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Fabric

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Even if you sew your own boat canvas, it’s still a large investment of both time and money. So when grommets fail or you get a rip or a hole in your canvas, you want to be able to repair it to prolong the life of your cover. To help you be able to fix any rip or tear on your boat canvas, we’re sharing a 3-part series on canvas repair. In this first installment, we’re going to focus on patching up rips and tears.</P.

Before you dive into any canvas repair, it’s always a good idea to assess the state of your entire cover. If the cover is old (over 10 years for Sunbrella) you may be better off replacing the whole cover instead of repairing a canvas that’s on it’s way out. However, getting another season or two out of the cover might be worth it. It’s really a cost/benefit analysis of the time and effort the repair will take you.

If you decide to repair, you first need to assess what caused the damage. If the chafing caused the rip (this is common around windshield corners for example), you’ll want to reinforce the area more than if the rip was caused by something external hitting or snagging the canvas. Then, depending on your tear, you have some options for how to patch it up.

Patching at Your Sewing Machine

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If your damage was caused by external forces, you can patch just the outside of your canvas using the same material the cover is made from. If your hole was caused by chafing, you should patch the inside of the canvas with a chafe resistant material like Shelter-Rite®  or Sur Last® to keep the damage from happening again. Use the same cover material on the outside.

For the most technical, sturdy and precise patch, here’s what you want to do. Cut out a rectangle around the rip in your canvas. Cut a slit at each corner and fold the edges of the patch under and sew in place. Then, cut a rectangle of your new patch material (top and bottom if necessary) larger than the hole in your old canvas. Hem the edges of the patch fabric and baste it in place on top of the hole in your cover. Sew around the perimeter of the patch to secure.

To make this even easier, you could use a hotknife to cut out the rip and the new patch fabric and eliminate any need for hemming. Then you would just sew the patch fabric over the removed rip in the cover. If the patch is vinyl it should not be cut with a hotknife, however vinyl won’t fray so it doesn’t need to be hemmed anyway.

Patching in Place

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Often we hear from customers that have a rip in a bimini top or an awning and don’t want to take the fabric down to take it to their sewing machine. If you want a quick, no-sew repair, try Tear-Aid Type A. These adhesive-backed patches will create a solid, quick patch as long as they are properly installed. Be sure to clean your fabric thoroughly and let it dry completely before application and use the provided alcohol prep pad.

If you can get access to both sides of the fabric (like on an awning) you can also use the Speedy Stitcher® Sewing Awl to sew on a patch without taking your fabric down from its application.

Be sure to check back for our next installment on repairing grommets and snaps. Find everything you need to patch up your canvas as good as new at Sailrite.com.

What other questions do you have about patching rips and tears? What was your toughest repair job? Share your questions and stories in the comments!

The start of a new year is a great time to start fresh. If one of your goals for the New Year is to give your home décor a facelift, we’ve rounded up 5 home décor trends that designers and taste makers are predicting will be popular in the coming year, so you’re home will be stylishly right on-trend. Some of these looks feel trendier than others, so even if you’re not a style-follower, you might see a classic look you like.

1. Blues

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Blues have been a popular color in home décor for a few years now and this trend shows no sign of losing steam. Popular shades of this cool color include a bright Greek blue, deep almost black navy, and vibrant cobalt. There are many ways to bring these colors to your home. Try upholstering a chair in the rich navy velvet.

2. Retro Colors

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The mid-century modern look is holding steady in home décor and is growing with the increase of 1960’s colors. Tones like olive green, orange, and ochre yellow are being given new life in homes and in fashion. The Sunbrella® Icon collection is the perfect example of this trend. Sunbrella’s latest upholstery collection, Icon is inspired by the Sunbrella archives and prominently features colors of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Try a bold stripe to create an authentic mid-century look.

3. Pastels

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A modern take on the 1980’s pastel palette will grow in the coming year with the big color for this trend being pale pink. These new pastels have a sophisticated feel in petal pinks, soft oranges, blues, and greens. We love the look of a pale rosy pink.

4. Olive Green

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Olive green is becoming a popular color and it actually fits along with two larger trends. Olive will look great with a mid-century modern look and a 1960’s color palette, and it is also one of a number of warm tones that are seeing a lot of use. Other warm tones include rust, dusty mint, and eggplant.

