Umbrella canopies and outdoor cushions are made of fabrics that are specially made to hold up to the kinds of harsh conditions that interior fabrics never experience. The direct exposure to intense sunlight, salt air, driving rain are all part of their day to day existence. Year after year they also need to maintain their colorfastness, not tear or stretch and remain stain-, mold-, mildew-resistant. That’s a lot to ask. For our customer’s peace of mind and durability of our products, FiberBuilt uses only acrylic fabrics made by industry leading manufacturers, including Sunbrella and Outdura, because they are up to the challenge.
There are differences between Marine and Furniture Grade Solution Dyed acrylics. But first, let’s define what “solution-dyed acrylics” are. Solution dying is a process where the pigment mixes with the acrylic or polyester chips before they’re even extruded into filaments (or yarn). That way the color isn’t applied only to the surface of the fabric but is inherently part of the fibers, resulting in colorfastness. And the material is UV resistant as well.
Though comparable in colorfastness and durability, the greatest differences between Marine and Furniture Grade acrylics are the feel and weight of the material. Marine Grade fabrics have a tighter weave, are stiffer to the touch, abrasion-resistant, and heavier. The stiffness of the material makes is appropriate for most canopy applications. Furniture Grade fabrics are softer and more flexible which is why it can be used for both canopies and coordinating cushions. For certain umbrella styles, such as Bali, Edge and Cantilever, Furniture Grade is the recommended fabric. And, of course, for cushions, pillows, bolsters and poufs, Furniture Grade provides the soft hand and comfortable feel you expect.
Furniture Grade acrylics carry a five-year warranty while Marine Grades come with a ten-year warranty. This covers the fabric becoming unserviceable due to loss of color or strength from normal exposure to sunlight, mildew, and atmospheric chemicals.
FiberBuilt also offers other models with different canopy materials. Within the Home Collection, the Garden umbrellas are available in 10 vinyl coated weaves. These have an open weave PVC coating that allows some light through. Our Patio models have a spun acrylic canopy and Terrace model canopies are made with furniture grade solution dyed acrylics. These models are available is six colors.
Marine Grade – Pacific Blue
Furniture Grade – Sunflower
Vinyl Coated Weave – Red