Whether wood or metal, most outdoor furniture will be more comfortable with a few cushions. With an ever-growing demand for outdoor fabrics, fully upholstered outdoor furniture takes ‘fresh air living’ to the next level. “From outdoor velvets, faux leathers and chenilles to jacquards and prints in a huge variety of designs from traditional to contemporary, there are plenty of options available,” says June da Silva of Hertex.
ADVANTAGES Fabric creates a luxurious look and feel and some outdoor fabrics offer a stain-resistant finish, making it ideal for full sun exposure. It is also water-repellent with best colour fastness. International brand Sunbrella Fabrics is your best bet, as this is what is used on boats – but it is costly!
DRAWBACKS Even though the fabric is designed for outdoor use, cushions should be brought under cover when not in use. Outdoor prints do not enjoy greater light fastness and are not recommended for constant exposure to direct sunlight.
MAINTENANCE Regular washing and vacuuming is recommended as mildew can grow on the dust that sits on the fabric, even if the fabric has an anti-mildew finish.
REMEMBER When it comes to upholstered furniture, also consider the foam used for inners, says Mia of Patio Warehouse. “Thanks to new technology, extra-large open cells permit maximum water drainage and air circulation so that water can seep through quicker, allowing upholstered furniture to dry faster. Look for the label “quick dry foam”.
Cozy two-seater sofa with aluminium frame and outdoor foam and fabric R13 280, Patio Warehouse Beanbag covered in outdoor parasol solution-dyed polyester fabric R750–R1 500, Tradewinds