Southern Living
outdoor fabrics

Photo: Van Chaplin; Stylist: Lisa Powell

Made from a wide variety of synthetic fibers, polyester, acrylic, and even cotton blends, outdoor fabrics are woven textiles that undergo a chemical treatment during manufacturing. This process allows them to repel water and resist soiling and rot, while impeding mildew growth. Because these fabrics are manufactured to accomplish many of the same goals, the different textures (smooth versus rough) and finishes (matte or shiny) influence a homeowner's decision. Also, the price for different materials is a reliable indicator of its durability and longevity. If you select a less expensive outdoor fabric, you may end up replacing it sooner than you would a costlier one.

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