PVC-Coated Mesh: The Strongest of the Outdoor Fabrics

What Is Vinyl-Coated Polyester Mesh?

Vinyl-coated polyester mesh is one of the most commonly used materials in the world. Available in different weights and strengths, it’s used for everything from tote bags to patio sling chairs to banners, truck tarps and beyond.

Most woven vinyl mesh fabric starts with a polyester yarn as the core, which is then extruded with vinyl (also known as PVC). Each yarn is individually extruded and bonded to the polyester core yarn. The PVC coating means that no moisture can reach the polyester fiber, making it extremely durable and prevents wear from freezing and thawing in cold weather.

The strength and dimensional stability of vinyl-coated polyester mesh fabric is determined by a number of factors including the original thickness of the polyester yarn (also known as the denier), the strength (technically referred to as the “tenacity”) of the yarns, and how densely the yarns are woven together (in laymen’s terms, how many yarns per inch). The thicker the yarn and the more yarns per inch, the stronger the final fabric.

Many of Phifer’s PVC-coated mesh fabrics use 100% polyester yarns as a base, but our Phifertex® PVC/Olefin Blends are a little different. As their name suggests, this fabric is woven with a mix of PVC-coated polyester and soft olefin fibers to add extra softness without compromising on strength.

All Phifertex fabrics are “slingable,” which means that they are strong and dimensionally stable enough to support the weight of a person in sling furniture without the fabric sagging or splitting.

Which projects call for Vinyl-Coated Polyester Mesh?


Sling Chair Replacement

Don’t give up on your old sling chairs if their original fabric has seen better days! If your outdoor sling furniture is faded, stained or torn, you can give it a new lease on life with replacement slings. Phifertex vinyl-coated polyester mesh has all the strength and stability you need for sling chairs, and it’s just as lovely as it is tough. Choose from a range of show-stopping prints and colors to create the outdoor furniture of your dreams. Our simple sling chair fabric replacement tutorial will guide you through all the steps!


Cushions and Pillows

Even outdoor cushions and pillows should be soft and cozy. Our Phifertex® PVC/Olefin Blend fabric has a luxurious, touchable texture, making it an amazing choice for throw pillows and chair cushions. It’s also available in gorgeous designer colors, stripes and weaves. Our comprehensive step-by-step guide will teach you how to make your own pillows in an afternoon!


Table Cloths, Table Runners and Placemats

Outdoor dining accessories add a splash of color to your BBQs and picnics and also help keep your outdoor tables clean and attractive. Vinyl-coated polyester mesh like Phifertex is perfect for the job: durable, good looking and easy to wash. Since it’s a no-fray fabric, it lends itself to quick and easy no-sew projects -- just cut and go!


Tote Bags and Sports Bags

Breathable, waterproof, washable and quick to dry, vinyl-mesh fabric is ideal for whipping up a beach bag (great for stashing wet bathing suits) or a handy tote to bring to the gym, dance studio or sports practice (let those yoga pants, leotards and uniforms air out on the way home)!


Wall Coverings and Upholstery

Our vinyl-coated polyester mesh Murotex® line of Designed Fabrics is designed to be attractive, durable and washable coverings for walls and acoustical panels. It’s also a great choice for upholstery and will stand up to heavy use, particularly in office and commercial settings.

Features to Look for in Outdoor Cushion Fabrics

Vinyl-coated polyester mesh fabrics from Phifer are a cut above the rest, with a list of smart features that offer tremendous value and help them last longer.


Phifertex and Murotex are infused with Microban technology, an antimicrobial agent that will not wear out or wash away throughout the fabric’s lifetime. Microban protection is a secret weapon in the battle against grime and musty smells. This antimicrobial agent inhibits mildew, mold and bacteria so your fabric stays looking and smelling fresh for years, even in wet climates.


Outdoor life brings with it rain, dew, damp and splashes from pools and sprinklers. Phifer’s vinyl-coated polyester mesh outdoor fabrics are designed to deal well with water. They wick moisture on contact and air-dry in a flash.


All Phifer Designed Fabrics are GREENGUARD®  certified, adhering to some of the world’s most stringent standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs) in order to protect air quality -- indoors and out.


