Your guide to the best outdoor furniture materials and fabrics

    When it comes to your patio, your furniture can set the scene for al fresco dining, casual braais, or some peaceful me time. A set-up featuring the right materials and fabrics can make all the difference.

    Choosing them all comes down to factors such as durability, pricing, sustainability, and looks. Our guide will help you pinpoint the material and fabric best suited to your needs.

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    The best furniture material for outdoor furniture

    With your patio furniture, you can extend your indoor furniture style to the outdoors or switch it up completely. You can even mix and match different furniture types if you’re a fan of the eclectic look. Whatever you decide, ensure your outdoor furniture can stand up to outside weather conditions, such as sunshine, rain, and winds. Here are good options to consider:

    wooden outdoor patio furniture

    Stainless steel: Outdoor furniture made with this iron-based alloy are sought-after, not just for its contemporary look. You’ll find they are extremely strong, resistant to corrosion, and easy to clean. As one of the most durable outdoor furniture materials, they can take a knock. This, coupled with their weight, makes them ideal for windy patios.

    Wrought iron: This metal has been used in tools, buildings, and furnishings thanks to its durable quality. When powder coated, wrought iron makes a sturdy, rust-proof, and wind-resistant addition to your patio. If you take good care of it, this furniture type can last the longest. Because wrought iron can be hammered into ornate designs, you can find some truly beautiful pieces that will give your outdoors a historic elegance.

    Aluminium: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly metal option, aluminium is one to add to your list. It’s durable, comes in different styles, and is strong enough to resist scratching and the elements. Because it’s light, it can be easily moved around when you have guests or want to change your decor scheme.

    Plastic: Plastic outdoor furniture is a real winner. It resists fading from sunlight and saltwater damage, making it a perfect fit for a coastal home. In fact, it’s one of the most weather-proof furniture options you can find on the market. It’s light so it can be easily moved or stored away. It doesn’t peel or crack and can be wiped clean for simple maintenance. The colour options with plastic are endless. You can even buy eco-friendly recycled plastic furniture for a sustainable option.

    Teak: This is a popular wood material choice for outdoor furniture. It is strong, able to withstand harsh weather conditions, and doesn’t crack. Because of its high oil and natural resin content, it resists insect attacks and moisture damage. You can maintain its stunning honey-brown colour or watch it patina into an attractive silver-grey over time.

    Eucalyptus: Like teak, Eucalyptus outdoor furniture is durable and long lasting. It has a similar resin content to teak that wards off insects and wood rot. However, being in ample supply and able to grow quickly, it is a more environmentally-friendly option and affordable.

    Synthetic wicker: Made from synthetic polyethylene resin, this material is more weather resistant than its natural counterpart. As such it makes for wonderful outdoor furniture. It is lightweight, making it easy to move and can be easily wiped clean. Synthetic wicker can be made to look organic and rustic or it can be coloured to give your patio a pop of vibrant colour.

    Concrete: Forget about those bland concrete school benches. This material can be shaped into some truly stunning patio furniture that will complement a modern minimalist decor scheme. Concrete is also durable, weather resistant, and can be more affordable than some woods and metals.

    There are so many great furniture options available for your outdoor area. Consider the size of your space, weather conditions, budget, and personal aesthetic — you’re sure to find an addition that will enhance your space.

    The best type of fabric for outdoor furniture

    Because your furniture will be left outside, they need to have fabrics that can withstand weather damage. However, you still want any coverings, cushions, or throws to have a beautiful appearance. Thankfully, there are plenty of choices to liven up your area.

    Acrylic: This synthetic fibre is a breeze to clean, has a durable nature, and resists moisture, mould, and fading. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s worth every rand for the years of use you get.

    Olefin: Parents and pet lovers are huge fans of this fabric. It resists stains and liquids — any moisture simply rolls off the furniture. Because it is made from polypropylene fibres, it also does well in resisting UV damage.

    Polyester: One of the most affordable outdoor fabrics, polyester offers strength, stain resistance, and comfort. In summer, it feels great against the skin, never too hot or sticky. This fabric also retains its shape. The only downside is that it is prone to fading after a few seasons but can be remedied with a good-quality fabric protectant.

    Vinyl: With its plastic feel, this fabric can be easily cleaned should a spill arise — a wipe with soap and water does the trick. It dries easily and can be purchased without breaking the bank. Vinyl works better in cooler climates as it can feel sticky in warm weather.

    Textilene: This popular outdoor furniture fabric has a host of benefits. It is waterproof, flame retardant, and mould resistant. It is durable, warding off scuffs and scratches easily.

    family and friends enjoying time on wooden outdoor patio furniture set

    Give your outdoor experience a boost

    These furniture materials and fabrics are just what you need to create an exceptional exterior space. Whether it’s for your personal pleasure, the final touches for home staging, or extra details to impress potential tenants, you’re sure to make an impact. Browse our Homestyle blog for even more home decor and design advice.


    Author: Seeff Property Group
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