Creating a beautiful outdoor living space starts with your landscaping but also includes your hardscapes and outdoor furniture. You cannot design a relaxing backyard without providing somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine.
Outdoor furniture can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Sinking that kind of money into your deck or patio décor makes you want to protect it.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to cover the furniture with fabric whether by purchasing cushions and pillows or by sewing fabric covers for each piece that let you continue to sit or lay on the furniture without removing the cover. (Think of a sofa cover and you have the right idea.) It increases the importance of the fabric with which you cover the furniture.
Furniture typically lasts between five and nine years, but according to a survey conducted by Furniture/Today’s May 16 Consumer Connection, only 36 percent of consumers plan to own the same sofa for five years. About 55 percent expect their sofa to last at least ten years.
That’s a feat even for an indoor sofa, much less an outdoor one. So, which is best to cover your outdoor furniture; Sunbrella or Bella Dura?
The Glen Raven created Sunbrella fabric in 1961, expanding from its start as an awning fabric supplier. It modeled its initial colors, styles, and patterns after its awnings. Its team of 30 designers continues to develop new colors and patterns of this durable fabric specifically engineered to last in harsh environments.
Fabrics like this are called performance fabrics. The Sunbrella Upholstery collection includes 313 distinct products while its Fusion collection includes 158 products.
Most of these sales occur to a furniture or furniture cover manufacturer. They can buy this fabric by the roll or the yard. Sunbrella also creates bespoke designs for individuals and custom programs.
The company’s performance fabrics include marine fabrics and shade fabrics, as well as those created for healthcare and hospitality. It provides a canvas look for outdoor furniture. The manufacturer provides materials in the most popular design colors. It also produces novelty yarns and fabric constructions annually.
This performance fabric withstands direct sunlight exposure and saltwater exposure. Glen Raven tests each fabric separately for color recipe, fiber formulation, UV heartiness, and finishing technology.
The fabrics do not lose strength due to chemical exposure or sunlight. The company ensures lasting heartiness of its materials by engineering the fibers to be resistant to damage rather than using a spray-on treatment after creating the fabric or a finish to the material.
You can clean Sunbrella with any typical household cleaning product. You can even use chlorine bleach on white materials of Sunbrella. You won’t need to often though since most spills you can wipe off of the fabric using soap and water.
The Wearbest company produces Bella-Dura upholstery fabric. The fabric uses advanced technologies to produce an original fabric from its own yarn. This yarn uses silver ion technology to create a microbe and stain resistant material that not only stays spotless but helps keep you healthier.
It meets both abrasion and outdoor material standards. Its abrasion testing consists of a batch withstanding a minimum of 50,000 double rubs. That level of withstanding abrasion qualifies it as suitable for a high-traffic, commercial use.
Though newer to the fabric selection, Bella-Dura has grown in use by 40 percent since its introduction and by 60 percent in the past year. It specifically designed its fabric to withstand sunlight.
Its polyolefin is engineered to withstand 1,500 hours of light without fabric wear or damage. By using filament yarns, the fabric becomes resistant to pilling.
Bella-Dura costs a bit more than other fabrics, but it withstands stains exceedingly well. As a solution dyed polyolefin fiber fabric, it provides a sturdier material, and you can clean it with bleach.
The company offers designer colors and a wide range of patterns. This means that decorators like them since they can use them in many home decors.
It also offers the only environmentally friendly performance fabric on the market. Its fibers consist of a by-product of another process, which once treated, get woven into Bella-Dura.
Its production process uses little water or energy and creates no harmful industrial waste. It is also recyclable. All Bella-Dura products come with a five-year limited residential warranty and a three-year limited commercial warranty.
Which fabric you choose, whether Sunbrella or Bella-Dura, depends on your needs. Those in a hospital environment may benefit more from the use of Bella-Dura since its anti-microbial properties.
Both fabrics will last a long time and both companies test their materials so they know that they will withstand sunlight and stains. Sunbrella specifically tests for heartiness from seawater and chemical exposure. You can clean both fabrics with bleach when needed, but this would be a rarity since both wipe clean.
While both firms produce fashion colors and follow décor trends, so they continually offer manufacturers what they need, Sunbrella creates novelty fabrics each year. This lets cushion and fabric cover manufacturers create holiday décor, such as you would use for beachfront homes during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas holidays and those like them.
In these warm weather, beach environments, people still enjoy decorating for the holidays. Sunbrella’s novelty fabrics let you decorate for special occasions and still protect your outdoor furniture. These fabrics and this selection also come in handy for weddings.
Each manufacturer’s performance fabric offers its own benefits. Covering your outdoor furniture with a tough fabric that withstand sunshine’s UV rays as well as stains can help protect your furniture investment and help it last longer.
Waterproofing the material makes an even better protective covering since this provides a barrier that keeps water from rattan or wood furniture that could cause it to rot. It also protects metal furniture from rusting.
Choosing the right fabric to cover your outdoor furniture with can help you make it last longer. Whether you choose Sunbrella or Bella-Dura, you will have a lasting material that withstands the test of time.
There are other brands that we compared to Sunbrella, that you maybe interested in, such as Olfefin and Outdura . Also be sure to check out our article on how you can care for your outdoor cushions if they happen to get wet.