If you’re looking for a durable, easy clean, weather-proof fabric, then you might want to consider vinyl. Vinyl fabric comes in a variety of textures, types and colours. For this reason vinyl fabrics are often classified into different grades depending on the intended use. It is through this fabric guide, were going to take a closer look and this ultra strong synthetic fabric and the history it entails.

The History of Vinyl

First off, what is vinyl? Essentially man-made, vinyl is made up of ethylene (a chemical compound) and chlorine (a chemical element) processed together. PVC is one of the oldest synthetic materials with the longest history in industrial production.

It all started in 1872 when a German chemist, Eugen Baumann created Polyvinyl chloride (a chemical gas). Baumann made the mistake of never patenting his discovery and another German, Friedrich Klatte devised a new method for the polymerization of Polyvinyl chloride where he used sunlight to heat the gas. However it wasn’t until the 1920s, a man by the name of Dr Waldo Semon, a scientist working for BF Goodrich was trying to create an adhesive that would bond rubber and metal. Semon experimented with discarded materials, mixing chemicals together while applying heat. His experiments again produced polyvinyl chloride. This led to the development of Polyvinyl chloride, also know as PVC or Vinyl.

During World War II when rubber was scarce, vinyl was first used in shock absorber seals where it grew in popularity. PVC quickly replaced traditional material to insulate wiring on military ships. It was also used to create golf balls and shoe heals. Developers quickly found further, innovative uses through the decade and refined methods to enhance durability, opening the door to applications in the building trades. Today, about 60% of vinyl produced is used by the construction industry, but it’s also used for packaging, transportation and textiles.

Marine Vinyl

What separates marine vinyl from standard vinyl is the additional UV protection and its high level of mildew and rot resistance. Marine grade vinyl has been specifically designed and developed to withstand the weather conditions that come with life on a boat. Today, marine vinyl has become an ideal material in commercial upholstery. Its strength, resilience and durability make for a very practical and cost-effective choice for upholstering furniture and accessories that receive daily wear-and-tear in business settings and communal areas used by the public.

As well as being a great alternative to leather, marine vinyl can be used across a variety of applications including indoor and outdoor upholstery, medical upholstery, hospitality & resorts applications, gym equipment, transport seating, bags and wallets. Marine vinyl has the rich look and feel of genuine leather with all the advantages of a heavy-duty commercial vinyl.

Advantages of Marine Vinyl

Marine Vinyl is UV stabilised, flame retardant, anti bacterial, anti microbial and tear resistant. Anti-mildew formulations are added as well as colourfast pigments to keep the material lasting in the sun.

Disadvantages of Marine Vinyl

Another drawback to vinyl is that some vinyl has a plastic-like feel and doesn’t breathe well, making it sticky and hot to sit on. This can be avoided by spending a bit more for a nicer quality vinyl and also by selecting the right vinyl product for the right application. Look for a vinyl that’s recommended for seating if that’s the desired use.

Our Google Reviews
Rosebery Fabrics
Based on 94 reviews
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00:45 17 Nov 23
I had a few questions regarding the care required for the Sunbrella Burgundy fabric I have and the 10 year warranty on the fabric. I wasn't sure how to best care for my Bimini that uses the same Fabric. We spoke for a few seconds with that online chat app. I really don’t like those. However, Lee immediately called me to have a chat. I can’t even begin to explain what that means vs. typing War and Peace vs. a much more professional and personalised call. Lee was very friendly, professional, articulate and very honest and upfront. Providing me with relevant logical advice. No catches. That works for me every time. Why wouldn’t it? Bottom line. I have zero hesitation dealing with these guys going forward. Trust is earn’t, not freely given. I have no doubt Lee (and his team) will offer the same level of professional personal care that he offered me.
Rick ScaveraRick Scavera
01:34 08 Nov 23
Andrew CampbellAndrew Campbell
03:39 31 Oct 23
I found them online and am so happy that I did. I bought some canvas to rebuild my awning. Friendly staff and great service. I can't recommend them highly enough.Andrew C.
J NoaJ Noa
00:28 31 Oct 23
I couldn’t recommend Lee and the guys at Roseberry fabrics enough. A wide range of material for all your upholstery needs and the know how to get even the biggest novices such as myself on track.Will be returning for all my fabric needs
A wonderful supplier of ours! Very helpful and always quality products!
Peter WilsonPeter Wilson
08:42 12 Oct 23
These guys were recommended to me, OMG I can see why! Amazing service and speed of delivery. I was also looking for some eyelets and following a quick phone call they were added to my canvas. Many thanks!
jeff harrisjeff harris
07:28 20 Sep 23
Thomas BarlowThomas Barlow
06:51 29 Aug 23
After seeing the positive reviews, I emailed through an enquiry for some fabric I was looking for, and the response I got back was “try Etsy”
Thomas AtkinsonThomas Atkinson
04:18 11 Aug 23
Roslyn HartensteinRoslyn Hartenstein
08:31 27 Jul 23
Great range of upholstery fabrics and wonderful service. Can highly recommend.Very happy with our purchase.
Natalie LabNatalie Lab
04:54 15 Jul 23
Thank you Lee for your time over the phone today. I was enquiring about a fabric and Lee was able to provide me with excellent advice and care instructions. Very knowledgeable!
Taylah HasaballahTaylah Hasaballah
07:06 07 Jul 23
Great selection of fabrics and very knowledgeable
jeanette van den Hurkjeanette van den Hurk
10:37 30 Jun 23
Thanks for having the fabric I needed. Service with a smile, competitive pricing. Very happy customer.
Bec “Bec”Bec “Bec”
06:24 22 Jun 23
I called into Rosebery Fabrics yesterday on a whim, looking for a particular Warwick fabric to recover some chairs. The item wasn't in stock but the friendly people at Rosebery Fabrics placed an order for me and arranged to have it delivered straight to my home - super helpful. I also found a gorgeous fabric in stock and can't wait to make some fabulous cushions. Next time I'm in the neighbourhood, I'll be calling in to getsome more fabric. Highly recommend a visit if you're looking for high quality fabrics and great customer service!
David CooperDavid Cooper
03:09 21 Jun 23
Great selection of materials and very helpful advice.Replaced the boom cover and very happy with the result.
Kikelomo AbegundeKikelomo Abegunde
09:10 01 Jun 20
Short review: Lee is competitively priced, a consummate professional, excellent in communicating, and offers an incredible turnaround time.Long review: I initially came across Rosebery Fabrics when I was looking to have a vintage chaise lounge recovered, and I could not possibly be more pleased nor any happier with the product Lee produced.I turned up to Lee's shop in Surry Hills, showed him a photo of my lounge and a general idea of what I wanted. He met every level of criteria that I needed when looking for an upholsterer, someone who is diligent about their craft, knowledgeable about fabrics and suppliers, and who can consult based on the client's preferences and personality.With his guidance, I had an abundance of fabric samples to choose from, he communicated with me throughout the process, and turned around a pretty complex piece in record time. I'm really happy and I love my lounge to bits
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