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Inside Out Fabric | The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Fabric

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The Performance Fabric category first began with outdoor fabric. People saw the superior performance of outdoor fabric and wanted to use outdoor upholstery in their own homes. With superior stain resistance and durability, could I use outdoor fabric inside? The answer is YES!


What’s the difference anyways?

Indoor and outdoor fabric have small differences that make them unique. Indoor fabric usually has a lesser UV rating. UV rating means sunlight… We cover this in another blog here.

Outdoor upholstery fabric needs extra protection because the fiber is exposed to weathering more than the fabrics inside of your living room.  Outdoor fabrics are usually made of synthetic fibers. The outdoor fibers usually used to make outdoor fabrics are: Acrylic, Polypropylene, and Polyester. Polyester is great for a one season product but will get the lowest UV test results. Acrylic and Polypropylene will perform the best depending on the UV stabilizers used in the fabric.

Outdoor yarns have a higher UV rating because if the added UV stabilizers. This enables the yarn to be in direct sunlight longer and will slow down the fading process. All outdoor fabrics will eventually fade. The industry usually uses lightfastness hours to determine and test fade resistance.

 Outdoor fabrics usually have a chemical protectant that helps repel water and stains. This stain treatment comes in handy when the fabrics are used in the living-room. Outdoor fabric with stain resistant qualities are perfect for those who have larger families and active lifestyles.

Can outdoor fabric be used indoors?

Of course! Outdoor fabric can be used indoors and will even last longer than indoor fibers like cotton or linen. Most Outdoor fabric has a finish that helps further protect the fabric then indoor upholstery fabric. The fabric protectant will prevent spills from seeping into to the cushion. Indoors, the outdoor fabric won’t be in direct contact with UV exposure and rain/mildew and could last longer than being outside.

As fabric and fiber technology develops, more and more people are using outdoor fabrics indoors. Outdoor fabrics have gotten to the point where the yarns can be soft and the designs can be elegant.


Revolution Outdoor

Revolution Outdoor was created out of a need for PFC chemical free upholstery fabric for outdoor furniture. Almost all brands of outdoor upholstery fabric use some type of PFC Chemical. The awesome thing about Revolution Outdoor, we don’t! We use a biodegradable, wax based finish for our outdoor protectant. That’s what makes us different. We chose to NOT use a PFC or PFBS for our outdoor finish. Here’s a little info why.

PFC’s and PFBS are man made chemicals that act as a barrier for liquid stains and help repel water. These chemicals are not found in nature and are some of the strongest bonds known in chemistry. The bonds between the molecules block water and liquids from seeping into the fabric.

The chemicals can bio accumulate in our waterways and get into our drinking water since there is no disposal procedure for them in the US. Currently, these companies dispose of PFC’s and PFBS waste in waterways and sewers because dumping them is more cost efficient than proper incineration disposal. To learn more about these chemicals please visit . We believe PFC’s are a real issue in our heath. We need to make more educated consumer decisions on the products we buy. When it comes to outdoor fabric, look to buy PFC and PFBS chemical free fabric. Thanks for reading - David

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  • Thanks for the great information. I’m definitely starting to use your outdoor fabrics, now I can explain to clients why. A question, how long will it take for your wax based finished to wear off typically? And, can it be reapplied? Thank you!

    Kathleen Conroy on

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