Outdoor Fabric Descriptions

Here you’ll find descriptions of the various types of fabrics used for outdoor items like patio cushions and pads, umbrellas and slings used in outdoor furniture.

Textiline Vinyl

This is an “open weave” fabric, meaning it is constructed like a mesh. You can actually see between the threads. Polyester yarn is coated with colored PVC to form a very strong and durable fabric.

Its primary advantage is that it allows water/moisture to drain quickly from the inside of cushions and pads, both by dripping out the bottom and by evaporation through the top and sides.

Open weave vinyl is suitable for slings, cushions and pads, and is the fabric that is used as a sling to support cushions on many types of outdoor furniture, but it is not suitable for umbrellas, as it allows too much light to pass through.

Shade Vinyl

These vinyl fabrics are constructed of the same PVC coated polyester threads as the above, but the strands are woven in a much tighter fashion. This makes them suitable for umbrellas as well as cushions, pads and seating slings.


This fabric is blended to be very durable and naturally resistant to snagging, mildew and staining. Although soft, it has a slightly coarser feel than the finer fabrics shown below.

Olefin is suitable for cushions, pads and umbrellas, but not for slings.


Acrylic fabrics feel soft and pliable. One of the most famous brands, Sunbrella is made with acrylic fabrics. The range includes many vibrant colors that are naturally weather and stain resistant

Solution-dyed acrylics are made with threads that are dyed before weaving, so that their color is more permanent than with colors and patterns that are printed onto the fabric after weaving.

Acrylics are suitable for cushions, pads and umbrellas, but not for slings.


Polyester is a very soft and pliable fabric that can be used indoors as well as outdoors. A note of caution: when poly fabrics are printed with a colored pattern, as opposed to having the pattern woven into the fabric with solution-dyed threads, the print colors will definitely fade over time. The degrre and speed of fading is determined by ambient conditions. You can almost totally eliminate fading by applying our fabric protectant product.

Polyester is suitable for cushions, pads and umbrellas, but not for slings.

Spun Polyester

Spun polyester has the look and feel of cotton. It absords liquids like cotton, but it is much more durable. Being man made, it does not shrink, fade, lint and snag like cotton.

Spun poly is suitable for cushions, pads and umbrellas, but not for slings.


A very strong, durable, plush fabric noted for its soft feel and high performance. Marquesa fabric will not fade or fuzz, and rates high in comfort with its soft textured weaves and patterns. Cushions stay smooth and hold their shape over time, thanks to the strength and dimensional stability of PVC and olefin yarn in the blend. This also allows for designs with greater luster and depth of pattern.

With superior water-wicking and anti-microbial capabilities, outdoor furnishings will dry quickly and stay mold free with minimal care. Marquesa is the only fiber, synthetic or natural, that begins as a by-product of post-industrial waste. Compared to other synthetics, its manufacture requires less energy and produces no harmful industrial waste. As an inert fiber with inherent performance characteristics, it does not require potentially harmful coatings during fabric production. And, it’s recyclable. Marquesa yarn, therefore, is easily the environmental champion of all the synthetic fibers!

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We hope these outdoor fabric descriptions have been helpful.