Sunbrella vs. Polyester vs. Olefin Fabric (Olefin Fabric Cons) Update 05/2022

There are three sides to the same coin. While this may appear to be an impossibility in reality, when it comes to materials, almost everything is conceivable. These materials are hailed as the next best thing, ideal for outdoor furniture and other uses. However, they might all be the same thing.
Sunbrella fabrics are constructed of high-end, fade-resistant acrylic, whereas Olefin fabrics are made of polypropylene or polyethylene. Polyester is polyester, and you already know where it comes from. The most significant disadvantage of Olefin is that it is a synthetic fabric created from harsh chemicals.
Continue reading this post to learn more about Olefin fabrics and their rivals. It contains all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision on your outdoor furniture. Take a few minutes to review these helpful resources.

Is Olefin Fabric Better than Polyester?

This will be determined by your previous expertise with each fabric. Polyester, as you may know, is a low-cost fabric that fades slightly when exposed to the sun. Its best attributes include being an excellent cloth for outdoor furniture, such as patio furniture and umbrellas.
The material is available in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to create a fantastic outside aesthetic that will impress your neighbors. With proper care, this cloth will endure a long time.
Olefin is manufactured from polypropylene or polyethylene, as you just learned. It also claims to be environmentally friendly. Although it is a synthetic fabric created from chemicals and petroleum sources, this description is made.
This outdoor fabric alternative is said to be nearly as fade resistant as Sunbrella, as well as stain-resistant and quick-drying. Then there’s this fabric, which comes in a variety of colors and designs and is also fairly durable.
Many Olefin materials are touted to be waterproof, although many are only water-resistant. Given these characteristics, Olefin is clearly superior to polyester. Your own preference will determine which of the two textiles is superior.
Regular polyester is fine, but with these enhancements, Olefin should be your go-to outdoor fabric unless you’re concerned about the overall cost. Despite its shortcomings, polyester remains the best of the two.

Olefin vs Polyester

Olefin is the superior of the two materials since it is an upgrade above polyester. A side-by-side comparison, on the other hand, will reveal more features and provide a more accurate view of the two materials.
Polyester has been around for decades, but its beginnings were bleak because it was an unappealing and unsuitable material. Polyester has improved over time and now performs well as an outdoor material. It can be made waterproof, fade and stain resistant, and have other characteristics added to it.
When used outside, the major issue with this material is that it fades faster than Olefin. Polyester is likely to be more water-resistant or waterproof than Olefin. Olefin, on the other hand, does not fade quickly and is considered a very durable outdoor textile.
Polyester may also be easier to clean than Olefin, which is said to be unsuitable for spot cleaning or bleach use. Polyester is also smoother than Olefin, but which one is preferable next to your skin is a personal taste. When relaxing in the sun, some people don’t mind the roughness of Olefin.
Both materials dry quickly, which is a big bonus if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain throughout the year. Both materials should remain appealing for many years if properly cared for.

Is Olefin Fabric as Good as Sunbrella?

Sunbrella is a brand name that should not be mistaken with the name of a cloth. That Sunbrella fabric is actually acrylic, and Sunbrella is the premier brand of acrylic outdoor fabrics.
Olefin is also a trademark name for outdoor fabrics made from polypropylene, an oil and gas component. When comparing the advantages of both materials, it is reasonable to conclude that Olefin is nearly as good as Sunbrella. The most significant difference is in price, with Olefin fabrics being slightly less expensive than Sunbrella fabrics.
Both fabrics are simple to clean, comfy, and fashionable. In these categories, there is minimal difference between the two. When deciding between the two, your personal style will be the deciding element.
When it comes to high heat, Olefin loses out to Sunbrella. This signifies that instead of using the dryer, this fabric should be hung to dry. Olefin has a low carbon footprint during manufacturing and may be recycled many times without causing harm to the environment.
Sunbrella is more colorfast and resistant to water than Olefin. After reviewing these statistics, it is safe to conclude that Olefin is about as good as Sunbrella and may even outperform it in some areas.
The melting factor of olefin, on the other hand, makes it the less valuable of the two materials. If you live in a hotter section of the country, this could be a problem.

Olefin Fabric vs Sunbrella

While acrylic Sunbrella fabrics are more expensive and less environmentally friendly than Olefin, they are generally the superior of the two. The reason for this is because of all the outdoor fabrics available, including polyester and Olefin, it is the most durable.
As you just read, the two materials are similar in many ways, although Olefin has less downsides than Sunbrella. The latter fabric is less soft than Olefin and produces static electricity, which is unpleasant at the best of circumstances.
Sunbrella, on the other hand, has a stronger brand name, making it the most popular outdoor fabric. More individuals are familiar with this substance than with Olefin. Both fabrics may prove to be great in terms of water resistance and comfort.
Although Olefin is less expensive, it does not last as long as Sunbrella acrylic. When it comes to cleaning, some suggest Olefin may be spot cleaned and bleached, while others advise the exact reverse.
This is an important issue to understand before purchasing the material. Sunbrella is quite simple to clean, and there is no ambiguity about how to keep it looking good. This material is difficult to recycle and biodegrade, which is a deterrent to many potential clients.
Sunbrella may be more expensive initially, but it may end up being the less expensive of the two materials in the long run because it does not need to be replaced as frequently. That is something to think about while purchasing outdoor cloth.

