The New Face of Indoor-Outdoor Fabrics

indoor-outdoor-fabricThere was a time when Indoor-Outdoor fabrics looked and felt like, well, hell. You’d sooner wrap up your recyclables in them then sit on them, let alone in shorts. Sure they were pretty indestructible, plus UV, fade and mold resistant, but they were rough, scratchy or stiff.

The game has been changing for a few years and today it’s a new playing field. Today, indoor-outdoor fabrics can impersonate soft “cottons,” washed “linens” and plushy “chenilles” and “velvets”, with an almost luxurious hand. So different are today’s indoor-outdoor fabrics from their grandparents that they should be considerations for cozy or elegant indoor spaces that experience heavy use or sun, such as:

  • Sunrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Kids Rooms
  • Guest Rooms
  • Vacation Homes & Rentals

The basic thing to remember about this class of fabric is that it’s unlike traditional cloth.

Traditional cloth is made of spun yarns and those yarns are woven into cloth and then the cloth fabric is dipped in dye to affix their color or pattern. On the other hand, indoor-outdoor fabric is comprised of man-made threads into which a color solution is mixed along with the chemicals making the thread itself. This mixture is extruded through what you might think of as a giant pasta maker but this is…a thread maker of sorts. (Snoring yet?) The point is…the color is literally PART of the thread, not placed over the top of it.

This explains Indoor-outdoor fabrics’ color fastness and stain resistance. Indoor-outdoor fabrics are also mold and mildew resistant because they are completely man-made. Mold and mildew need organic materials to feed on and grow which is why cotton, silk and linen are so highly susceptible to mold in the right conditions.

Right now, we’re designing a very sunny sunroom for a favorite client and you can bet we’ll be sure to find gorgeous indoor-outdoor fabrics our clients will love. It will certainly be another dream space in their home we’ve created for them. But it’s the indoor-outdoor fabrics that will help insure they can enjoy this big investment room for a long, long time to come.