Printed Outdoor Fabric
The fading of fabrics, caused by direct exposure to sunlight can make a beautiful outdoor room or patio-setting look old and uninviting in a short period of time. It is important to understand what type of fabrics to buy for this special area of your home, and to know what the best fabric is for outdoor patio furniture or throw pillows for this outdoor environment.
Solution Dyed Fabric
Solution-dyed (or pigment-dyed) acrylic and polyester fibers are the ideal fabrics for UV resistance to sunlight. These fabrics are produced using fibers that are put through a special wet-spinning process in which the color pigment is injected into the structure of the fiber itself during the fiber production. Once the fiber is twisted into a yarn and then woven into a fabric, the color is permanent for the life of the fabric, and does not fade when exposed to UV rays. Therefore, these fabrics are ideally suited for use in outdoor furniture.
Printed Outdoor Fabrics are also sold for use in outdoor settings. These fabrics are finished with a UV-protective finish during the fabric manufacturing process that gives the fabric UV-resistance against fading from direct sunlight. However, these finishes are not permanent for the life of the fabric, and may eventually show the effects of the harsh rays of the sun. While these fabrics are less expensive than solution-dyed fabrics, they do work well for the budget-minded person.
How can a shopper distinguish the difference between these two outdoor fabrics? Identifying the difference is very easy. Since the color in a solution-dyed fabric is in the fiber, the color will be the same intensity on both sides of the fabric. In a printed outdoor fabric, the color is printed on the greige goods, which are usually white in color. Therefore, the color intensity will be vivid only on the right side of the fabric, with very little color showing through on the reverse side.