Sunbrella® Upholstery Fabrics
Sunbrella® is a well-respected and well-known name in the fabric industry, and we’re proud to offer hundreds of their fabrics. You might be familiar with their wide array of Marine Grade fabrics and even their Shade and Awning offerings, but how much do you know about Sunbrella Upholstery fabrics? These solution-dyed performance fabrics make a perfect addition to many areas of your life, and we’ll explain why. We’ll cover everything you need to know before choosing a Sunbrella upholstery fabric for your next DIY.
What Is Sunbrella?
First, let’s delve into the origins of Sunbrella as a company. Created by Glen Raven, Inc., Sunbrella began its ascent into the fabric industry in 1961. Their goal was to create an awning fabric that lasted longer than the traditional cotton being used — with remarkable results. The minds at Sunbrella managed to create a product with substantially improved color retention, shrink and UV resistance: solution-dyed acrylic. This revolutionary material proved to be a game-changer, not only for awnings but for numerous applications in the home and marine sector. But what’s so special about it?
Many fabrics only feature color deposited on the surface of the material, but not Sunbrella. Their solution-dyed acrylic showcases a distinct dying process, ensuring UV-stable pigment saturation from the inside out, which provides superior fade resistance and bold, vivid colors. These fabrics resist the degrading effects of long-term sunlight exposure and can be cleaned with bleach without compromising their color richness. They’re also highly resistant to both water and the elements, as well as daily wear and tear, but we’ll cover that in a later section.
Sunbrella has created several types of premium fabrics, all of which are offered at Sailrite:
- Upholstery: Combines the quality and durability of outdoor fabrics with the softness and style needed for interior fabrics.
- Marine Grade: The premier cover cloth in the marine industry, known for its resilient capabilities.
- Shade: Ideal for awnings, patio umbrellas and more, these weather-resistant fabrics bring timeless style outdoors.
- Sheer: A delicate weave with excellent durability used for drapes and curtains.
- Sling: Combines vinyl and solution-dyed acrylic to create a comfortable sling chair fabric.
- SeaMark: Solution-dyed acrylic with a waterproof PVC backing for supreme waterproof protection against the elements in a marine environment.
Characteristics & Distinctions
Now that we’ve learned about Sunbrella and their various fabric offerings, let’s explore their indoor/outdoor upholstery fabrics. They’re world-renowned for their incredible versatility, beauty and strength — that’s why they’re called performance fabrics! The term “performance fabric” is well-earned, as all Sunbrella upholstery fabrics promise the same notable attributes in both indoor and outdoor settings.
These soft, supple fabrics are just as durable in your home as they are on your patio! They’re easy to clean because solution-dyed acrylic is inherently resistant to water, dirt, spills and stains. Simply blot liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth or clean dried-on stains with soap and water in combination with a sponge or soft bristle brush. For even more stubborn stains, use a diluted mixture of bleach and water to clean these fabrics without any impact on the color vibrancy. That’s no small feat!
Because solution-dyed acrylic does not absorb water the way that many interior fabrics do, Sunbrella upholstery fabrics are mold and mildew resistant. This is a crucial factor, as the overabundance of moisture and dirt is a catalyst for mold and mildew growth. As an added benefit, Sunbrella upholstery fabrics are built with longevity in mind and feature a five-year limited warranty. No matter how messy your life gets, stay protected by choosing Sunbrella performance upholstery fabrics! Cover your favorite armchair or patio set in Sunbrella and it will look beautiful time after time, rain or shine. Check out the short video below for details.
You can feel confident choosing Sunbrella upholstery fabrics for areas in your home with children and pets. That's because Sunbrella upholstery fabrics feature GREENGUARD® Gold Certification for clean air quality. If you’re planning to use your Sunbrella fabrics indoors, this certification is especially important as it indicates that these fabrics meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for low emissions and do not release any toxins or carcinogens into the air.
Abrasion resistance is a must when you own a piece of furniture that experiences high traffic, like the couch in your living room. All Sunbrella upholstery fabrics feature 15,000+ double rubs (cotton), meaning they’re a heavy-duty residential fabric and capable of handling years of wear and tear without issue. If you’re searching for an upholstery fabric suitable for commercial applications, Sunbrella has several options that are rated at well over 30,000 double rubs (cotton). This categorizes them as extra heavy-duty commercial fabrics for the most trafficked areas such as hospital waiting areas, airport terminals, fast food restaurants, theaters and stadiums.
Ways to Use Sunbrella Upholstery Fabrics:
- Chair, sofa and other furniture upholstery
- Decorative accents
- Throw pillows
- Window treatments and valances
- Patio cushions and pillows
- RV upholstery
- Interior boat cabin upholstery
Designs & Collections
With Sunbrella fabrics, it’s possible to use the same fabric or coordinating fabrics from the same collection in every room of your home as well as on your patio and in the living areas of your boat or RV. You can rest assured that there is an upholstery fabric for every style, taste and décor in the most lived-in areas of your life. These upholstery fabrics showcase a diverse range of colors and patterns — whether you want to create an elegantly coordinated living space or a brightly patterned patio, Sunbrella has something for you.
In 2018 we launched our first-ever collaborative fabric project, The Sailrite® Collection of Sunbrella Upholstery Fabrics. Coordinate the pillows in your home to your patio furnishings, drapery, couch, armchairs and more with this unique culmination of fabrics. The Sailrite Collection features 68 artfully selected fabrics in six unique colorways: Blue, Teal, Green, Gray, Brown and Pepper. Within each of these color families, you can effortlessly mix and match patterns to create a seamless, coordinated look both indoors and out.
One of the best things about Sunbrella upholstery fabrics, aside from their impeccable durability, is the sheer number of options available. From soft chenilles to sleek solids, you’ll find these fabrics in a number of stripes, textures and jacquards. All of Sunbrella’s patterned designs, whether they are polka dots, geometrics or florals, are woven into the fabric, classifying them as jacquard. In this type of fabric weave, the pattern or design is woven into the fabric itself instead of printed on the outer surface. Patterns that are woven into the fabric using this method will not lose their vibrancy or warp over time, whereas a pattern that has been printed on the surface of the fabric may fade or rub off after minimal wear. It’s just one more reason why you can depend on Sunbrella upholstery fabrics!
When it comes to selecting the perfect upholstery fabric, the choices are almost as endless as your imagination. Rest assured that Sunbrella will have a fabric option for every area of your life. So go ahead, get creative and watch your home transform with Sunbrella upholstery fabrics.
Ready to try Sunbrella upholstery fabrics for yourself? If you’re not sure which one is right for you and don’t want to order an entire yard just yet, consider ordering a sample book, such as The Sailrite Collection of Sunbrella Upholstery Fabrics. It’s a simple, foolproof way to experience these high-quality fabrics in person, feel their various textures, and match the vivid colors to your existing décor before buying a large quantity — forget about buyer’s remorse. Owning a sample book also ensures you’ll have swatches on-hand when the time comes to embark on your next upholstery DIY.
If you’re not interested in a sample book, you can also easily order as many fabric samples as you’d like on the product pages of our website. These are inexpensive to purchase and you’ll always have them to refer to, should you ever have the need. Learn more about our exceptional fabric sample program by visiting our blog, “Sailrite Fabric Swatches & Swatch Books” (300368XHT).
Which Sunbrella upholstery fabrics are your favorite? Have questions about a particular fabric line or collection? Let us know in the comments below!