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Performance Fabrics 101: SunbrellaⓇ


This entry in our ongoing series on performance fabrics takes us outdoors with Sunbrella. Patio furniture has to contend with more wear than even the most mistreated indoor furnishings, especially in our climate, so upholstery that can withstand water, sunlight and grime is a must.

The original outdoor performance fabric, Sunbrella remains the leading brand in the field. Its fade resistance is due to a process that adds UV-resistant pigment to its fibers prior to extrusion, so the color is deeply embedded in the finished fabric. It’s also food, wine, and mildew resistant, and boasts a 5-year limited guarantee. Most spills can be cleaned off with ordinary tap water, while tougher stains can be bleached away without harming the color.

Sunbrella hit the market in 1961, offering outdoor awnings in just six colors. What set the new fabric apart were its acrylic construction and unprecedented colorfastness, both of which represented a major departure from conventional cotton. The company began producing marine fabrics in the mid-1970s before moving into outdoor cushions and sun umbrellas in the early 1980s. Sunbrella now offers fabric in hundreds of colors and patterns, including separate lines of upholstery and drapery fabrics for indoor-only specification, and the Renaissance line, made of 50% recycled fibers.

Its cotton-like hand means Sunbrella already feels similar to indoor fabrics, from plain weaves to jacquards, and invites you to extend your living space outward. Outdoor drapery, area rugs, throws and pillows are all available in Sunbrella fabrics, making it possible to furnish your patio for summer as if it were another room in your house.

Sunbrella’s longevity and ability to withstand almost anything thrown at it sets it apart from other outdoor fabrics. Like all performance fabrics, opting for Sunbrella is an investment in upholstery that will last much longer and continue looking fresh for years. Visit our showroom to view samples and furnishings made up in Sunbrella, and discover how durable fabrics can also be luxurious.

See the rest of this series here.


Sklar Furnishings