Outdoor cushions

Posted by LIdee Haus at 12/02/2022

One of the most typical questions LIdee often receive from customers is “Can cushions be put outside?”. Possibly yes, however, not any type of cushion can be put outside as it will depend on the fabric and inner materials. In this article, LIdee would like to share some basic information on cushions used for outdoor furniture.

A standard cushion consists of cover (cushion jacket) and filling (PU foam or flown fiber, fiber wrap / wadding wrapped around PU foam for softness, sealed non-woven bag including all other parts before inserting into cover). The PU foam used for cushion filling is basically no difference from mattress or sofa, but with lower density & other chemical treatment to meet outdoor requirement. Cushion cover has vast variety and different price range depending on production purpose, for promotion level, the fabric used is often Polyester 100% thanks to cheap production cost, quick lead time, unlimited color options, especially for outdoor fabric, the surface is coated with glue treatment, water-repellency, mold-resistance, color  fastness… The fabric surface is pretty rough compared to the soft surface of fabric used for indoor. Beside standard Polyester, in premium range, the quality and visual will be considerably different, of course higher price.

When putting cushions on outdoor furniture piece, it also means that the cushions will cope with all environment factors like rain, sun, dirt… With water-repellency characteristic, if the water penetration is not too much and continuous (e.g. deliberately pour water), the drop will only float on the surface and fall down, not absorb into the fabric. However, water-repellency is not waterproof, in case of heavy & continuous rain, the water will slowly get absorbent into the fabric and even PU foam. Both will get dry in natural weather, however, the fabric & foam quality will affect the drying time. For low quality foam, it can still have stagnant water and get damaged after a period. Beside water permeability, color resistance is among important criteria to evaluate cushion quality. There are several factors which may affect the color  fastness such as UV rays, washing (abrasion, rubbing)…, but color fastness to light should be the most important one. High temperature weather with high UV rays will make fabric color fade (lighter) or vary (change to different color) up to color tone, normally warm tone like red – orange will be easier to fade than neutral tone like beige, light brown. Depending on market segment that the manufacturer aims to, there are several things to talk about cushion quality in term of fabric & foam.

Up to manufacturer’s purpose, cushion design is diversified, normally the cushion for outdoor furniture is separated piece (not fixed as sofa cushion) and zipper to remove for washing when the cushions get dirty (please follow in accordance with washing instruction sewn on the cushion), if the cover is not removable, mild soap and brusher can be used to wash from the outside and keep dry. As same as wood, environment impact will also be affected by the way of use and care. Instead of putting the items in outdoor space 24/7 with no roof or shade in spite of all weather types, when the items are not in need of use, please protect it with cover to avoid the direct expose to environmental factors, or keep them somewhere, the life cycle will certainly be improved. 


The article content is written by LIdee Haus, please do not reup without credit. Photo credit @nuttakit (Deposit Photos USA)


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