Types of Fabrics
Most of the fabrics that we use to make attractive and durable outer cushion covers are Sunbrella Fabrics. Over many years we have found these lightweight acrylic fabrics to be easy to sew, visually stunning and extremely durable, both for indoor and outdoor environments.
When used indoors, they are light enough to be very comfortable for sitting and lounging. They don’t feel stiff or overly heavy. If exposed to sunlight they will not fade for at least 5 years. These fabrics protect the inner cushion against spills or stains and are very easy to spot clean. Sunbrella maintains a comprehensive care and cleaning guide on their website (www.Sunbrella.com) with specific instructions on how to best clean stains made by everything from coffee to wine. Covers of Sunbrella fabric can also be removed and machine washed.
If you ask us to make cushion covers for you from any of the Sunbrella fabrics, make sure that you also order some extra yardage in case you later want to use it to make complementary accents like throw pillows or other home decorating projects. Wooden panels in some bed headboards can be wrapped in fabric to create fun, colorful accents. We can also make additional throw pillow covers economically from falloff yardage not used in making larger covers.
When working with any of the stripes or patterns, be sure to let us know if there is a specific way you want them to visually lay out on the shape of the cushion. For example, if you were making a long bench seat cushion with a striped fabric, we would need to know if the stripes would be along the length of the bench or shorter, running from front to back. This helps us make sure that it will look as fabulous as you imagine it.
When used on outdoor furniture, don’t let the lightweight feel of these fabrics fool you. They will stand up to whatever the weather gives them. We have seen cushions made of Sunbrella furniture fabric left outside in the weather and rain last years when filled with outdoor foam. (If you are planning outdoor cushions that will be regularly left out in the rain, hedge your bet by using an outdoor foam inside the Sunbrella fabric covers as indoor foam will mold.)
Every year we see Sunbrella maintain many of the beautiful colors and pattern collections they make as well as introduce new exciting collections. Make sure to check our available colors from time to time if you need new inspiration for redecorating your home. If you have design questions, please call us and we will be glad use our years of experience to help you.
Colors are hard to judge correctly from on-screen previews. It can be disappointing to have custom covers made, only to find out at the end that the fabric ended up a slightly different color than you expected. We recommend using our online swatches to be used to narrow down your color choice to a few selections. After that contact us to arrange actual fabric sample swatches to be sent to you so you can see and feel them for yourself. If you can swing by our San Rafael showroom, you can look at a swatch book and make an informed decision.
While outer upholstery fabrics can visually set off item like throw pillows, you still need the inner stuffing to make the pillows feeling soft, fluffy and welcoming. To keep this stuffing snugly inside, pillow lining fabrics are absolutely necessary.
These fabrics are not meant to be visually appealing. Instead, they are well made with a high thread count to make sure that the stuffing inside, whether it is a mix of feathers or light clusters of polyester fiber, is protected and well contained.
Down-Proof Ticking is fabric that is woven tightly to prevent feathers from poking through the fabric. This makes sure that feather pillows made from these fabrics stay plush and supportive for many years. Organic Down-Proof Ticking is also available.
Lining fabrics are used in applications where there may be friction that could wear out a single layer of fabric and are sometimes made into an inner cover around cushion foam, but inside the outer, visible cover that is meant to be seen. We see this kind of design in older furniture, made with the intention to last for decades. Designs like these take more labor and effort to make, but it pays off in a much longer life. This kind of extra effort can help antiques regain their past luster.
Most lining fabrics are made of cotton and blends of cotton and polyester. These are meant mainly for indoor use. Synthetic lining fabric, like non-woven fabric, is used in outdoor applications where cotton fabric could be vulnerable to mold.