Outdura™ vs. Sunbrella® Fabrics

Most people aren’t exactly sure what Solution Dyed Acrylic is, but it seems everyone has heard of Sunbrella® Fabrics.  People don’t typically ask about Solution Dyed Acrylic, they ask for Sunbrella® by name. So, nice job Sunbrella® on that end.  Solution dyed acrylic is the go to fiber for awnings, umbrellas, marine uses, patio furniture and more!  We weren’t sure if we wanted to carry Sunbrella® or Outdura™, so we did a little of our own research.

              sunbrella vs outdura

Solution Dyed Acrylic Fiber – There are only 2 producers of the solution dyed acrylic fiber in the world.  A company called Dolan produces the most.   Sunbrella® and Outdura™ both get their fibers from these two producers.  Outdura™ ONLY uses Dolan fiber for a more consistent product. These fiber producers are where the 10 year warranty comes from, so Sunbrella® and Outdura™ both offer the same warranty protections.

Weaving & Finishing – Once Outdura and Sunbrella have procured their fibers the weaving and finishing takes place. Sunbrella® has lightened up there weave density over the years and many reviews express frustration that the Sunbrella® fabric stretched over time.  Depending on what you are making stretch may not be a concern, but it seems they have gained a reputation for this flaw in their fabric.  Outdura™ offers a very heavy, densely woven 9.5oz fabric and a lighter 8oz weight created specifically for home decor applications, indoor or outdoor.  It is a lighter, so its easier to sew than their traditional awning fabric.  As far as fading goes there is no difference between Sunbrella® and Outdura™, since the fibers are basically coming from the same place.

Country of Origin – If you do a search to find out where Sunbrella® is made you will find ” Made in the USA or Imported”.  This is because a great deal of Sunbrella® is being made in China. Outdura™ is the only company who can claim their product is 100% Made in the USA.  Many of our customers are manufacturing finished products, so that Made in USA label is really important.

Price – Solution Dyed Acrylic is pricey.  IT JUST IS.  Since the fiber is made one place and sold to another for finishing there are some serious costs there that get passed on.  Luckily, these fabrics really perform and there is nothing like it.  Outdura™ is actually a couple dollars less per yard for a Made in the USA fabric.

Conclusion-  I guess you see where we are going with this.  We really wanted to like Sunbrella® From a marketing & sales prospective it would be far easier for us to sell Sunbrella® based on the brand recognition alone. We just cant ignore that Outdura™ is leading this market is several ways and has the edge over Sunbrella® in our opinion.  No doubt about it, Sunbrella is a quality fabric that will last a long time (minus the stretching issue).  At Big Duck Canvas however; we are excited to offer Outdura™ .  If you have any questions or would like a free sample we are happy to help!

3 thoughts on “Outdura™ vs. Sunbrella® Fabrics

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