Here is your comprehensive guide to specifying the best outdoor upholstery fabrics for commercial and residential spaces. Understanding what to look for when suggesting outdoor fabric to your clients is critical to the success of your project. To learn more about how to choose the best outdoor fabric for your commercial application we turned to the expert upholsterer Lee Wright from the Bentwood upholstery group in Sydney, who has worked on many outdoor commercial spaces and very interesting residential homes.

Here’s a break down from Lee on the most popular types of outdoor upholstery Fabrics.

Types of Outdoor Fabrics:

Solution Dyed Acrylic Fabrics – This fabric is considered the workhorse of outdoor fabrics, solution dyed acrylic fabrics tend to be priced on a higher end of the spectrum like SUNBRELLA, OUTDURA and DICKSON but are well worth the additional cost. They are made from liquid acrylic solution that is mixed with the dye and then sun into a yarn, which is then woven into a fabric. These products are mostly like indoor fabrics and feel soft to the touch. The biggest benefit to using a 100% solution dyed acrylic fabric is that it is naturally water resistant and has the ability to hold up to constant UV light exposure without rapidly breaking down.

Olefin (polypropylene) – Like solution dyed acrylics fabrics, solution dyed olefin is a wonderful fibre for outdoor upholstery applications. The fibre has excellent properties for clean-ability, abrasion resistance and resistance to deterioration from chemicals and mildew. Olefin is a soft , lightweight woven fabric designed for outdoor use. Olefin is made from synthetic materials known as polyolefins . Resilient, colourfast, stain-resistant and durable, it lends itself to a wide variety of applications. Olefin fabric can be produced in a variety of weaves, textures, colours and prints, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor accents that lend pops of colour. It’s refined appearance makes it an attractive fabric for use in indoor and outdoor projects.

Olefin fabric has a distinguished scientific history. It was first manufactured in Italy in 1957. A talented chemist named Giulio Natta was the first to formulate olefin fibres suitable for use in many textiles applications. Natta and his partner Karl Ziegler were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963 for their development of a method of transforming polyolefins into fibre using titanium as a catalyst.

Spun Polyester – Unlike solution dyed acrylic fabrics, spun polyester is woven first and then screen printed which allows for a wider range of colours and patterns While this fabric is usually less expensive it tends to be lighter in weight. Spun polyester also has a shorter UV ray resistant lifespan the most solution dyed acrylic materaials, so I don’t recommend using it on high-traffic upholstered pieces. If you do use spun polyester on your main cushions we always suggest making or buying a protect cover for all upholstered outdoor areas or bringing them inside when not in use for longevity.

Marine Grade Vinyl – What is the difference between regular vinyl and marine vinyl? Marine vinyl has special additives added to the vinyl while its being made. Marine Vinyl protects the material from the harsh Australian weather like UV rays, mould and mildew. Developed for use in a marine environment as upholstery on boats, awnings and outdoor furniture. Marine grade boat vinyl needs to be manufactured to be durable, resistant to abrasions and colourfast. They have the ability to withstand extreme temperature changes and weather events. If the design is suitable, marine grade vinyls are also often used in commercial applications like hospitals and homes.

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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