Video: Fabric Grades Explained

What do those letters for each grade mean? You’ll know more than 99% of the world’s population after watching
this 3 minute video!

This video is 2 minutes 55 seconds long

Fabrics More Videos

Video Transcription

As you’re shopping for new cushions for your patio furniture, you will notice all our fabrics are designed specifically for outdoor use.

At Patiopads you will find the largest selection of outdoor fabric on the web. There are two basic types of outdoor fabric and they are Vinyls and Non-vinyls, such as the Sunbrella-type. When you are looking through our selection you will see that all fabrics are categorized first by design type: solid colors, stripes, patterns, florals and blended colors, and then each of these is separated into Vinyl and Non-vinyl fabric groups.

There are many options for you to consider, including colors, designs, texture and grade.

Fabric grades are determined by the mills and are based on manufacturing variables like the intricacy of the weave, the yarn type, construction complexity, and dye colors – all factors that affect the cost of production. Fabric grades range from “A”, which is the least cost grade, to “E”, which the most expensive grade.

It’s important to note that the fabric grade is NOT necessarily an indication of quality or durability – in fact, the A grade vinyls are very durable. It’s simply an indicator of how expensive the fabric was to produce.

To better identify our fabrics, their names consist of 3 components:
1. the fabric number
2. the fabric name, and
3. the fabric grade.

For example, this one is number 004. Its name is Putty Linen, and it is a grade A open weave vinyl. This one is number 5603-0000, Hardwood Crimson, and it’s a C grade Sunbrella acrylic.

We carry the full-range of Sunbrella fabrics, so if you’ve fallen in love with a specific Sunbrella fabric but can’t find it on our website, let us know. Unless it’s discontinued we probably have it!

Regardless of color, grade or type, outdoor fabrics should always be chosen to serve your needs, both fashionable and practical. We have about 500 choices, so don’t settle for anything you’re not in love with.

If you are confused about the different types of fabrics and what is best for you, then please watch the other fabric video on our site, that describes them in detail.

At any time you can search for a specific fabric by number or name by using the search field at the top left of the page.

We hope this video has answered your questions about fabric grades. Thanks for watching.

More Information

Vinyl Fabrics
Vinyl fabrics are constructed from a strong Polyester core, which is coated with colored PVC and woven into fabric. It is extremely durable and resistant to abrasion, mildew, soiling, stains, fading and easy to maintain. Our vinyl fabrics are available in A & B grades only. Both A & B grades are made from the same material, the only difference is that A grade is woven loosely (open weave, like mesh) and B grade is a tighter weave. A grade will allow the cushion fill to get wet faster, but will also allow it to dry faster than the B grade. They dry best if you take them out of the chair and stand them on their side.

A grade or Open weave vinyl is suitable for cushions 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.

Grade B is best suited for umbrellas as well as cushions, pads and seating slings.

Non-Vinyl Fabrics
There are several types of Non-Vinyl Fabrics ranging from grades A -E

Acrylic fabrics are woven from solution dyed fiber. It will retain its color and vibrancy for years. A soft, comfortable, breathable fabric with a Soil and Stain Resistant Finish. It cleans easily, resists mildew, rot and atmospheric chemicals. Definitely the best long-term value. Our Sunbrella fabrics are 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic yarn, and this is considered to be top-of-the-line outdoor fabric, often grades B & C.

Spun Polyester
This is a 100% Polyester Material spun together to provide a Soft Fabric Like Feel. It is treated for Soil and Stain Resistance. It’s easy care, Open Weave Construction Stays Cool and Comfortable.

Olefin Fiber is Solution Dyed then Woven, Retaining its Color and Vibrancy for Years. Olefin has a slightly coarser feel than Acrylic and Polyester, but is strong and Comfortable, Resists Stains, Mildew, Fading. It’s easy to care for, and tends to be a more open Weave Construction so it stays cool.

One other factor to consider is printed fabrics. Instead of solution dyeing colors into the fabric, some patterns are printed onto the surface of the fabric. This means that only the top layer of fabric has color. Think of a carrot and a radish. The radish has a
nice bright colored skin, but if you cut it open it is white and colorless, that’s the principle of printed fabrics. One the other hand, solution dyed fabric has the color throughout the fabric such as a carrot.

Printed fabric is more prone to fading. So to protect printed fabrics from damage caused by the sun’s UV rays, use our Solar Shield fabric protectant for all your non-vinyl cushions. It not only dramatically slows down fading, but also helps to make the fibers more stain resistant and easier to clean – like ScotchGuard, but for the outdoors.

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