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Old 14-11-2010, 12:22   #1
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Fabric for Yacht Cushions


I am looking to re-do my forecabin & Saloon cushions - getting new innards and covering them, however most information seems to be for getting these done for you and not doing them yourself.

Can anyone recomened a good fabric/filling for making these? I have heard that Sunbrella is the best option as a covering and have found a few places selling this... but it is REALLY expensive. Any cheaper options or alternative fabrics for someone on a budget doing it themselves?

Also is foam the best way to go for fillings or is there something more appropriate?

I had read that 'polypropelene' is a good substance for them to be made out of - but I cant seem to find any shops that sell this - are there any alternatives?

BTW - i am based in London.

I have a big sowing machine to do this and all the tools - just lacking the materials!!!

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance


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Old 14-11-2010, 12:29   #2
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I'm no expert, but I'll just offer this: we cruise every summer with young children, and I am just amazed at how much abuse Ultrasuede fabric can take!

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Old 14-11-2010, 12:44   #3
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interior fabric can be any fabric you wish it to be. sunbrella is good for outdoor canvas-- tents, biminis, winch covers, etc. outdoor cushions are good with some kind of waterproof material.
as for the inside stuffing--most folks use cheepo latex foam. bad stuff. try to find a closed cell kind of foam.. and for bed-- make the foam 4(roughly 8 cm) inches and the memory foam 2 inches(4cm) on top with an interior cover and an external cover that can be removed and cleaned easily.
latex is highly allergenic-- 75 percent of world's population has allergy to it. is difficult to breathe and makes a powder when it rots--which it does rapidly.
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:12   #4
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There are other alternatives to Sunbrella. I needed to replace an awning. The cost of Sunbrella was out of the question. After a lot of looking and visiting Fabric stores with my wife I bought an outdoor fabric called Swavelle by Mill Creek Fabrics. It was a third the cost of Sunbrella retail, and I got it on sale for 50%. The awning has been up for 6 months in sun, rain, wind all kinds of weather (this is the US Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot, a lot!) and it is doing fine. I coated it with a spray on water repellent from West Marine to protect it. Works great. You wouldn't need to do that indoors.

I agree about the foam. You want a foam that won't absorb moisture. That means a closed cell foam.
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:15   #5
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FOr interior you can use ultrasuede, microfiber or any heavy upholestry fabric. Just make sure you use a breathable back and good quality, close cell foam.
S/V Ceol Mor
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Old 14-11-2010, 18:57   #6
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We just bought 30+ yards of fabric for all the berths, cockpit cushions, sail and tiller covers and fore and aft awnings. We went with Waverly Sun N Shade fabric @ $9.99/M for the most part from Joann Fabrics, but we also found a different brand at Walmart for $4/M. All the outdoor stuff was 1.32 M wide.

Poly-dil nu-foam is outstanding for cockpit cushions as it is flame retardant, will not yellow or disintegrate, easy to handle and resists mildew, washable and non-allergenic.

Joann fabrics selections are online at, then got to: As I pulled all the wood off the boat to work on for a winter project, you can guess who will be doing a LOT of sewing this winter.
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Old 24-11-2010, 14:43   #7
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thanks for all your advice, i shall get sewing
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Old 24-11-2010, 16:15   #8
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Do yourself a favour and check these guys out:
Upholstery Supply & Marine Fabric Superstore
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Old 24-11-2010, 16:42   #9
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We bought ultrasuede for $13/yard at a discount fabric store
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Old 28-11-2010, 20:14   #10
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Cockpit cushions

Not sure if cockpit cushions are part of this conversation but I am very pleased with an approach I took a while back. Since foam is the expensive part of this project, I decided to use Type IV throwable square devices as my guts and sunbrella as my cover. The cushions work great and are cheap. I got them for $10 each and used three in a row to fit my cockpit seats. The sunbrella was from sailrite and has stood up impeccably to everything. I made a burrito of it all basically.

For inside my Gulf 32, I bought high quality open cell foam of a high density. My biggest complaint about my old cushions was that the foam was dead and when you sat on them you sunk right down to the bottom. This new foam is heaven and is soft but plenty firm. No need for closed cell inside. I was able to reuse my old covers and so no help there.

Best of luck.
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Old 15-12-2011, 09:27   #11
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Re: Fabric for Yacht Cushions

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Old 15-12-2011, 11:11   #12
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Re: Fabric for Yacht Cushions

In addition to the ideas here there are previous conversations on this topic well worth exploring!

Reupholstering: What Material ?


ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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cushions, fabric

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