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UV Resistant Fabrics

If your furniture will be exposed to direct sunlight, consideration of fabric content is important! Ultraviolet light can seriously damage textiles of inappropriate fabric content, causing fading and deterioration of the fibers.

Tips for fabric choices for sunny locations:

* Best choices are solution dyed acrylic or polyester fabrics. Many vinyls also qualify as UV resistant. Brand names which have a sun damage warranty are Sunbrella, Top Gun and Reocril. UV resistant synthetic fabrics that have been solution dyed are more resistant to fading than others.

Vat dyes, if properly applied, can have good colorfastness, however this varies among classes of dyes. Vat dyes are most often used on cotton or poly/cotton blends, and generally are not found with any warranty like Sunbrella, Top Gun or Reacril can offer. * Almost any color will fade to some degree, unless it is specifically labeled as sun resistant. This term indicates that the dye resists fading but it is NOT a guarantee against fading unless stated.

* Tightly woven weaves are generally more resistant to damage from the sun.

* If fading will be a problem, choose light to medium neutral or earth colors, because they do not show fading as quickly as bright, vivid colors.

* Light colors also reflect heat more than dark colors, and heat absorption increases fabric deterioration.

To prolong the life of the fabric, we recommend removing outdoor cushions from direct sunlight and other elements when not in use. UV resistant fabrics are fade-resistant and should last for several years without fading. Turn cushions regularly for more even wear and exposure to the sun. These fabrics will often have ratings for hours of sun exposure, or about 60 to 100 days, depending on where the product is used.

Sunbrella fabrics can be machine-washed using cold water and mild soap, such as 303 Aerospace Cleaner Tumble dry with no heat or air dry. Re-treat with High Tech Fabric Guard. Click here for more information on care of Sunbrella and other solution dyed outdoor fabrics.

Outdoor cushions can also be made with fast-draining marine foam if they will remain outside for long periods. Occasionally mildew is found on outdoor cushions of solution dyed outdoor fabrics. however, itís not the fabric that has mildewed, but the soil that is on the fabric or the cushion filling. This can also be removed with a bleach solution and a soft brush. Always rinse thoroughly and air-dry.

The following fabrics are especially vulnerable to direct sunlight damage: Silk and olefin (unless specifically labeled as solution dyed and treated with light stabilizers). Also avoid cotton, linen, nylon and rayon. Aniline leather is not recommended for placement in a sunny window, as its color will fade quickly. Frequent conditioning with a high quality product will be necessary to restore moisture loss and help preserve the strength of the leather. A better option is to have your leather professionally refinished with a pigmented leather finish. This process will transform it to a uv stable, easy care stain and wear-resistant leather. Ask KJ for details on your project.

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