We field a lot of questions about what our products are made from and how they perform. So we thought it was a good time to start at the beginning and talk about our outdoor fabrics, arguably one of the most important elements we decide on when we're designing our beautiful beach umbrellas, garden and patio umbrellas.
What are outdoor fabrics exactly?
Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand being outside all the time and are generally high tensile, making them resistant to rips and tears, and most of them have water and UV resistant factors built in.
Outdoor fabrics also come in a range of fibres, including cotton blends, olefin, woven acrylic, synthetic polyester and linen. The various qualities of each outdoor fabric depend on the fibre used and how they’re manufactured.
High quality outdoor fabrics will be UV and water resistant, as well as offer mould and dirt resistance.
It’s a pretty good rule of thumb that you pay for what you get, so the price is usually higher as a result of all the treatments and finishes built into the cloth.
Likewise, when you're comparing so called "Outdoor" products, make sure you're comparing apples with apples - that each are made from the same fabric and feature similar ratings.
What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
Waterproof fabrics are impervious to water, which means that there is usually some sort of barrier preventing water from moving through the fabric. Water resistant fabrics mean that water will be repelled but over time and prolonged exposure, the water will eventually come through and whatever is underneath may get wet. We use both coatings across our range. It's worth noting that even with these coatings, unless the product is completely sealed, prolonged exposure to water will eventually cause damp and the fabric to become wet. So we always recommend that the fabric be stored away, dry, when not in use.
What fabrics does Basil Bangs use in its range of parasols and umbrellas?
Fabrics make up the biggest element of our products and we think about them A LOT. The cloth we use is mostly a printed or dyed polyester canvas, or a solution-dyed woven Acrylic.
The Basil Bangs Patio Umbrellas, Garden Umbrellas and Luxury Beach Umbrellas all use an awning-grade solution dyed, woven acrylic fabric, i.e. the best of the best, which comes with an industry leading 10 year warranty. When you're comparing our beach umbrellas, the Luxury beach umbrellas cost the most because they use this same awning grade fabric.
Our woven acrylic fabrics meet the strictest Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 environmental standards, which means that the fabric mill meets high environmental and social responsibility standards from the start to finish of the production process.
Our printed and dyed fabrics are also responsibly made. We work with an ethical factory that meets independently verified environmental pollution standards.
Why don’t you use Cotton or Linen?
Cotton and Linen fabrics do not react well to moisture (aka summer humidity) so degrade pretty fast. Put that together with how intensely farmed cotton is, it doesn’t tick any boxes for us in terms of either the environment or function.
We believe that making a considered purchase of a product that will last a long time is a good way to go with outdoor products. 'Buy once, and buy better' is a good motto!
Does your fabric fade?
All materials that live outside will eventually fade, which is why we choose the highest grade of fabric for our range of patio and commercial umbrellas, i.e. the products that will live outdoors all day.
The Weekend Umbrellas and Premium Beach Umbrellas are made from dyed or printed fabric, which meets a standard of 4. They are designed to be used and then stored, so in their case, the fabric selection suits their more occasional use.
The premium acrylic outdoor umbrella fabric comes with a 10 year residential warranty and have the best available colour fastness rating of 7-8 (out of 8).
All of our fabrics are UPF50+ , which blocks 98% UV rays.
If you have any questions about our fabrics, drop us a line!