Santorini in the sunlight. Swoon! Whether this is your spring/summer vacation destination or not (and we’re ready if you are!), would you know which indoor/outdoor perennial fabric to choose for these chairs and throws?
Today on Hadley Court, we’ll share eye-popping rooms to inspire you, and we’ll explore all you need to know about the more practical aspects of the new indoor/outdoor fabrics so you can make smart buying decisions.
First, is there a difference in all the new indoor/outdoor fabrics that are available for you to choose from? Yes, there is and it is this: make sure the dye colors in the indoor/outdoor fabric you choose are integral to the yarn itself – not surface colors on the outside of the fiber. Otherwise, the life expectancy of your indoor outdoor fabric will be reduced.
One luxury indoor/outdoor fabric provider is Dallas-headquartered Perennials Fabrics (website here), started by David and Ann Sutherland.
Some of you who are designers may be familiar with David Sutherland’s furniture showrooms in Texas. This indoor fabric of theirs, on the chair below, might be my personal favorite of all of their designs. But there are many more to choose from, in a kaleidoscopic array of colors.
This infographic from their site shows you the difference in their yarns and yarns that might be more typical.
From their website:
“Not only does a solution-dyed acrylic fiber offer a more natural look and feel, the polymer itself has an inherent resistance to ultraviolet degradation, which exceeds that of other fibers such as polypropelene, olefin and polyester. On a microscopic level, the cross-section of our fiber is round, which seems like a small detail. However, unlike the kidney-bean shape of other solution-dyed fibers, the round shape adds a higher tenacity, improved abrasion resistance and better color consistency. Dralon*, another acrylic that is often promoted for outdoor use, is yarn-dyed, which means the color does not permeate all the way though, causing it to fall short of our stringent standards for fade and bleach tests.”
Note: there are many other brands of excellent indoor/outdoor fabrics: one being Sunbrella (Joe Ruggiero’s collection is a favorite of many and you can see it, here). And the other is Trina Turk’s collection for Schumacher. It’s another favorite of many for her brightly colored, highly patterned indoor outdoor fabrics like the ones shown in the picture below.
Both of these companies have been written about extensively and support the design industry in many ways, but today we’ve chosen to focus mostly on Perennials Fabrics.
Aren’t Trina’s patterns below, wonderful? Can you guess which one has been pinned the most? It’s one of these. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook Page here if you’d like to take a guess!
So as a parent or grandparent, what are you most concerned about when it comes to these beautiful indoor/outdoor fabrics? Spills? Probably not. You expect those to clean up, right? But what’s worse? Yes! –> the dreaded Sharpie!
And, perhaps your real question is…does magic marker really come off? And how hard is it to clean off?
Let’s take a look at just how easily a Sharpie drawing can come off your indoor outdoor textile…from some stills taken from this video on Perennials Fabric website.
On Perennials indoor/outdoor fabrics, (not necessarily on other brands -check carefully!) you CAN use bleach.
And with a little soft brushing
Voila! No more magic marker! Does your heart desire an all white, ivory or ecru colored sofa in your home – even with small children (or grandchildren) underfoot? Now, you can have it thanks to advances in indoor/outdoor fabric cleaning technology.
But please be careful. Not all brands of indoor/outdoor fabrics, or fabric blends, can handle bleach, as you can see from the two pictures below. Please ask your designer or sales representative and just to be sure, please ask for the manufacturer’s care instructions and warranty and read it carefully.
Also, even the best indoor/outdoor fabrics have a time limit on how long they can hold up. You should expect to have to replace these fabrics more often if your family is constantly spilling, marking on them or if your fabric is exposed to constant and direct harsh sunlight.
Indoor/outdoor fabrics are mold, mildew and extremely stain resistant – when maintained and cleaned properly, but they are not stain PROOF.
If you have your furniture delivered with an indoor/outdoor fabric on it and there is a separate warranty card for the fabric attached, fill it out and send it back to the manufacturer. Remember that with furniture, the fabric, the cushion filling and the frame of your furniture (whether wood, metal, rattan, wicker or another material) are almost always under separate warranties.
Now that you’ve seen that these fabrics really do clean up, let’s answer another question you may have about the feel or, as it is known in design lingo, the hand of the fabric, and textures and drapeability.
Do you remember how stiff the indoor/outdoor fabrics used to be that you sat on when you were a child or teen? Not anymore. Highly textured indoor/outdoor fabrics that drape beautifully and feel soft to the touch are commonplace now. They blow in a gentle breeze as gracefully as any other textile.
Is there a prettier use of indoor/outdoor fabrics than those used in the two breakfast rooms pictured below – one a bit more formal, and the one on the bottom, a bit more casual?
Which room do you like better? Please let us know in the comments! And do you love blue and white porcelain like we do, too? Are you thinking of decorating with it for Spring and Summer? A previous post on Hadley Court, here, will give you some pretty ideas if you need them.
Do you love the glamorous, plush texture and feel of velvets? Do you live in a bit of a cooler or coastal climate where it can get chilly, even during the summer? This is a Perennials Fabric indoor/outdoor solution dyed acrylic velvet. Isn’t this honeycombed texture lush?
Do you need a soft, warm indoor/outdoor throw in case your guests get chilly? One that you can easily throw in the washing machine? This one is made with Sunbrella fabric by Joe Ruggiero for Textillery.
Don’t you love it when you visit someone and they’ve thought of a little grace note like this for you, left draped across a chair or chaise? I think it makes guests feel coddled and welcomed – along with a good, dimmable reading light by the bedside, but that’s another post 🙂
Even in the most luxurious rooms, indoor/outdoor fabrics can now be used with ease, as they are in this stunning pool room in Tennessee designer Jamie Beckwith’s own home, below.
Readers, which view of it do you like best? This one, during the day when her children and their friends might come over for a pool party, TV and games…
or this view of the same room, at night, when Jamie and her husband might be entertaining their own friends?
Let us know in the comments!
Readers, we hope this post has been helpful and please note: this is a non-sponsored post and no money or in-kind/in trade exchanges have taken place.
Thank you for taking your time to read Hadley Court today – your time is appreciated!
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.