If you’ve ever fallen down the rabbit hole of home decor and DIY websites, you may have found yourself scrolling through a slideshow of aspirational images. Then, suddenly, you see it: the outdoor fabric of your dreams, perfectly styled on a show house deck. Instantly, you’re inspired to recover your aging patio furniture or whip up a few cushions, but now you need to track that fabric down. If you aren’t sure where to get your hands on a specific fabric you love, we can help.
You might have found a fabric that looks gorgeous, but will it perform the way you need it to? When you’re investing in outdoor fabric, doing your homework is important. If you’ve just begun to search for the right fabric, it can be an overwhelming experience. The incredible array of choice is a good thing, but it can make it tough to narrow down your favorites. You can streamline your shopping by focusing your search on the features that are most important to you.
This is the big one for textiles intended to spend their lives outdoors. Life outside the living room calls for a more rugged sort of upholstery fabric. In some cases, such as sling chair applications, you need fabric that has been engineered for dimensional stability and strength so that it can easily support body weight without ripping, stretching or sagging.
Sun rays can do a number on fabric, causing unsightly fading and unsafe quality degradation. Outdoor fabric needs some degree of UV protection to stay in good shape, especially in sunnier climates.
You shouldn’t have to worry about getting your lawn chairs in out of the rain, or fret over pool splashes. A good water-resistant fabric will shed water and dry quickly so that you don’t need to worry about it getting musty in damp conditions.
Nothing ruins fabric faster than mold and mildew. Smelly, slimy and unsightly outdoor furniture can be avoided by choosing a fabric that dries fast. Extra points if it’s been infused with an antimicrobial treatment like Microban®.
Making more environmentally-friendly choices with our purchasing power is one way to help protect the planet. Some fabrics have a greener pedigree than others.
Buying American-made fabric is a wonderful way to ensure that you’re getting a great quality product while supporting the economy and the environment.
Textiles and furnishings are a common source of harmful chemical compounds known as VOCs, which are off-gassed into the air, causing serious problems for indoor air quality. If you are looking for indoor/outdoor fabric or just want to limit your family’s exposure to VOCs, fabrics with the GREENGUARD® Gold Certification have passed strict tests for low chemical emissions.
Once you find a source for the fabric you want, you’ll need to work out how many yards to buy. Phifer has created some helpful guides for common outdoor DIY projects to put you on the right track. Check out our guide to calculating yardage.
Getting a sample of the fabric you’re considering is always a smart move. It can be hard to properly judge a fabric online until you have it in your hands. Different monitors don’t always display colors accurately, and being able to feel the texture, thickness and durability of the fabric for yourself can really help you evaluate your options. Even when you’re shopping in person at a home goods or fabric store, having a sample to bring home will allow you to see how a textile looks in your environment, with your existing furniture, and against different paint colors. It also gives you a chance to live with the fabric for a little while before making a final decision.
If you’re in a brick and mortar retailer, ask a salesperson if you can cut a small piece from the bolt to take home: many stores will be happy to oblige. When you’re shopping for outdoor fabric online, you may be able to request a sample directly from the manufacturer by phone or email.
If you would like samples of any of Phifer’s designer outdoor fabrics, all you need to do is drop us a line! We can offer advice on selecting the perfect Phifer fabric for your project, send you samples and connect you with retailers online and near you who carry the fabrics you need.
Here are some of our trusted online retailers who can help you find the fabrics you need:
Need a little more inspiration in your fabric search? You can experiment with the Phifer Outdoor Fabric Visualizer to get a preview of your favorite fabrics playing together. Mix, match, and combine your short list of Phifer fabrics with the help of our sample images. It’s a great way to get excited about the possibilities and hone in on the perfect look for your ideal outdoor space.