What is Sunbrella Fabric? How is Made, Pros Cons, Uses

Outdoor fabric is not same as the indoor fabric. Because it needs to face some challenges that come naturally. Outdoor fabric means something that is durable, comfortable, and beautiful as well. And all these can be gained from Sunbrella fabric. The name might be new to you, no problem. Let me explain what is Sunbrella material.

What is Sunbrella Fabric

Sunbrella is made of 100% dyed acrylic yarns. It is sun, air, and water-resistant and moreover colorful fabric. So, giving you durability, and a comfortable environment, it also beautifies the area. Additionally, it offers complete protection for indoor furniture.

Note that Sunbrella fabric is designed to fulfill your demands for covering outdoor furniture and arranging many outdoor events. Well, how it does do that? The fabric prevents stains and helps to create shade structures and awnings. Its fade-resistant feature makes it one of the most useful fabrics for outdoor use.

What is Sunbrella Fabric?

Basically, Sunbrella is a brand name under which fabrics are made to provide complete performance. Here Sunbrella fabric is a soft, breathable fabric that is made with 100% solution-dyed acrylic by Glen Raven Inc.

What is Sunbrella

Its quality, durability, and versatile features have made it hugely popular among consumers. This sustainable fabric is strongly fade, water, mold, stain, and bacterial-growth resistant. It’s recommended as a safe fabric by the Skin Cancer Foundation because of its UV-resistant properties.

However, Sunbrellais water-resistant but not waterproof. So, it should be cleaned and properly cared for to maintain its water-resistant properties and prolong its lifespan.

With its sophisticated design, it’s an ideal choice for indoor and outdoor living. It is used to make cushion covers, decorative pillows, curtains, upholstered pieces, and many more. Sunbrella is widely used for marine canopies, umbrellas, and boat covers because of its better performance in all weather.

It has hundreds of colors, designs, patterns, and textures to choose from for your project. From so many options, you can easily select any suitable design of your choice.

What is Sunbrella Made of?

Simply put, Sunbrella is made of acrylic yarns. The actual fibers are dyed all the way through to prepare them. This is called 100% solution-dyed acrylic. In this production method, the colors penetrate completely to the core of the fiber. That means the color is added to the Sunbrella yarn. As a result, there is no risk of color fading or washing off.

What is Sunbrella Made of

Another alternative method of dying is called piece-dying. In this particular method, first, the entire products are assembled and then dyed. Here only the outer layer is dyed, the color doesn’t reach all the way to the core.

Of the two methods, solution-dyed acrylic is the more popular because of its outstanding fade-resistant performance. This makes your fabric UV, water, stain, and mildew resistant.

Acrylic yarn is a transparent thermoplastic homopolymer or you can call it a synthetic fabric. It has been quite popular in the global market for the past few decades and is one of the leading materials used in Sunbrella.

What is Sunbrella Used for?

Sunbrella is one type of unique fabric used for covering indoor and outdoor furniture. Moreover, Sunbrella fabric is used for covering boats, covering windows, awning fabric, and many more.

What is Sunbrella Used for

Generally, Sunbrella is dyed acrylic fabric. People use this fabric mostly as covers for furniture, pillows, and outdoor materials. Sunbrella has a lot of benefits. This fabric is famous for its fade resistance, UV protection, and water resistance qualities.

However, people use Sunbrella for various purposes. Here is a list of some uses of Sunbrella fabric.

Outdoor Furniture

Sunbrella is mainly used for covering furniture, especially for covering outdoor furniture. Generally, outdoor furniture goes through different weather. For example, sunlight, rain, snow, etc., affect the furniture’s surface.

That’s why a fabric like Sunbrella helps to prevent fading away and keeps the furniture in good condition. Moreover, this water-resistant fabric keeps the furniture safe from water.

Boat Covers

Sunbrella fabric is also used as boat covers. While applying, fabric as a boat cover must be durable and strong. Sunbrella also provides superior durability and strength.