5. Nature Inspired

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Natural elements are big in home décor from wood grain and floral fabrics to hair on hide and faux furs. We love fabrics inspired by nature especially the seaside (we are sailors after all!). To take the natural look up a notch, combine it with another popular look right now, watercolors. A fabric with watercolor florals or coral is the perfect, soft accent to just about any room.

Of course, design isn’t all about what’s trending. It’s also about filling your home with colors, patterns and textures that you love and that reflect your personality. Find the perfect fabric for your personality at Sailrite.com.

Which one of these design trends would you use in your home? What other types of fabrics, patterns, influences are inspiring you lately? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

One of the big selling points of Sunbrella® fabric, besides its legendary durability, is how easy it is to clean. It won’t be stained by chocolate, marker, red wine or other hard to remove stain causers. With regular, light maintenance Sunbrella fabrics will stay looking great for years to come. We’ve put together this handy guide for you to know exactly how to care for your Sunbrella fabric so you won’t have to worry about life’s messes!

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General Cleaning

All Sunbrella fabrics need to be cleaned now and then to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. Different uses and lines of Sunbrella have slightly different general care methods.

Sunbrella® Upholstery fabric can be used indoors on upholstered furniture pieces but also on removable items like pillow covers, cushion covers, slip covers and draperies. To clean these removable pieces, you can wash them by hand or toss them in the washing machine. To hand wash, soak the fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to agitate fabric if necessary and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Sunbrella can also be machine washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Always allow Sunbrella to air dry.

For general care of Sunbrella Upholstery fabric on outdoor furniture, brush off any loose dirt from the fabric and prepare a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to clean, allowing the solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow to air dry.

Sunbrella® on your boat covers and tops requires some routine maintenance, too. To clean your marine tops, brush off loose dirt from the surface of the fabric and hose down. Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap like Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid or spray with 303® Fabric Cleaner. Clean with a soft bristled brush allowing the cleaning solution to soak into fabric. Rinse to remove all soap and allow to air dry.

Spot Cleaning

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Stains happen and sometimes you’ll need to clean your indoor and outdoor upholstered fabric pieces. Here’s how to spot clean your Sunbrella.

To spot clean upholstered pieces, apply a light mist of mild soap and water to the spot using a spray bottle. Remove any stains with a very soft bristle brush or a sponge and rinse the area to remove soap residue. Wet-vacuum or blot away excess water and allow to air dry. Repeat steps if necessary.

Heavy Cleaning for Stubborn Stains and Mildew

While Sunbrella does not promote mildew growth, dirt on the fabric can grow its own mildew. To remove it and other set-in stains, you may need to clean with bleach. To do this, prepare a solution of 1 cup bleach and 1/4 cup of mild soap per gallon of water and soak the stained area for 15 minutes. Use a sponge or brush to remove the stain until all the soap residue is gone and allow fabric to air dry.

You can alter the bleach quantities if the stain is especially severe. For cleaning recommendations on specific stains, see Sunbrella’s stain removal chart.

Re-Treating Fabric

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Sunbrella fabrics are coated with a special finish that helps them to be stain and water resistant. After a thorough washing, the fabric should be re-treated to keep this finish fresh. After your fabric has completely air dried, apply a coat of 303 Fabric Guard.

Additional Tips and Hints:

  • • Do not iron Sunbrella with a steamer or an iron set to steam. If you need to iron out wrinkles, use an iron set to “synthetic fabric.”
  • • Protect the area around your Sunbrella when cleaning with bleach.
  • • Removable outdoor pieces like cushion covers and umbrellas can be machine washed in cold water. Still allow them to air dry.
  • • Be aware of the environment when cleaning marine tops with bleach. If a bleach cleaning of your fabric is needed, it’s best to move the fabric away from bodies of water.
  • • Cleaning with bleach may affect your thread in a sewn project.

Learn more at Sailrite.com.

Many outdoor fabrics, like Sunbrella®, are water resistant naturally. But over time, after washing and being pelted by rain, some of that water resistance starts to wear away. One question we get asked a lot is “can I restore water resistance to my fabric?” The answer is yes, you can! We’ll show you what to use and when and how to apply it in today’s post.

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You can bring back the water resistance to your fabric with a spray-on treatment. Our favorite is 303® Fabric Guard. This product will restore water repellency, protect against stains and provide UV screening without affecting the color, feel or breathability of the fabric. It is safe to use on boat covers, awnings, patio cushions and much more. 303 Fabric Guard should not be used on vinyl, zippers, plastics, rubber, fiberglass or imitation suede, however.

