How to look after your outdoor furnishing fabrics

Learn how to care for your upholstery fabrics to retain their appearance.
Learn how to care for your upholstery fabrics to retain their appearance.
Outdoor furniture offers a lovely way to relax in the comfort of your garden. However, do you know how to look after and care for your upholstery fabrics?

With the change of seasons comes more dramatic weather – you can get rain, sunshine and cold winds all in one day! With this comes the need to look out for your outdoor furniture.

Some of the more delicate items, such as beach chairs, might not fare well in the wind, while cushions and outdoor beanbags might not like the long months of being rain-sodden. That said, our commercial textiles and fabrics are made of top-quality materials, and should be able to withstand rain and shine, but a little care and consideration may help them to maintain their appearance for many more seasons of fun.

Here are some top tips that we've compiled, for your to learn how to take care of your outdoor furniture.

Do you know how to keep these upholstery fabrics in tip-top condition?Do you know how to keep these upholstery fabrics in tip-top condition?

Prevention is best

The fabrics in your outdoor furniture should be treated so that they offer some form of protection against sun and water damage. Our Island Collection range is a fine example of upholstery fabric that meets these requirements. However, no textile is completely weather-proof, and some care is still required for fabric to look its best.

If you do have time or have the space available, it is best to keep the most colourful fabrics under some form of shade or shelter. This will prevent puddles of water collecting, which can attract insects as it is a prime location for them to hatch their larvae.

It'll also keep the sun's harmful glares off. Just like how you invest in linings for your drapery fabric, a roof over your outdoor furniture may be best to keep everything clean. It'll also provide an area for you to relax outside during those drizzly days.

Brush, brush, brush

Though your fabrics may be waterproof and look fabulous, they won't be able to repel any physical particles that may settle on them. This can include leaves, dust, dirt and any other debris that the wind may bring. So, it's important that you subject your textiles to a regular brushing session just to dislodge any of these substances before they build up in any crevices.

It'll also lower the chances of an ideal environment for mould or mildew to grow. Feeding off the dust, it'll be much harder to get rid of this bacteria, which can potentially damage your textile fabrics, as opposed to just debris.

If your furniture gathers a lot of leaves regularly, perhaps opt for a pattern upholstery fabric such as Atoll Mangrove or Lagoon Dune to distract from the appearance of a pileup of leaves.

Scrub away the scum

Some more intensive scrubbing may be needed when you are faced with bacteria, or even other problems such as bird poop. If left untreated, both can damage your furnishing fabrics. Did you know bird poop can even ruin the paint job on a car?

A small utensil such as an old toothbrush may come in handy here, just so you can reach every small crevice. When dealing with mould, it's highly advised that you wear gloves and do so in a well-ventilated outdoor area. You don't want to breathe in or spread the mould spores that may be released into the air by hasty brushing.

TLC – Treat, love and care

It's not enough just brushing to keep bacteria at bay. Usually, mould will have festered long before it shows on the surface of your upholstery fabrics. Treating it with antibacterial products can remove any problems from the earliest onset, and also help in preventing new mould growth.

Use soap and warm water to wipe down the surfaces, making sure you get all the creases and corners. Here, you can utilise soap with antibacterial properties to save you time.

However, always read the care instructions first – it's the best place to get knowledge on how to look after your outdoor upholstery fabrics.