Awning Material

Awning material or fabric must be water-resistant and durable. When using fabric for an awning, the fabric must keep people and things safe from sunlight, water, and other things.

Sunbrella fabric provides all these benefits. Sunbrella firmly holds the tension force of the material. That’s why Sunbrella is one of the most common awning fabrics.

Indoor Furniture

You might think that Sunbrella is only used for outdoor purposes. But this fabric is also suitable for covering indoor furniture also. When we use fabrics for indoor furniture, we want the material to be durable.

Moreover, Sunbrella is easy to wash. This feature makes the fabric one of the best for covering indoor furniture.

Is Sunbrella Fabric Toxic?

Sunbrella Fabric is not completely toxic because it doesn’t contain highly harmful ingredients. Generally, Sunbrella is made of acrylic, especially solution-dyed acrylic.

Is Sunbrella Fabric Toxic

That means the fabric is full of dye. You might know that acrylic is a polymer material, and we can’t say dye or polymeric material is eco-friendly. But compared to many other fabrics, Sunbrella is pretty safe.

Moreover, you can recycle this fabric following some strategies. So, this fabric doesn’t pose too much harm to the environment. This fabric will not spread toxic materials with time. So, you can use this fabric without hesitation.

However, like all other fabrics, you should keep the fabric out of the reach of children and pets so that they can’t consume it. Otherwise, using Sunbrella as outdoor or indoor covering fabric is safe.

Is Sunbrella Fabric Soft?

Sunbrella marine fabric has been basically designed for shade applications. You will find it mostly in boat tops, awnings, and biminis. The common type of Sunbrella will give you a rigid feel when touching. But remember, there are two types of Sunbrella. The first one is ‘Sunbrella Awning fabric’ and the second one is ‘Sunbrella Upholstery fabric’.

Is Sunbrella Fabric Soft

Sunbrella is actually an acrylic fabric. So, it comes with some features that are not available in many other outdoor fabrics. It provides UV, mildew, and stain protection for your furniture. However, there are some significant differences between Awning and Upholstery fabric.

Awning Sunbrella comes with tough and tight-knit construction that offers heavy finishing. On the other hand, Sunbrella upholstery comes with softer and lighter knit construction. This type of fabric provides softness and comfort. So, using it for your indoor furniture adds beauty and coziness at the same time.

However, the key is Sunbrella can be soft or stiff depending on its type. It is stiff when you are talking about awning and marine fabric. It is soft when you are talking about Sunbrella upholstery fabric.

Read Next: A Complete Guide on Calico Fabric

Is Sunbrella Worth it?

Sunbrella fabric is worth it. People get all the benefits from Sunbrella according to the purpose of using the material. One of the most important reasons for using Sunbrella is to resist water. This fabric resists water effectively.

Is Sunbrella Worth it

Sunbrella is one of the most reliable outdoor covering fabrics that have some excellent advantages. While using any fabric outdoors, the fabric gets dirty quickly. That’s why cleaning the fabric is not easy but Sunbrella is easy to clean.

This fabric might seem to be a little expensive. But according to the benefits it provides, this fabric is totally worth it. Moreover, the durability of this fabric is fantastic. High-quality materials make this fabric strong. So, you don’t have to buy Sunbrella every year.

Sunbrella Fabric Pros and Cons

Sunbrella Fabric Pros and Cons

No fabric is absolute, because you can’t use that for versatile applications. Sunbrella fabric has some significant features, but it comes with some drawbacks as well.

Pros of Sunbrella

  • Sunbrella is fade-resistant. So, the awning or anything you build with this stays the same as the original for a longer time.
  • This fabric is engineered to ensure complete UV protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation even approves it for shade construction.
  • It is water-resistant and one of the best fabrics for outdoor umbrellas.
  • It has mildew proof feature but ensures you clean the fabric surface properly for better and longer service.
  • As it is easy to maintain fabric, you can preserve its quality for an extended period of time.
  • Sunbrella comes with a 5-year of warranty. Moreover, it comes with a wide range of colorful options. So, selecting it for different projects is definitely a wise decision.

