Olefin vs Sunbrella Outdoor Fabric

In the outdoor furniture world it is common for shoppers to wonder 'what is the best fabric for outdoor furniture? Often the choices come down to olefin fabric vs. Sunbrella fabric.

It is such an important question because cushions are one of the most important considerations when shopping for patio furniture. Many people will tell you Sunbrella is the best. It is certainly the only household brand name when it comes to outdoor fabric for outdoor furniture. The industry has never provided anyone with an answer aside from Sunbrella, which has naturally led to shoppers automatically think it is the best and only choice. Our experience and expertise in the industry has led us to use both Sunbrella and Olefin fabric, but let’s dive into both options:

Sunbrella Outdoor Fabric

Solution Dyed Acrylic

Sunbrella is made with solution dyed acrylic fabric. Acrylic fabrics are soft to the touch and mold and mildew resistant, making them a great choice for outdoor furniture cushions. They also repel water and dry very quickly. The process of “solution dyeing” ensures that the fabric will resist fading over time. Most fabrics are woven into yarn and then dyed their color after, which means the core of the yarn is white and the color will eventually fade. Solution dyeing is when a liquid fabric solution is mixed with the dye color before becomes a yarn, meaning that the color is true all the way through to its core.

What is Olefin?

Solution Dyed Olefin

Sunproof is the most popular brand name of solution dyed olefin fabric. Solution dyed means it goes through the same process as Sunbrella to make its color. Olefin is also a mildew resistant, quick drying, and water repellant fabric. Another benefit is that it is resistant to chlorine. Olefin is definitely a lesser known fabric than acrylic. It is more rugged to the touch than Sunbrella.

Our Conclusion

Madbury Road was founded in the Northeast, where we see some of the harshest summers, with strong sun, heavy rains, and vast changes in temperature. Many of our customers are also near or around the coastlines, where the salt from the ocean is constantly in the air. On a trip to visit our manufacturers one of our suppliers showed us every detail of Sunbrella and olefin fabric. Both can be used for commercial settings which includes a wide variety of resorts, hotels, and restaurants around the world. Sunbrella is softer to the touch, just as durable, and easier to clean than Olefin. While we've used Sunproof in the past and it's perfectly acceptable, we concluded that Sunbrella is the best choice.


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