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What is Lightfastness?

What is Lightfastness?

Lightfastness is best described as the amount of average daylight hours an upholstery fabric is able to receive before showing signs of fading. The typical lightfastness year is 500 hours. This system of rating is a bit confusing for customers, and even for manufacturers,  so fabric industry is switching to a 1 year, 3 year, or 5 year fade warranty to avoid confusion.


Lightfastness and upholstery fabric

When it comes to fabric, this question comes up a lot. You might have seen in a fabric rating such as 500 lightfastness hours or some other type of rating relating to direct sunlight exposure. In this blog, I want to define the meaning of lightfastness when it comes to upholstery fabric and choosing the best outdoor fabric for your home.


The sun’s UV and visible light rays can affect every material ranging from your skin, to metal, and even outdoor furniture fabric. Lightfastness typically means the degree and duration to which dye resists fading due to constant light exposure. Simply explained the amount of time your fabric sits in the sunlight before it starts to fade in color.

How to determine the lightfastness rating for fabric.

The lightfastness hours rating is usually a measure of color fading for most indoor/ outdoor upholstery fabric.  It might say 500,1000, 2000, or 3000+ lightfastness hours. 

The industry standard for indoor upholstery fabric is 40 hours of lightfastness.  This means with 40 hours of direct UV light; the fabric showed no fading. Typically, it is hard to calculate to the number of direct sunlight hours your furniture will receive, so most companies are moving away from the typical lightfastness hours rating and offering 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year limited warranty on their fabric. It is much easier to understand that you are covered for 5 years under the warranty vs 3000 lightfastness hours because what the heck is a lightfastness hour when it comes down to how long can my furniture sit outside. We need days, months, or years and not a lightfastness hour with some equation on the approximate or estimated time it might be able to stay outside. We need an actual duration of time the furniture can stay outside and be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

Revolution Outdoor Fabric

Revolution Performance Fabrics is pleased to announce our official outdoor fabric line! We have an exclusive product not seen on the market. Most outdoor fabrics are coated with PFC chemicals that bead and repel water. We had numerous customers ask for this effect on our fabric, but we weren’t willing to put the environment or your health at risk. Other fabric manufacturers do this by spraying their fabric with the typical C6 compound that will “guard” and “resist” stains. Later you find that these finishes stop working and disappear? In reality, they have worn off on your clothes, in your home and into your washing machine, washed into our sewers, river and oceans, affecting groundwater and marine life, for generations to come. To avoid this unsustainable practice, we finally found a wax-based, biodegradable, PFC and VOC free finish that beads liquid stains. Now you can have that desired cleanliness without the risk. With a 5-year limited warranty, try our outdoor fabric for your next outdoor project!

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