Cons of Sunbrella

  • In general, the Sunbrella is not relatively softer. However, Sunbrella made for upholstery use is relatively softer.
  • This fabric can source mild static electricity that can affect bare skin in summertime.
  • It is more expensive than other outdoor fabrics. So, products made with this may cost you some more.

How to Tell if Fabric is Sunbrella?

Now that you know about the advantages of Sunbrella fabric, you might want to buy it. But identifying this fabric might not always be possible. You must choose the appropriate Sunbrella before buying it. You can test the fabric to determine whether it is Sunbrella or not. Let’s see how you can do it.

How to Tell if Fabric is Sunbrella

Step-1: Choosing a piece of fabric

First, you have to take a piece of fabric on which you will conduct the test. You can also take multiple fabrics if you have confusion between them. The piece should be small to prevent waste.

Step-2: Spill different liquids

Now you can spill different liquids on the fabric. For example, you can put a splash of tomato sauce or liquid chocolate on the fabric. You can also use other food items on the fabric. Moreover, you can add some bleach water to the fabric too. Now, wait for a couple of minutes to see whether the fabric soaks the liquid or not.

If you take other fabrics with Sunbrella, those fabrics will soak these liquids within some time. Especially, bleach water will make other fabrics fade without the Sunbrella fabric.

Step-3: Wash with water

After some time, you can spray clean water on the fabric that has spillage. You will see the tomato sauce or the chocolate removed from the Sunbrella fabric. You might know that Sunbrella is waterproof and easy to clean. So the fabric will be cleaned immediately.

Sunbrella doesn’t fade away. That’s why the bleached water will not fade the Sunbrella. The fabric will be the same after washing with water. Other fabrics will contain stains and will be challenging to clean. Thus you can tell which fabric is truly Sunbrella.

Where to Buy Sunbrella Furniture Fabric

No matter, what you want to buy – Sunbrella fabric or furniture, you can pick your desired items from different sources. First of all, Sunbrella® has an established website where you can get all the necessary information and local resources for buying Sunbrella products.

Where to Buy Sunbrella Furniture

Moreover, you can choose Homedepot to buy Sunbrella furniture. There are other sources as well like Amazon and Lowes. These online stores come with an extensive collection of Sunbrella products. You can check different options and choose the right one that meets your needs and budget.

How to Care for Sunbrella Fabric?

Regular care for Sunbrella is no big deal at all. Follow the steps below, and you’ll have your upholstery fabric shining!

How to Care for Sunbrella Fabric
  • Take a mixture of regular dish soap and water.
  • Take a brush to eliminate the surface dirt of all your furniture fabric. 
  • Next, use the water and soap mixture to rub off the dirt and grease.
  • Let it soak a bit. After that, take some clean water and rinse thoroughly with it.
  • Give ample time to dry the fabric completely. 

Besides, you can also easily spot-clean the fabric in the following way:

  • Take a spray bottle filled with Sunbrella-recommended cleaner. 
  • Spray the solution on the spot and gently scrub it off until the stain is gone.
  • After that, rinse the spot thoroughly with clean water to clean up any residue.
  • Finally, give it ample time to dry off before using the fabric again.

You can also pressure wash the Sunbrella fabric for heavy cleaning or use a bleach solution gently to remove tough stains. Don’t worry; your Sunbrella is resistant to damage from all these.

Final Words

There are different types of fabrics available for outdoor furniture, making awnings and shade structures. Even these fabrics help to prevent the fade and damage to indoor furniture. However, Sunbrella provides a bit more benefits than others when it comes to outdoor stuff.

At this point of finishing this guide, you should have a clear view of Sunbrella; what is it, where to use it, and from where you can buy it. So, if you want to ensure extra protection for your indoor furniture, pick Sunbrella. Or, if you have the plan to prepare a shade structure, cover your boat; buy Sunbrella fabric without hesitation.

This fabric is affordable as well. Environmentally friendly and easy-to-use Sunbrella can be your right companion for making awnings and enjoying some outdoor events.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

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