How to protect your outdoor fabrics: Three fabric protectors August 31, 2017 17:08

Having beautiful furniture and fabrics ruined by the weather is no fun. One of the great things about our range of deck chairs is that they fold down for easy storage - perhaps the most simplest and straight forward way to keep your furniture in good condition. 

But if your furniture is too bulky for easy storage, there are other ways to extend the life of your garden furniture & furnishings. I recently donned the marigolds and tried out three leading fabric protectors - Scotchgard, 303 Fabric Guard and Liquiproof. Here is what I found...

About the Fabric Protectors

Scotchgard™

When it comes to stains and spills, Scotchgard™ is probably one of the most well known brands. Its formula was accidentally discovered by two scientists in the early 1950's and very quickly grew in popularity. I used the outdoor fabric protector and found the aerosol spray easy to administer. It left no residue or marks. To me, the fabric felt ever so slightly more 'crispy', but not at all sticky or unpleasant. It did a good job in ensuring that rain and water simply beaded and ran off the fabric. The only downside was the heavy solvent smell - it was extremely strong and as the packaging advises, should only be applied in a well ventilated space. 

303® Fabric Guard™

Recommended by outdoor fabric aficionados Sunbrella, 303® Fabric Guard™ is a fabric treatment that is often used for the rooftops of convertible cars but can also be used on garden furniture, umbrellas and a host of other surfaces. It is a pump action spray, goes on wet and then dries to leave a coating, which for me, made the fabric feel physically tougher. In fact, to me, it literally gave the fabric 'muscle'. Again, this one worked well in terms of repelling water, but similar to Scotchgard, it did come with a very strong pong during application! However, neither fabric protector smelt noticeably different after application and drying time.

Liquiproof

Unlike the first two fabric protectors tested, Liquiproof is a relatively new British brand, appearing on Dragon's Den (spoiler alert - they successfully secured financial support - no mean feat)

Liquiproof is a different beast form other fabric protectors that were tested. When it arrived, the branded brush and little sprays look like they had turned up for an occasion rather than a chore. This is a product that wants you to celebrate and protect what you love. A bit like polishing the silver, as opposed to scrubbing the floor. Does it work? Absolutely. In fact, if you don't believe me, watch the film! The water beads up and rolls off. But more than that, it contained nothing of the odour and heavy solvent smell that I had come to expect. It carries no allergic warnings. In fact, it boasts strong eco credentials. For that reason, it is my personal favourite.  

Further tips for protecting your outdoor fabrics and furnishings: 

  • When using a fabric protector, always test a small, inconspicuous part of the fabric first. 
  • Always check that you are using the right protector for your type of fabric. Not all fabric protectors are suitable for every type of material. 
  • If you are a keen crafter, consider making a cover for your garden chairs or purchase covers that are easy to adapt to the size and shape of your furniture.
  • If you can, always put your furniture away after use in a dry, clean area. Make sure your fabric is dry and clean before you store away, otherwise you might return to find mould and mildew!