It is important to consider what natural elements products will be exposed to. Obviously sunlight and UV rays are a major concern. It is for this reason it’s important to select products that have high light-fastness and UV stability. At Woven Image, to best suit Australian conditions, we aim for our outdoor collections to have a UV resistance that meets or exceeds 1500 hours of UV exposure.
Outdoor products can often be exposed to moisture and humid climate conditions. This can be the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew. It is therefore important customers consider the antimicrobial and mildew-resistant properties when selecting a suitable product. Composition will also be an important consideration. Some fibre types give superior performance in outdoor applications. Most are man-made and many may be modified at the spinning stage to include solar-resistant, soil-resistant and bacteria-resistant additives so that these properties become an inherent feature of the fibre/yarn. Colour is also added at the spinning stage in a process know as solution dyeing. Solution-dyed products generally have superior light-fastness properties as the dye molecules become embedded within the chemical structure of the fibre. In my experience products with compositions of modified olefin, acrylic and in some instances UV-stabilised PVC and polyesters give the best performance in outdoor applications.
POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING YOUR OUTDOOR TEXTILE
1. Application and placement
2. Exposure — to what and for how long will it be exposed to sun, soil, water, humidity?
3. Stain resistance
4. Colourfastness to light
5. UV stability
6. Antimicrobial and mildew resistance
7. Abrasion resistance
8. Pilling resistance
9. Tensile strength
10. Breaking force
11. Seam slippage
For more information contact Woven Image on 02 9913 8668 or visit www.wovenimage.com