PALETTE TRENDS: Outdoor Fabrics

For our trend this month we’d like to explore exterior fabrics as the trends for outdoors have changed significantly in the past 20 years. Not so long ago, like some of us can still remember, there were no exterior fabrics or exterior cushions for that matter. In the early 1900s people went from logs and carved stone to elaborate exterior metal chairs as furniture to “enjoy” their porches, although it was a great development in durability the lounging part was dubious.

Slowly but surely the problem of outdoor lounging has been solved and thanks to manufacturers like Sunbrella, a maker of awning fabrics who developed a better exterior fabric than the vinyl we all remember with a sticky and squeaky sound, today we can indulge in the comfort and detailed décor of our yards as much as that expected of the interior of our homes. Their great success is based on the process of dying the fabric and replacing cotton with acrylic fiber; this process is identified as “solution dyed acrylic”. When selecting exterior fabrics we look for 100% dyed acrylic meaning the fibers are color dyed before weaving them making the fabrics highly fade resistant, washable, kid friendly and pet friendly. Additionally these fabrics are inherently mold resistant and water repellant and what is best is that the softness has improved tremendously in the last decade, so much so that designers are using it around the house for its resistance to the abuse in kids’ rooms, dining rooms, etc. When it comes to color the company Link stands out with outstanding bright colors and retro pattern designs, we have used them both for exterior and interior upholstery. The image below shows a breakfast room that endures a lot of traffic, we selected these Link fabrics for their color and stain resistance.