Let it rain! It’s hard to believe that Sunbrella outdoor fabrics really hold up to moisture, mildew, dirt, and sun but they do. With solution-dyed yarns woven to create the fabric, the color is “locked” in.
The best way to describe this process is to imagine a carrot. Once the orange outer layer is peeled away, the carrot remains orange inside. Other fabrics, such as printed fabrics, which are not solution-dyed have the color applied on the surface, so when the strong rays of the sun continually bear down on them, the color fades away. These fabrics are like radishes: when you peel away the outer red of the radish, there is white underneath.
When cleaning outdoor fabrics, it is important to understand which fabric you are attempting to clean. For outdoor, solution dyed fabrics like Sunbrella (the carrots), you may use stronger cleaners, including bleach. For the radishes, it is advisable to use a gentle soap and water to clean.
Many of you know this so the real news today is that Sunbrella has introduced a fabric which they have named Sunbrella Rain. According to Sunbrella, this fabric is 100% water proof.
This translates into nearly waterproof outdoor cushions. Why “nearly” waterproof? Because when the fabric is stitched to make cushions, the needle punctures the fabric which may allow a small amount of moisture to creep into the cushion. However, the fabric provides a level of rain proofness that is not seen in other outdoor fabrics.
Sunbrella Rain does feel different than other Sunbrella fabrics—it is stiffer and is not reversible as most of their fabrics are. Of course, once your fabric is sewn, reversibility does not matter. There are people who object to the stiffer feel of the Rain fabric and if you are using the fabric on a covered porch, you probably don’t need the extra protection Rain offers. However, for those who are using their cushions in an uncovered area or know that the space they are decorating gets unusually wet, Sunbrella Rain is a great choice.
Continually improving their selection of outdoor fabrics and the choices that the consumer has, Sunbrella is at the forefront of outdoor fabrics. Look for their logo and ask your casual retailer about Sunbrella and the advantages of solution-dyed outdoor fabrics. In my mind, there’s really no choice.