How do you determine when and if your fabric needs treated? The best way to tell if you fabric needs treated is to do a quick test. Flick a small amount of water onto the fabric and watch how the water reacts. If the water is soaked into the fabric almost immediately, your fabric needs treated. To be diligent with your fabric, you can run this test every couple of months. You should also always retreat your fabric after a thorough cleaning.

How to Apply 303 Fabric Guard:

  1. Thoroughly clean your fabric and let dry completely before applying the fabric guard.
  2. Test the colorfastness of the material by spraying the fabric guard in an inconspicuous area and wiping the area while wet to see if the color transfers.
  3. In a well ventilated, area spray overlapping sprays until the fabric has been evenly misted (two light coats works better than one heavy coat). Be careful to avoid overspray on zippers and clear vinyl, as the fabric guard will harm these materials.
  4. Allow to air-dry and cure for 8 to 12 hours, depending on weather conditions. It will dry best in the sun on a hot day.
  5. Mist with water to test. Water should bead up on the fabric.

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You can find 303 Fabric Guard and other great fabric cleaners and protectants at Sailrite.com.

Do you use a fabric guard to restore water repellency to your fabrics? Leave us a comment and share your experiences!

If you’re looking for a durable, weather-proof, easy-to-clean fabric for your boat, patio, awning, or even your home, you might want to consider vinyl. Vinyl fabrics come in a variety of types, textures and colors and are designed for a wide array of uses, all with the same great durability. In today’s Fabric Feature we’re going to take a closer look at this ultra-strong synthetic fabric.

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A Bit of Vinyl History

Polyvinyl chloride (or PVC) was first created in 1872 by a German chemist, Eugen Baumann. Baumann never patented his discovery and therefore PVC was never patented until 1913 when another German, Friedrich Klatte, devised a new method for the polymerization of vinyl using sunlight. Vinyl was largely considered useless however, until 1926 when a researcher at BF Goodrich, Waldo Semon accidentally invented plasticized polyvinyl chloride. Semon was trying to create an adhesive to bond rubber to steel when he stumbled upon this new and improved version of PVC instead.

Vinyl was first used in shock absorber seals and grew in popularity during World War II when rubber was scarce. It worked so well as a wire covering on Navy ships that researchers started developing more commercial applications for vinyl. Today, about 60% of vinyl produced is used by the construction industry, but it’s also used for packaging, transportation and textiles.

Why Vinyl is Great

  • • Waterproof
  • • Weatherproof
  • • UV Resistant
  • • Fade Resistant
  • • Durable
  • • Great Strength & Stretch
  • • Excellent Abrasion Resistance
  • • Easy to Clean

Drawbacks to Vinyl

Vinyl can be tricky to sew, especially for beginners, because it has a tendency to get stuck when feeding it through a sewing machine. In addition, if a mistake is made and you rip out a seam, the stitch holes will still be visible. Stitch holes being a problem is largely personal preference, as this will bother some sewers more than others. To help sew vinyl fabrics evenly without sticking, try using a sewing machine with a walking foot, like the Sailrite® Ultrafeed Sewing Machine.

Another drawback to vinyl is that some vinyl has a plastic-like feel and doesn’t breathe well, making it sticky and hot to sit on. This can be avoided by spending a bit more for a nicer quality vinyl and also by selecting the right vinyl product for the right application. Look for a vinyl that’s recommended for seating if that’s the desired use.

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Grades of Vinyl

Vinyl fabric is a very diverse fabric group and one vinyl fabric can be very different from the next. For this reason vinyl fabrics are often classified into groups or “grades” based on their intended uses.

Marine Grade Vinyls, for example, are developed for use in a marine environment as upholstery on boats, awnings, and even outdoor furniture. These vinyls are made to be durable, resistant to abrasion and mildew, and colorfast. They also have the ability to withstand extreme temperature changes and weather events. If the design is suitable, marine grade vinyls are also often used in commercial applications, hospitals, and homes.

Other vinyl grades include Automotive Grade, which is similar to Marine Grade but also meets stringent standards for automotive safety and is often designed to mimic leather and Decorator Vinyl. Decorator Vinyl is mostly for home use and often mimics patent leather, snake-skin, or crocodile. These vinyls are also frequently used for handbags and rainwear.

For a low maintenance fabric you can depend on inside or out, vinyl is a great option. You might just be surprised how stylish it can be!

Browse Sailrite’s stock of vinyl at Sailrite.com.

