Recover Sling Back Outdoor Chairs Without Sewing!

In a recent video we used Outdura Marine & Awning Canvas to recover a chair for outdoor use.  This approach will work on any sling back beach chair.  Outdura fabric has 10 year warranty, so it was our first choice for  long lasting results!

Materials Used:

Outdura Marine & Awning Canvas (I used 4.5 yds, but this number will vary depending on the chair, so always measure!)

Antique Brass Eyelets (21 used per chair)

Hot Knife for cutting the Outdura Solution Dyed Acrylic to prevent fraying on the exposed edge

Seam Tape



The Best Outdoor Fabric

It all starts with the fiber, which is Acrylic. Acrylic definitely doesn’t sound fancy, especially since most people are familiar with it from its common use in apparel as a cheaper alternative to things like wool and cashmere. Have you seen the extremely brightly colored acrylic yarns at the craft store? The acrylic yarns are the brightest because of the fibers natural ability to absorb and hold onto color extremely well. So how does this common fiber become what we call the “BEST OUTDOOR FABRIC?”

outdura upholstery fabric

During the solution dyeing process the acrylic is actually dyed while it is still in a soft viscous state. The dye becomes apart of this fiber substance along with other stabilizers permanently locking in color. Propriety Outdura™ finishes prevent water, dirt, humidity from permeating the surface. Acrylic does not support mold or mildew growth and can even be cleaned with bleach. The finished Outdura fabric comes with a 5 year warranty !

For a long time the 9.5oz fabric was made for awnings and umbrellas. Solution dyed acrylic fabric gained its long lasting reputation through that use. The fabrics ability to maintain rich color for years and years is fantastic! Now Outdura offers solution dyed acrylic in a lighter 8oz weight perfect for outdoor upholstery. It is softer and user friendly on any type of sewing machine. Basically its an awning fabric you can cover your furniture with that has a soft feel!

So yes, it sounds a whole lot like Sunbrella. Sunbrella also makes their fabrics with the same acrylic fiber and same warranty. There are many similarities, but a few big differences that led us to Outdura. Before we distributed either fabric we did a little homework. Check out our article Outdura vs. Sunbrella.

We are offering great wholesale prices and bulk discounts on our Outdura fabric. As usual we offer fabric samples so you can see for yourself!

Outdura™ vs. Sunbrella® Fabrics

sunbrella vs outduraMost 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, kudos to Sunbrella for their marketing. 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.

Solution Dyed Acrylic Fiber — There are only two producers of the solution dyed acrylic fiber in the world, and 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.

Weaving and Finishing — Once Outdura and Sunbrella have procured their fibers, the fibers are then woven and finished. Sunbrella has lightened up their 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 or 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 9.5 oz fabric and a lighter 8 oz weight created specifically for home decor applications, indoor or outdoor. It is lighter, so it’s easier to sew than their traditional awning fabric.  As far as fading goes there is no difference between Sunbrella and Outdura, since the fibers basically originate from the same source.

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 in one mill and sold to another for finishing, there simply are costs that are passed on. Luckily, this fabric really performs—there is nothing like it. Outdura is actually a couple of dollars less per yard for a Made in the USA fabric.

Conclusion — You can probably see where we’re going. From a marketing and sales prospective it would be far easier for us to sell Sunbrella based on the brand recognition alone. However we just can’t ignore that Outdura is leading this market in 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 sample we are happy to help!