Types of marine upholstery fabric?

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Marine upholstery fabric should be durable, low maintenance, and waterproof. Vinyl, heavy canvas, laminated acrylic, and vinyl mesh are commonly used. Sunlight can damage fabrics, so heat and moisture resistance are important. Vinyl is the most commonly used fabric due to its low cost, ease of cleaning, and long lifespan.

The most commonly used marine upholstery fabric is probably heavy vinyl. It is quite inexpensive and is designed to repel moisture. Plus, vinyl is easier to clean than many other types of upholstery. Heavy-duty canvas and some types of laminated acrylic are also used as marine upholstery fabric.

Marine upholstery fabric should generally be durable and low maintenance. Sometimes upholstered pieces that are permanent fixtures may not be easy to remove, in which case it’s a good idea to make your marine upholstery fabric waterproof. If moisture gets inside the cushion, it can cause mold growth and deterioration of the material. Also, for marine vessels intended for salt water, salt buildup can fade and damage some types of fabric. However, vinyl can be cleaned to eradicate trace elements of salt.

Another reason why vinyl is considered a good choice for marine upholstery fabric is that it generally has a longer lifespan than many other types of fabric. If the vinyl starts to rip or tear, it can often be repaired without removing it. Vinyl repair kits are available at many fabric supply centers. Kits generally come in a wide variety of colors and thicknesses.

Heavy canvas is also commonly used as a marine upholstery fabric. Canvas is a woven fabric, which means it can “breathe”. If canvas upholstery or padding underneath gets wet, it can dry faster than many other types of fabrics. Also, heavy cotton canvas is considered a very durable fabric and can usually be purchased pre-treated to help repel moisture.

Some pre-laminated acrylic fabrics can be purchased. Lamination is another way to waterproof fabrics. Additionally, laminated fabrics are often flame resistant, which is an added bonus when considering upholstery for marine use. Laminated fabrics come in a wide range of colors and patterns, but can sometimes be more expensive than vinyl or canvas.

Another type of fabric that is often used for marine upholstery is a type of mesh that is actually made of vinyl. It typically has a loose weave construction and generally dries very quickly. It comes in various colors and weights.

Marine vessels are exposed to a great deal of sunlight, and over time, sunlight can damage many fabrics. Sunlight not only causes fading, but overexposure to heat can also cause the fibers in the material to break down. If your chosen fabrics are not resistant to both heat and moisture, they are generally not considered optimal as a marine upholstery fabric.

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