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Upholstery Journal - June/July 2007

 Link to Article

Take it Outside

Demand for outdoor living space opens options for upholsterers.

Written by:  Marua Keller

According to Sarah Hardy of Michael's Custom Built Inc., Glen Raven's Sunbrella is one of the more well known solution-dyed acrylics, but many other manufacturers produce their own versions, including Donghia, Perennials, Robert Allen, Pindler & Pindler, and Duralee, to name a few.

"Some are much more decorative and more expensive than the basic Sunbrella fabrics," Hardy says. "Others are similar to the more basic Sunbrella line. But most of the acrylic fabrics are inherently resistant to moisture, mildew, and fading. They can literally be hosed off or scrubbed with soapy water, or even bleached for dark stains.
"Cotton fabrics or other natural fibers will mildew and fade when used outdoors, even when protected by shade. The extra moisture outdoors will quickly destroy the fabric."

As Hardy explains, some companies are starting to market outdoor fabrics made from polyolefin. "These fabrics are intended for outdoor use," she says. "A lot of the outdoor fabrics are treated with a stain repellant, such as Teflon, to add to the stain-resistant qualities of the fabric. 

"Here in California, we have a large number of clients using outdoor fabrics for indoor furniture. The outdoor fabrics do not fade as quickly and they are easy to clean, which is especially important in homes with small children and animals. We also have a large number of clients with either actual sunrooms or just sunny rooms who select outdoor fabrics for upholstery and window seats, so that they won't fade. Most outdoor fabrics are resistant to fading for at least five years."

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Michael Jimenez CEO
Michael's Custom Built Upholstery and Furniture
1455 E. Francisco Blvd., Suite J - San Rafael, California 94901
415.459.0208 - mail@michaelsupholstery.com