Olefin vs Polypropylene

A fabric can’t actually be compared to itself. The only way to create a comparison is to examine the various colors and designs and determine which one you prefer. Unless you choose a higher-quality cloth, texture and comfort will not be factors in your decision.
Olefin is made of polypropylene, which is why we say that. It’s made up of propylene gas, oil products, and ethylene, which are all mixed together in a process called steam cracking.
Polypropylene was created in Italy in 1957. The procedure for creating this novel material was not given the Nobel Prize until 1963. The scientists behind the innovation employed titanium to aid in the transformation of the substance into fibers, resulting in the development of Olefin fabric.
With the exception of titanium, olefin and polypropylene are both synthetic goods created from the same chemicals. The propylene pellets are heated and then spun into thread or fibers by a spinneret.
The fibers are then weaved into cloth or yarn. This material is less expensive than Sunbrella fabrics but more expensive than polyester due to the technique. It could be the ‘just perfect’ fabric for outdoor use, according to Goldilocks.
All of this was written to simply state that polypropylene and olefin are the same material with different physical properties.

Is Olefin a Good Upholstery Fabric?

It is without a doubt an excellent material for outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and even outdoor curtains. It’s well-made, long-lasting, and water-resistant. It also comes in a variety of appealing colors and styles. These are the essential characteristics of any outdoor furniture cloth.
If cost is a factor, it is more expensive than standard polyester, but it does not fade as quickly as the latter. The manufacturing method for this material is claimed to be environmentally friendly, and it can be recycled, so you won’t be harming the environment when it’s time to replace it.
It also has a negligible carbon footprint because no land or water is used in its manufacturing. The propylene gas was originally burned until the researchers identified a more practical application for it.
This cloth has a strong durability factor, however it may not last as long as Sunbrella. This cloth is also safe to rest on or rub against because it does not generate static electricity.
The material should last you a long time because it resists fading, and it should be easy to clean, even with bleach, depending on who you ask. The ability to dry quickly is another benefit that makes this cloth suitable for use on outdoor furniture.
Its adaptability allows you to utilize it in a variety of settings, and you can coordinate colors and designs to keep your garden or outside area looking stylish.

Is Olefin Fabric Durable?

Synthetic fibers can be stronger than natural fibers, which is one of its advantages. The varied components utilized to make those synthetic fibers are the explanation for this. Olefin is no exception, and it is regarded as a particularly durable material.
Olefin, on the other hand, may not be as durable as Sunbrella. Acrylic is one of the most durable synthetic fabrics available, and even polyester can’t hold a candle to it.
Olefin is more durable than normal polyester, which explains why it is more expensive than the competition. When seeking for long-lasting materials to utilize outside, this is what you should expect.
Expect to pay more for that convenience because you’re buying less of the material and using it for longer periods of time. This is something to consider while searching for new exterior materials to replace your old ones.
Then, depending on who you ask, Olefin may or may not be as water resistant as it has been stated. Because of this, you may not want it near your pool when there is a lot of splashing. Because water damages the Olefin substance, it may wear out faster.
However, if the water-resistant stories are correct, this may not be an issue. Before you buy, play it by ear and speak with the salesperson to ensure that all of the necessary safeguards are in place.

Olefin Fabric Disadvantages

The most significant disadvantage has already been mentioned. You don’t want to allow this material become too heated. It’s still plastic, and plastic melts when it gets too hot. This is why, after cleaning, it is recommended that you hang the material to dry.
It does not take long to dry, and because it resists fading, you can save money by hanging the fabric outside to dry. Other downsides have also been discussed. While it is not as expensive as Sunbrella, it is still more expensive than polyester and can be rather costly.
You’ll pay a premium for higher quality, and Olefin is a step up over standard polyester. Sunbrella is more expensive, but it also lasts longer, so evaluate your budget to see if this material is worth the money.
Another flaw will be the waterproof/water-resistant classification. The ability of this material to repel moisture appears to be a point of contention. Some claim that some of the materials sold under this brand name are waterproof, while others claim that they are just water-resistant.
Some people believe that because it is not a water-resistant material, you can’t spot clean it or use bleach on it. This indicates that there are various qualities of this substance, each with its own set of properties.

Olefin Fabric by the Yard

If you’re still thinking about employing this material in your outdoor furniture, you’ll be relieved to learn that it’s available by the yard. As one internet site sells decent quality material for around $10 per yard, other kinds will be accessible.
Hobby Lobby and presumably its competitors, on the other hand, exclusively sell slub Ofelin by the yard. The car upholstery version is available on Amazon, with costs starting at $25 per yard.
Depending on the quality of the material, each shop will have its own price. You can check your local fabric stores to see how much the fabric costs. You might also go to your local mall and shop for a while before comparing prices.
This material is available from a variety of sources. Online shopping will be the safest and most convenient way to obtain this material. Your main concern will be accidentally knocking over your cup of coffee while reaching for your mouse.
To save money, look for the best online retailer where you may save on delivery fees. This approach may be slower while you wait for the stuff to arrive, but you will save money.

Some Final Words

It’s not always straightforward to compare textiles. It’s always a subjective process, especially when comparing similar textiles. Olefin is not the same as polyester or acrylic in terms of its base materials.
The bottom line in this comparison is how much you want to pay. Olefin is the most affordable of the three and may be the best option if you live in a temperate environment.

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