Warm and sunny weather is almost always welcome on the patio, but UV exposure can be tough on outdoor fabric, including some PVC-coated mesh fabric. For this reason, it’s important to find a fabric designed to stand up to sunshine without fading. Phifertex and Murotex are both fade resistant and UV resistant, ensuring your fabric will remain strong, colorful and vibrant for years -- even when those rays are really beating down.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl-Coated Polyester Mesh

As mentioned before, PVC-coated polyester mesh fabric is incredibly sturdy, durable, lightweight and long-lasting, thanks to the individually extruded vinyl-coated polyester yarn. It’s also simple to cut and sew with scissors and a home sewing machine meaning it’s great for a wide range of easy DIY projects. Because it’s a mesh, the airflow lets the fabric dry rapidly and feel cool and comfortable against the skin -- a big plus for poolside chairs and accessories! 

Traditional Phifertex is unbeatable wherever you need a strong fabric that can support body weight without sagging or tearing. However, that same strength and stiffness means that it isn’t ideal for every outdoor job. A softer fabric is what you need for projects like cushions; that’s where Phifer's new Phifertex® Cushion Collection line really shines. These fabrics are woven with smaller diameter vinyl-coated polyester yarns to create a softer and more flexible material.

Maintenance of Vinyl-Coated Polyester Mesh

The PVC extruded coating and Microban infusion in Phifertex and Murotex mean that they’re a snap to clean. These stain-resistant fabrics need very little maintenance to stay looking amazing. A periodic wipe-down with soapy water is all they need. (Just be sure to rinse and let them air dry!)

Also remember to treat any spills as soon as possible. Check our comprehensive cleaning guide for tips on how to handle specific stains quickly and easily.

Discover the Perfect Vinyl-Coated Polyester Mesh Fabric for Your Project

Phifer sells PVC-coated polyester mesh fabric ideal for sling chairs and many other outdoor furniture projects -- and they’re all sophisticated and attractive enough for indoor use too! All Phifertex and Murotex fabrics are covered by a three-year warranty.

  • Phifertex® Cushion Collection - Designed to meet demand from the outdoor fabric market, the Phifertex Cushion Collection is made to be more pliable with a softer hand for use in residential or commercial furniture.
  • Phifertex® Jacquard - Our elegant Phifertex Jacquard fabrics feature breathtakingly intricate design work. This woven vinyl mesh fabric can be created in any combination of color and pattern – tapestries, geometrics, florals or stripes.
  • Phifertex® Plus - Even the most demanding projects deserve a beautiful fabric. Phifertex Plus has been designed and engineered to stand up to heavy use and applications where extra strength and dimensional stability are a must. They’re also gorgeous, with solids and stripes in a dazzling array of colors. Phifertex Plus is a perfect marriage of hard-wearing strength and elegance.
  • Phifertex® PVC/Olefin Blends - Dimensional strength and softness come together in these refined fabrics that combine vinyl-coated polyester yarns and olefin yarns for an ideal indoor/outdoor fabric. Phifertex PVC/Olefin blend fabrics are ideal for use in sling furniture, upholstery, and cushion applications, and are available in an impressive selection of prints, weaves and solids.
  • Phifertex® Wicker Weaves - Invoke the beauty of the natural world with the dobbyweaves of wicker weave fabrics. Designed to mimic nature’s spectacular textures --wood, rattan, and wicker -- these fabrics are a perfect, low-maintenance, long-lasting alternative for your outdoor furniture.
  • Murotex® - Produced on a custom basis, Murotex is designed for commercial wall covering applications and is also a great solution for upholstery or acoustical panels. Murotex can be produced in a wide range of bespoke colors and weaves to match any decor. It has been carefully engineered to be flame retardant and meets most safety specifications and codes for commercial office buildings.

Want a sneak peek at the finished product before you even begin your DIY project? The Phifer Outdoor Fabric Visualizer is more or less magic! Preview your outdoor furniture plans by mixing and matching fabrics with our sample images. Take a break from research and let yourself explore and daydream!

Any more questions about Phifer’s vinyl outdoor fabrics? Get in touch with us! We’ve got all the answers and information you need to kickstart your project. We can advise you on choosing the right Phifer fabric for your plans and connect you to retailers around the country and online who have your favorite colors and designs in stock.