Why do you love vinyl? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

2014_January-upholstery-1Do you have a stain on your sofa? A dirt spot on your chair? It can be tricky to figure out the best course of action for dirt and stains on upholstery. Luckily, most decorator fabrics and upholstery pieces are labeled with a cleaning code, and once you understand the codes, you can tackle most mild cleaning jobs yourself. Today we’re going to take a look at those cleaning codes as well as some best practices for great looking, long-lasting upholstery.

The first thing to do if you have a stain on your upholstery is to look for the fabric’s clean ability code. If the piece is store-bought, the code should be on the tag. If it’s been re-upholstered, check with the fabric manufacturer. At Sailrite, we list the fabric codes (or other care and cleaning instructions) on each fabric’s product page.

Once you’ve determined how to clean your fabric, it’s always a good idea to pre-test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous spot on the fabric. This way you can make sure the cleaner works and doesn’t leave a spot or cause the colors to bleed. If you’re in doubt about how to proceed, it’s usually best to call a professional upholstery cleaner.

Upholstery Fabric Cleaning Codes:

“W”—Code W stands for ‘Water based cleaner’ and these are the easiest fabrics to clean. This is not the same as being machine washable, however. This code means that you can spot clean your fabric with a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. You can use a brush to agitate the cleaner or even an upholstery attachment on a carpet cleaner. Be careful to avoid over-wetting the stain.

“S”—Fabrics that are Code S must be cleaned with solvents (dry clean only). You can spot treat stains with a water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Use solvent cleaners in a well-ventilated room and keep away from open flames. Avoid using cleaning products containing carbon tetrachloride, as it is highly toxic.

“W/S”—A W/S code, as you might expect, means that a combination of dry cleaning solvents and water-based cleaners may be used. These fabrics can be spot cleaned with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or a mild dry cleaning solvent. This is a case, where the pre-test is especially important. For overall dirt, call a professional to clean these fabrics.

“X”—If you have fabrics with Code X, they can only be cleaned by vacuuming or light brushing. A Code X means the fabric is not cleanable with water or solvent cleaners.

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Now you’re equipped with a guide for cleaning upholstery fabrics, so you’ll know just how to handle that next stain on your sofa! For day-to-day care and cleaning, here are some basic tips on keeping your upholstery looking good for years to come.

Basic Upholstery Fabric Care Tips

  • • For everyday cleaning of your upholstered pieces, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum the surface of the furniture to remove and loose dirt.  It’s also good to vacuum underneath the cushions as well.
  • • If you can, flip your cushions regularly to distribute the wear and to reduce soiling.
  • • Clean spills immediately by gently blotting with a clean, absorbent cloth. If a stain remains, then you’ll have to do some deeper cleaning according to the fabric’s code.

If you’re fabric is soiled beyond repair, maybe it’s time for a reupholster. Check out Sailrite’s wide selection of fabric at Sailrite.com.

Have you tried DIY upholstery cleaning? Share your tips and techniques in the comments!

The new year always feels like a natural place to turn the page and make some changes. If you’re looking to freshen up your home in 2014, why not be one of the first to embrace this year’s up and coming styles? Designers and style-spotters have long been speculating on the next big trends and we’ve compiled a list of some styles you’ll be sure to see in the coming year.

1. Purple

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Pantone recently named Radiant Orchid the color of the year for 2014 and purple of all hues will be popping up in home décor this year. For a close match to the color of the year try HGTV Home Fully Laced Quartz. This fabric not only features a backdrop of warm purple but also has a mid-century modern feel—another trend that should continue into the coming year.

2. Gold

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Scenes featuring mixed metals were big in 2013 and the trend is staying with a focus on gold. You can bring the sheen of gold to your fabrics, too. P/Kaufmann Flash Gold is a metallic gold fabric that will certainly make a statement. If you’re looking for something a little softer, try a window treatment or pillow in Softline’s Marlowe White fabric, which features soft gold in a trendy embroidery.

3. Blue

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In Pantone’s fashion color report for Spring 2014 there are two shades of blue: Dazzling Blue and Placid Blue. Look for everything from turquoise to deep navy, royal blue to periwinkle to have a presence this year. Our blue suggestions include a bright turquoise damask, P/Kaufmann Julian Turquoise, and a two-toned Ikat (another fabric trend that’s sticking around for 2014), P/Kaufmann Journey Seaglass.

