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What makes indoor-outdoor fabrics water resistant?
These textiles are woven from synthetic materials such as acrylic and polyester, natural fibers such as cotton or a combination of the two. They're treated with a chemical coating that wards off water and stains, as well as protects against mold, mildew and fading from UV light rays. This makes them ideal for moisture-prone spaces such as bathrooms, basements and laundry areas, as well as rooms that get a lot of sun.
Are some outdoor fabrics unsuitable for indoor use?
No, but some work better for certain applications. For example, you probably wouldn't want to use a stiff laminated fabric for floor-length draperies. Some styles also have a looser weave that allows pillow and upholstery stuffing or padding to breathe. Ask the manufacturer or your upholsterer or fabric shop about recommended usage of the fabrics you're considering.
Can I turn an indoor fabric into an outdoor fabric?
It depends. You can buy sprays that add a protective coating, some with built-in UV light resistance. However, they're not suitable for every fabric type, particularly delicate ones. Read the label, then consult the fabric manufacturer for guidance.