The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Fabric

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Fabric

Looking for the perfect fabric for your next project? Here are details and examples of lame fabric to help you to decide if this is the material for you.
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Comfortability is everything. Whether you are outside on the patio or inside on the couch, you want to be as comfortable as possible. This is possible whether you are indoors or outside. You would think that there would be a difference when comparing your seating options from outside and inside; really, though, there is one major difference separating the two—the fabric that is used on the furniture.

When you think of fabric, you might not originally think that there is much difference other than the color or pattern. However, you could not be more wrong. When deciding what the right fabric for your project is, it is important to consider what the difference between indoor and out fabric is exactly and how it can directly affect the comfortability of your project. These discrepancies could make all the difference in the overall quality and performance of your purchase.



Durability happens to be one of—if not the largest—differences between indoor and outdoor fabric. The best and simplest way to describe this is that indoor fabric is made up of natural fibers—fibers that, unfortunately, can be broken down when exposed to the elements. As you can imagine, this could be an issue if the fabric were in an area where it was exposed to weather of any sort, especially outdoors. Nobody wants the colors of their cushions to fade or for the cushion itself to fall apart or break down, so you could see how this fabric might not make an ideal fabric to put out in the elements.

Outdoor fabric is much different when it comes to durability. This fabric is made up of a wide variety of synthetic fibers, polyester, acrylic, and cotton blends that are put together with chemicals that allow for the fabric to be manufactured and withstand weather conditions. This manufactured fabric is made in a way that it can handle whatever Mother Nature wants to throw its way, which is awesome for anything and everything outdoors. In addition to being extremely durable, it also allows for the color of the fabric to not easily fade or wash away. How nice, huh? No need to worry that your outdoor throw pillows are going to lose their color!



Obviously, nobody wants stains. However, accidents happen, and they are often inevitable. This is one of the biggest differences between indoor and outdoor fabric. Outdoor fabrics usually have a chemical on them that serves as a protectant. This protectant helps repel any water or stains that encounter the fabric. Obviously, this is a very nice feature of outdoor fabric and can make quite the difference, especially when you have young kids.

You can see how this could be frustrating that it is not the case for indoor fabric. Nobody wants their kitchen table chair cushions to be full of juice stains. Luckily, there is an answer to this problem. As stated above, indoor fabric does not do well in an outdoor environment, yet there is nothing stopping you from using the outdoor stain-repellent fabric indoors. This is done more and more often because it really does make all the difference. While the outdoor fabric still doesn’t protect against every stain and all damage, there is sure a difference compared to indoor fabric.


Mold and Mildew

We discussed durability above, but let’s take it a step further and talk about mold and mildew—ew! This can occur with both outdoor and indoor fabric, but it is more common with indoor fabric when it encounters different weather conditions and environments. In extreme cases, mold and mildew can be present after the outdoor fabric meets harsh weather conditions or situations that result in mold and mildew growing and developing.

Mold and mildew, however, are easily possible with indoor fabrics. All these two things need is for a moist ideal place to grow, as provided by fabric in certain environments. This normally results in a musty odor and a stain or mark, which is not enjoyed by anybody. The easiest way to combat this is to keep this type of fabric away from environments that could allow for mold and mildew to grow.

Let’s just do us all a favor and eliminate mold and mildew all together. Keep those cushions out of the rain!



You would think because the fabrics are made up of different elements that they would look different. Honestly, that assumption couldn’t be more wrong. The way that the outdoor fabric is made allows for them to look extremely similar. This is perfect for when you are wanting to match both your interior and exterior of your house!

It is also extremely beneficial for when you want to use the outdoor fabric on an indoor piece to help with durability. How awesome is it that you can’t even tell the difference? If you want to make your kitchen table chair cushions with outdoor fabric, nobody would have any idea at all. These indoor and outdoor fabrics are interchangeable, even regarding design.

So, where do you go to purchase these amazing fabric options? Look no further.


While we have all the necessary fabrics needed for all your projects here at Fabric Wholesale direct, we can do one even better for all of our customers out there. We have outdoor fabric by the yard available for purchase in an array of colors, patterns, and sizes. Get exactly what you need here at our online store for all the projects you are starting!

If you are wanting to complete a new project that is going to need fabric, make sure you take a look at our endless options as well as the information above that gives you some insight regarding the difference between indoor and outdoor fabric that could make or break your project.

Nobody wants their project to be ruined the first time it rains because they picked the wrong fabric. Be proactive and educate yourself. If you do that and shop here at Fabric Wholesale Direct, you will not be disappointed. Sit comfortably and in fashion—it is the only way to do it.

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