4. Yellow

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Pops of bright yellow will make anyone feel cheery. This warm color will bring a nice depth to your room. Try a bright yellow for a big statement like the vibrant yellow flowers in Waverly Button Blooms Confetti. For a softer look, yellow can be tempered with gray, as in Waverly Bedazzle Silver Lining.

5. Floral & Chintz

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Floral is a popular motif heading into 2014 and the traditional pattern is coming back in chintz as well. The bright and crisp designs will bring a beautiful burst of color to your home. For a great example of traditional floral chintz try Waverly Garden Spring or Waverly Spring Bling Spring.

6. Menswear Inspired

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Menswear is beginning to inspire not only women’s fashion but home décor as well. Traditional prints like herringbone and houndstooth are being reimagined in new color ways and styles for 2014. Geobella Houndstooth features the iconic weave in traditional colors but Sunbrella’s Mod Mink Fabric takes it up a notch. For a subtle herringbone, look to P/Kaufmann Funny Bone, which is available in a variety of colors.

You can find fabrics featuring all of these great trends and many more looks and styles for your home and patio at www.sailrite.com.

Which upcoming trend are you most excited about incorporating in your home? Share your ideas in the comments!

Linen and linen blended fabrics are surging in popularity in home décor, but did you know that linen has been around for centuries? In fact, linen is one of the oldest fabrics in the world. In today’s Fabric Feature, we’re going to explore the history of linen as well as the great properties that have helped make linen a textile standard.

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A Bit of Linen History

While having a less documented past than cotton or silk, linen is believed to be one of the oldest known fabrics. Traces of linen dating back to 8000 B.C. have been found in Switzerland and the first written account of a linen industry was found on 4,000 year old Grecian tablets. In Ancient Egypt, linen was used for garments as well as wrapping for mummification. The linen was so strong and durable, that even mummies discovered recently have had perfectly intact linen.

Linen is a natural fiber made from the stalk of the flax plant. Flax is a finicky plant to grow and a great amount of care goes into its production. When the flax is harvested, the seeds are removed through a process called winnowing. Then fibers are loosened from plant stalk. The main part of the stalk is removed through a process called “scutching” where the stalk is pressed between two rollers, leaving the fibers exposed. These fibers are then woven to create linen fabric. The long fibers of the plant have a natural vegetable wax coating, which is what gives linen a subtle sheen when woven.

Linen is naturally durable and breathable. It’s off-white color makes it easy to dye and it tends to hold color well, without fading. Linen can range from a durable work fabric to fine home décor and apparel fabrics depending on the weave and quality of the flax it was made from. The majority of flax and linen produced today comes from Western Europe. Ireland, in particular, is known for their linen production.

Why Linen is Great

  • Good durability
  • Breathable
  • Resists fading
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • Resists pilling
  • Holds dye well
  • Versatile
  • Absorbent
  • Does not create static electricity

Drawbacks to Linen

Linen comes with a few drawbacks, the major one being wrinkles. Linen wrinkles very easily and needs specific care. After washing, lay linen flat to dry. While the fabric is still damp, you can use an iron to smooth out the wrinkles. Some newer linens are now being treated to be wrinkle-free.

In general, linen’s durability depends a lot on its weave. While it can be very strong, when it comes to home décor fabrics, the majority of linens are not recommended for high traffic upholstery. If you’d like to use linen for upholstery, it will last longer on occasional furniture, such as in a formal living room.

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Common Uses for Linen

Linen is a very versatile fabric and has a wide array of uses. Linen can be used for tablecloths, bed sheets and coverings, curtains, towels, clothing, and more. It was once so commonly used in housewares, that we now refer to all home textiles generically as “linens.”

Many people believe linen to have healing properties, claiming that it will help calm skin breakouts and rashes, prevent bedsores, and that sleeping on linen sheets has a calming effect that is good for cardiovascular health.

With a classic style that has stood the test of time, linen can play a role in any style of home décor. What will you do with linen?

To see our selection of linen and linen blend fabrics visit www.sailrite.com.

Want to read more Fabric Features? Visit past posts in the series to learn about Acrylic, Polyester, Cotton, and Olefin.

When it comes to durable fabrics, most people have heard of acrylic and polyester, but have you heard of olefin? Olefin fabrics are taking patio furniture by storm because of their strength and durability. Olefin can sometimes have a wool-like feel, but also is used to make flat woven fabrics and velvets. In today’s Fabric Feature, we’re going to take a closer look at olefin, the great fiber behind Geobella Fabrics.

