting it from kids, pets, and weather.

You can use slipcovers on your futons, daybeds, sofas, loveseats, chairs, and recliners. You can even use them on Ottomans. But outdoor couches and sofas will benefit from slipcovers because they can protect against UV rays. 

There are several types of slipcover designs. A one-piece protector is easy to wear and take off on your outdoor daybed. They have ties that let you tighten around the base. You may also consider separate seat protectors and stretch-fit protectors, which offer a form-fitting look.

Measure the size of the outdoor furniture you plan on covering first. Consider the height, length, width, and depth.

What Is a Waterproof Fabric?

There’s confusion on the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. A waterproof fabric contains tightly-bound cells with almost no holes for water to penetrate. These fabrics are not natural, so the marine fabrics and awnings you see are synthetic.

Water-resistant fabrics have a coating that prevents water from getting in. However, they are not impenetrable. Water-resistant materials are also called water-repellent materials.

Waterproof and water-resistant fabrics sound good. But it also involves several challenges. First, they are not breathable. So, despite being mold-resistant, the small amount of water on the surface can still encourage mold growth.

Second, waterproof and water-resistant upholstery is uncomfortable. It feels sweaty and sticky, especially if you’re sitting outdoors on a hot day. 

What Makes Outdoor Slipcovers Waterproof?

Waterproof and water-resistant materials have several qualities. First, most of them come from artificial fibers that are naturally hydrophobic. That means these fabrics can repel water molecules, including vinyl and olefin.

Some materials cannot naturally repel water on a molecular level. But they were treated with “waterproofing” methods during manufacturing. The solution produces a coating that serves as a barrier between the fabric and the liquid. 

These fabrics are also high-density. The higher the thread count, the tighter the weave and the more waterproof the fabric is. 

Benefits of Outdoor Slipcovers

Outdoor slipcovers not only look great on your patio and garden, but there’s no fuss when you’re lounging al fresco. 

An excellent outdoor fabric is waterproof and stain- and fade-resistant. These characteristics are essential if you ever experience spillages or pool splashes. But the best part about slipcovers is you can easily replace them without throwing your couch away. 

Types of Outdoor Slipcovers

You can treat all fabrics to be waterproof for outdoor use. But some are already naturally waterproof. Here are three waterproof fabrics you can use for your outdoor slipcovers. 


Olefin is a stain-resistant material that comes from refining petroleum. The highly durable fabric is manmade and created along with other fibers. You can also call it polyethylene or polypropylene.

Manufacturers produce olefin in the same procedure as nylon and polyester. They melt the chemicals and feed them through a spinneret to make long fibers. The final look is a solution-dyed fabric with a smooth texture. 

Aside from being an outdoor slipcover fabric, it’s also a house wrap and marine covering. The outdoor fabric doesn’t fade in color despite being under the sun.  

Outdoor Polyester

Polyester is the most affordable yet least durable outdoor fabric you can use. It has an average lightfastness score of 1000 or below because it is dyed in batches. Manufacturers weave them white, then dye them in drums. 

It can resist abrasion and stretching, mold, and rot. Polyester is also flexible and lightweight. Go for vinyl-backed polyester to get double the durability. You can also try solution-dyed polyester because of its sub-resistance.


Acrylic material is another synthetic fabric you can use for your outdoor furnishings. It has mildew-resistant properties, lower specific gravity, and the ability to control moisture. 

Mildew thrives on dirt and pollen. So, you don’t need to clean acrylic to prevent the mold from growing thoroughly. It’s also waterproof and tough. 

Try bleaching it to remove stains, and the color of your fabric will stay. But never dry-clean or tumble-dry your acrylic slipcover. The fibers might damage the protective coating.

Solution-dyed acrylic fabric has UV-blocking agents that shield it from fast aging. Manufacturers dye the fiber while it’s still viscous. They blend polymer with the pigment to lock the color and keep it solid for the next few years.

What Is the Best Waterproof Fabric?

If you want the most waterproof fabric for your outdoor slipcover, the best choice would be acrylic canvas. Many high-end outdoor furniture manufacturers use it for premium designs. It’s also more suitable for warmer climates than other fabrics because it can withstand UV rays. 

Acrylic is also easy to spot-clean. Use a solution of ¼ cup of bleach-free detergent, then mix with water. Rinse everything with clean water, then allow it to air dry.

Do Outdoor Slipcovers Fade?

Yes. Even the best outdoor fabrics fade over time because of exposure to sunlight. They can also be affected when the sun doesn’t shine. But the rate at which they age quickly varies on every fabric.

Choose an outdoor slipcover with a color that doesn’t fade quickly. Avoid navy blue, black, gray, and dark and bright colors. 

In the End

Waterproof outdoor slipcovers protect your outdoor furniture from spillages, water fights, and rain. Choose a fade-resistant material that’s easy to clean and can avoid sun damage, like acrylic and olefin.

Do you need more information on waterproof fabrics? Share your questions in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to give you advice! And head to our website to shop all our outdoor fabrics!

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