Today's outdoor fabrics are almost limitless. In days past, the choices were simple. Now the questions are chenille or canvas? Florals or shells? Pastel, primary, or black?
These outdoor fabrics are also being used inside the house. If a thunderstorm won't ruin them, don't worry about your 3-year-old!
Think soft pillows, kick-up-your-feet couches, and spillproof slipcovers. Add all-weather draperies to the sunny side of a porch, and you can drop them down for the hottest part of the day, without fear of fading.
Pull them back for a smart, mood-setting effect. At the end of the season, take them down to clean, and they'll be as good as new. We're not talking about the patio furniture with striped vinyl cushions or other outdoor textiles you grew up with. Today's fabrics have beauty and brawn.
To withstand the extremes of the elements, look for fabrics that resist stains, mildew, fading, and rot, that are water-repellent, and that can sustain freezing conditions. Well-known manufacturers are getting into the act.
With all these choices, it's more inviting than ever to live outside the box!
Pillow photo, from left: 1. Seashell Baroque (green print), Scalamandre; 2. Kauai (blue stripe), Donghia; 3. Chevron d'Ete (green and white), Schumacher; 4. Cabana tieback (tassel), Donghia; 5. Les Coraux (white with coral motif), Schumacher. (See more fabric sources below.)
- FABRIC COLLAGE Top row 1. Versailles, Chella; 2. Poolside, Robert Allen; 3. Fruit Punch, Lulu DK Middle row 4. Secret Garden, the Joe Ruggiero collection for Sunbrella; 5. Bal Harbour, Waverly; 6. Soleil Indienne, Schumacher Bottom row 7. Maritime, Scalamandré; 8. Cabana Village, Waverly; 9. Madison, Lulu DK
- Developed in conjunction with Sunbrella, Donghia's vibrant Fiesta and Aloha collections and Kravet's Soleil line, are as design-forward as the rest of their offerings.
- Joe Ruggiero's collection for Norwalk Furniture alsp feature environmentally resistant Sunbrella textiles.
- Likewise, Scalamandre and Stroheim & Romann have introduced a bevy of weather-resistant fabrics, as has boutique fabric designer Lulu de Kwiatkowski.
- Waverly's Sun N Shade fabrics feature lively patterns and a durable nonstick coating.
- Originally developed for the hotel industry, Giati Textiles and Chella's All-Environment collection, which features a very touchable chenille, are now available to homeowners.
- Crypton Super Fabrics also are available to the public. This engineered fabric is woven in such a way that it becomes a barrier against stains, water, and bacteria, keeping cushions safe.