The pollen is done for the most part, and you have cleaned and re-cleaned the patios and porches to rid it of the fine yellow mist of gunk that seems to get into the tiniest of cracks. Now that this is behind us and warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to put out our porch patio cushions, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, your summer reading and relax. But wait….your cushions may need attention too after years of wear, weather, sun and neglect.
My first client, Pam, sent me a picture of her tired and depleted swing cushions and wanted to know if I could help. I sent her to JoAnn’s to pick out the fabric, some 3” foam and with a wave of my wand (if only), I made her these two delightful apple green—the season’s hot color– cushions perfectly coordinated with her throw pillows. It certainly brightens the shady porch.
Mary had a bit more of a challenge. Her cushions were in desperate need of replacement. The cushions were literally disintegrating when you touched them or picked them up. The sun had completely dried out the fabric over the years to the point of crumbling. The question was whether to buy new cushions or to make new covers.
Her current furniture frames were still in excellent condition. She had several chairs on her back porch but also wanted to coordinate with the current front porch décor. Since she needed to find a fabric that would withstand the intense sunlight in the back yard over the summer, she decided to have cushions made in the exact same Sunbrella fabric she currently had on her wicker chairs and a coordinating fabric from Outdoorfabrics.com. It has a great rating with a 5 year warranty against fading and mildew.
When all was said and done, I made ten cushions, two double cushions for her recliners, two ottoman cushions and six dining chair cushions! What a burst of color and brightness for this front porch and back deck with a coordinated and uniform look. The little bit of extra time to match all of the stripes running up and down the cushions makes all the difference.
Mary sent this fun picture to me. Completely unware that she had a top that just happened to match the Dolce Oasis stripe pattern on her new cushions. Coincidence? I think Mary really loves that print. And why not. It is vibrant, fun and full of life. She certainly will get alot more years out of her patio set now.
It seems this year, more than in the past, I noticed a ton of options for cushions in the stores. Many of these fabric are spun polyester in which the color and design is printed on the base fabric. Though these fabrics may wear well for a few years they typically are approved for 300 (some up to 800) hours of UV exposure so they may fade a lot faster. Fabrics such as Sunbrella (and there are other brands too) are made out of 100% acrylic in which the fibers that the fabric is made of are dyed in a color solution before being woven into the design, not printed on the base fabric. Interesting huh? By doing this, you now have a product that will be more fade resistant when in direct sunlight often for 2000 or more hours of UV exposure. Of course, it makes sense that it is also more expensive. So when contemplating your choice of whether to buy or cover your cushions, be sure to take this into consideration so you get years of enjoyment for your investment. Lots of fun stuff coming up this summer! Stay tune and let me know if you have a project you need done!