Cushions: Fit, Foam & Fabric (Are You Ready for Spring?)

Winter is pretty much behind us, with the exception of a few days here and there that seem to remind us that it has technically a few more days left.  But the warm days forecasted in the future and the calendar officially turning to March certainly has us all thinking about getting ready for outdoor living.

The list is long. It has my head buzzing and almost anxious thinking of the  things we need or want to do like, planting trees, cleaning out the garden beds, putting fertilizer down, mulching, transplanting, maybe even cutting the grass! Lets be honest, most of those items are on my husbands list!  Ha!  My list includes changing out the home-made fabric hearts on my door wreath to a spring or Easter theme, revamping the porchscape from Christmas to spring/summer, putting down my outdoor rugs, and setting up our outdoor living spaces.

Now is the perfect time to access your outdoor furniture and cushions.  Stores have replaced their seasonal spaces once filled with Christmas decorations with outdoor living.  If your cushions are sun bleached, worn or you are just over the color or pattern you might want to consider recovering your cushions.   Sure, you can purchase new cushions, but there are a couple of things to consider before you do.

FIT. Have you ever visited one of the bigger retail stores and walked down the aisles lined with colors and shapes of all sizes and thought, “surely this one is perfect” only to get home and find it is too narrow, too wide, too deep, too whatever?

I have. It can be frustrating almost to point of wanting to get new furniture.  Some outdoor furniture have cushions shaped to fit your unique piece as you can see in the pictures above.

FOAM. When looking at the state of your outdoor cushions, we often just think of the outer layer, the fabric.  But what is inside is just as important!  What is the state of your foam?  Is it too squishy, too thin? Not plump enough? Would you like a firmer foam?  Will it be exposed to elements? Do you need a foam that the water passes straight through?  When replacing cushion covers these are considerations that need to be addressed.

foam options

FABRIC.  Not all outdoor fabric is equal.  One option is a less expensive outdoor polyester fabric that comes in all kinds of prints and colors.  Since the UV rating is lower this fabric would not be ideal for cushions that would be in direct sunlight but would be a good option for accent pillows. But even in this category of polyester fabric, there are exceptions and new brands are coming out with better UV ratings and construction processes that make them better for outdoor cushions.

The color and print are stamped on the fabric after the fabric is made therefore making it more prone to wear and fading a lot faster so in time the color will fade and look dull.

If your cushions will be in direct sunlight, you should consider upgrading to a Sunbrella or Outdura type of fabric in a solution-dyed acrylic fabric.  I recently received a new outdoor line of fabric from Revolution Fabrics that offers color, texture and high performance.  Now, more than ever, we have a lot more options to bring the inside outside in comfort and beauty.

The color and pattern are actually woven into the fibers as the fabric is made making it a perfect long wearing fabric for outdoor cushions.  You can tell it is a solution-dyed acrylic as the print and color are actually visible on both sides of the fabric.

I recently received a new outdoor line of fabric from Revolution Fabrics that offers color, texture and high performance.  Now, more than ever, we have a lot more options to bring the inside outside in comfort and beauty.

Revolution Outdoor Performance Fabric

The take away is that every brand has its own manufacturing process and the warranty, UV rating and fabric rub rating should be considered in your unique situation and use.   In the long run, the little extra money you spend will be worth it.  So now when you look at the store-bought cushions tags, you will know the difference between polyester and acrylic.

If you have cushions that need updating and purchasing new cushions isn’t an option that will work for your furniture, you might want to consider having custom cushions made in the exact fabric, fit and style that you want.  Now is the perfect time to start the process so they are ready when you are to get outside. Contact me to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with fabric and foam samples to get started on your outdoor project.