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How Olefin is Made

Olefin is a synthetic (man made) fabric that is derived from ethylene and propylene. It was first developed in Italy in 1957. Olefin is manufactured by melting the chemicals and feeding them through a spinneret (a large shower-head like device) to form long fibers. Olefin is difficult to dye once it has been formed, so it is usually solution-dyed with the colors being added directly to the polymers before or during melting.

The production of olefin is very environmentally friendly. The production process results in very little by-product, meaning that it creates nearly no waste. Also, the fiber itself is recyclable and can be re-extruded up to 10 times.

Why Olefin is Great

  • Wicks moisture and dries quickly
  • Resists fading, mildew, chemicals, and insects
  • Highly stain resistant
  • Colorfast
  • Good abrasion resistance
  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Drawbacks to Olefin

Olefin is very heat sensitive and the fabric can break down and melt in extremely high temperatures. This isn’t a problem for day-to-day use, but does mean it requires a little extra care when cleaning. After washing olefin fabrics they should be line dried or tumble-dried with gentle or no heat. Also, in general, avoid ironing olefin. If you must iron, use the lowest temperature setting available.

Olefin as a basic fabric also is sensitive to sunlight. However, most olefin fabrics that are manufactured for outdoor purposes have stabilizers added to counteract this problem.

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Uses for Olefin Fabrics

Olefin fabrics are versatile for a variety of applications. They are used in automotive interiors; home furnishings such as patio cushions, upholstery, and wall coverings; and industrial uses like disposable non-woven fabrics, filter fabrics, bags, and geotextiles.

At Sailrite, we carry Phifer’s line of Geobella Outdoor Cushion Fabrics. We recommend Geobella for outdoor patio use and for indoor furniture that will receive heavy wear.

See our full line of stylish Geobella Fabrics at www.sailrite.com.

Can’t get enough of the Fabric Features? Be sure to check out our previous fabric posts all about Acrylic, Polyester, and Cotton.

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Sunbrella Marine Grade on Sailrite’s Project Boat

Selecting the perfect fabric, especially for a large project, can be a daunting task. To help inform your decisions, we’re here to answer a fabric question that we hear quite often from customers—What’s the difference between Sunbrella Marine and Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric? There are some differences between these performance fabric lines, so let’s take a closer look.

All Sunbrella fabrics are made from 100% solution-dyed acrylic. Therefore, they share a lot of core characteristics like being UV, water, mildew, stain and fade resistant, to name a few. But the marine and upholstery fabrics do have some key differences, and it’s those traits that make these fabrics perfectly suited to their applications.

First, let’s take a look at the construction of the two fabric lines. Sunbrella Marine and Awning fabrics have been engineered with shade applications in mind. Perfect for awnings, biminis, and boat tops, Sunbrella Marine Grade features a stiff, tight weave construction and a heavy finish. This tight weave gives the fabric a stiff feel to the touch. Then, compare that to the lighter, softer weaves of Sunbrella Upholstery fabric.  These fabrics are engineered with softness, comfort and flexibility in mind. The end result is an upholstery fabric that has a wonderfully soft hand.

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Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric Patio set by Jorge Veloz at Smith’s Upholstery

Stiffness versus flexibility comes into play for these fabrics again when it comes to sewing and applications for use. The stiffness of the Sunbrella Marine Grade doesn’t lend itself well to upholstery projects, as it doesn’t easily flow around curves and it is less desirable to sit on than something softer. It also can be more difficult to sew, as the stiffness keeps the fabric from folding over itself. A good way to combat this is to crease the fabric well or to use basting tape. Sunbrella furniture fabric, however, is made for upholstery purposes and it sews well, just like any other home décor fabric.

Each fabric is designed to be the best performing in its intended area of use. Take a look at this quick comparison chart to help see which fabric best suits your needs and application.

Sunbrella Marine and Awning Sunbrella Upholstery
Solid colors and stripes Solid colors, stripes and woven patterns
Stiff Soft
9 oz. per square yard 6-8 oz. per square yard
Outdoor Use Indoor/Outdoor use
10-year warranty 5-year warranty
Use for covers, awnings, biminis, dodgers, boat tops, cockpit cushions, and enclosure curtains Use for cushions, pillows, upholstery, patio furniture, and boat interiors

Find the perfect Sunbrella fabric for your application at www.sailrite.com.

What traits do you look for in a fabric? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts!

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