How to: Plan outdoor seating

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More and more people are seeking the outdoor living style whether it be during summer or even colder seasons.

Outdoor living areas, expressed through patios and outdoor kitchens, are on the rise, and along with that popularity is the desire to have outdoor furniture that’s not just practical but also beautiful and modern. There are three important things to think about when you are planning your outdoor cushions:

Foam

Foam is the main part of your outdoor cushions. There are two main types of foam:

(1) Regular foam - you'll find it in your couch and chair cushions which can be used in outdoor settings. This foam is easy to find and is reasonably priced. One of the major cons to the regular foam is the water sitting in the cushion.  Any outdoor fabric is only relatively water proof during the rainy seasons and will eventually let water into the cushions. Water sitting in the foam of your cushion can mold your fabric. If you're willing to cover your pieces, make sure that you bring them inside so they do not collect moisture.

(2) Picture Swiss cheese - this foam has holes throughout that allow for the water to run through the foam and not sit. Unfortunately, this foam is quite expensive. However, this is a better option for cushions that will inevitably get wet, like a boat cushion, or cushions that you plan to leave outside.

Fabric

When purchasing outdoor fabrics, it's important to be an informed consumer so that you know what you are getting into. Sunbrella happens to be the best brand to buy but what is Sunbrella fabric? The word Sunbrella is used to describe outdoor fabric. Sunbrella brand outdoor fabric is 100% solution dyed acrylic. Solution dyed basically means that the fibers that the fabric is made of is dyed in a colour solution before they are woven – not printed on after the fabric base cloth is made. There are other great outdoor 100% acrylic fabrics that are not necessarily under the Sunbrella brand. This fabric are a great option for outdoor use seeing that they're water resistant and the colours can stay true for a longer period of time.

The base

When you have a piece of outdoor furniture, it's important to think about what your cushion is sitting on. Make sure that there isn't something solid under the foam for the water to sit on and mold the bottom of your cushions.  Make sure there is some sort of slating or woven base that will let any water run through the cushion and help to dry the cushion after rain.

For all your fabric, curtain or upholstery inquiries, please contact our store which stocks a wide range of the latest trends:

Constantia Fabrics: 021 761 9648 or email us on info@constantiafabrics.co.za

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