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Old 08-08-2014, 08:38   #1
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Interior Fabrics

what do your thoughts on interior fabrics, especially for saloons, sofas, etc.? Would it be better to go for a leather (water repellant) or for a fabric (breathes)? This is for a vessel with good natural ventilation but not air conditioned.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:52   #2
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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what do your thoughts on interior fabrics, especially for saloons, sofas, etc.? Would it be better to go for a leather (water repellant) or for a fabric (breathes)? This is for a vessel with good natural ventilation but not air conditioned.

we've had great response by using Sunbrella Furniture Fabric.. looks great and wears like iron.......
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:56   #3
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Re: Interior Fabrics

Get the best of all worlds and go with Ultraleather Brisa. Feels like leather, wears like iron, breaths like cloth.

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Old 08-08-2014, 09:12   #4
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Re: Interior Fabrics

We're looking to replace the 30 yr old velour on our Liberty 458. It has been fantastic and apart from the high use wear spots is in excellent condition. We're looking for a modern alternative.

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Old 08-08-2014, 18:24   #5
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Re: Interior Fabrics

Hi

We have lived aboard for 18 years and the first five we had a cheaper fabric (due to cost of boat purchase and technical necessities). Naturally the fabric did not wear well and by then we had $$$ for an upgrade. We chose leather because the marine interior decorator said sailing in the tropics may cause problems as sunscreen and fabric don't mix.

We have never regretted installing Italian leather. It still looks like it did the day of installation all these years later.

Sapient Sue
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Old 08-08-2014, 20:59   #6
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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Hi

We chose leather because the marine interior decorator said sailing in the tropics may cause problems as sunscreen and fabric don't mix.

We have never regretted installing Italian leather. It still looks like it did the day of installation all these years later.

Sapient Sue
I've been thinking along your lines as well. When I lived/cruised in the Pacific NW I had both fabric and a good-quality vinyl. I liked the vinyl better, but today I'd prefer something of better quality.
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Old 08-08-2014, 21:02   #7
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Re: Interior Fabrics

Leather does require some care. We didn't take care of ours much and it started failing (cracking and some mold) after 15yrs. A good run for sure, but the synthetic leathers like Brisa are fantastic and I expect them to last as long, or longer, with no care at all.

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Old 08-08-2014, 23:56   #8
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Re: Interior Fabrics

Ultasuede/Alcantara (imitation suede) gets my vote. Ours was replaced after 16 years use on board, with more Ultrasuede of course . Seats were starting to wear, backs were like new still.

It is stain resistant, washes easily (even biro marks lift off without much effort) is luxurious to touch, it does not go mouldy in normal boat conditions, unlike leather it is very pleasant to sit on when it's hot and finally it is non slippery, important when you are using a settee as a sea berth unless you enjoy slipping and sliding .

Edited to add: If you are not using leather or vinyl, it helps tremendously if you go for a design of cover that can be removed and a fabric that can be washed (buttons can easily be replaced after being taken off if you have a long needle). No matter how much care you take, cushions on board get dirty much quicker than on land, if only because they are generally the only spot to sit down below.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:59   #9
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Re: Interior Fabrics

I've got insomnia tonight, so Here's my take: I had new covers made for our interior cushions out of an interior sunbrella fabric. Works great. I don't think I would go with the other fabrics for our liveaboard cruising boat and this is why. I'm currently in the process of sewing 3" velcro pads to the backs of the cushions so that they will stick to the wooden bulkhead behind them. This prevents the cushions from getting tossed around underway. Also, it is easier to put them back in place after each time that we remove them to get at stored items in the lockers behind them. Our cushions take a lot of abuse.

If I had an expensive leather-like fabric, I don't think I would want to sew patches on them or treat them the way we do ours. perhaps it depends on how you use your boat.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:38   #10
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Ultasuede/Alcantara (imitation suede) gets my vote. Ours was replaced after 16 years use on board, with more Ultrasuede of course . Seats were starting to wear, backs were like new still.

It is stain resistant, washes easily (even biro marks lift off without much effort) is luxurious to touch, it does not go mouldy in normal boat conditions, unlike leather it is very pleasant to sit on when it's hot and finally it is non slippery, important when you are using a settee as a sea berth unless you enjoy slipping and sliding .

Edited to add: If you are not using leather or vinyl, it helps tremendously if you go for a design of cover that can be removed and a fabric that can be washed (buttons can easily be replaced after being taken off if you have a long needle). No matter how much care you take, cushions on board get dirty much quicker than on land, if only because they are generally the only spot to sit down below.
I agree compeltely. We will change our cushion covers rom the imitation leather that is on them to Alcantara before we set off and sail south.

Leather/imitation etc is simply not comfortable in warm humid conditions.

Alcantara is expensive, but there are lots of other fabrics with the same qualtiies at cheaper prices.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:42   #11
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Re: Interior Fabrics

I had a good quality leather on previous boat, but changed to Alcantara on present and didn't regret it for a moment. One thing worth to remember in my opinion - for internal use it is better to go for "home" kind of product, not for "marine"
The latter is formulated for outside (cockpit) use, and is not so easy to clean. In saloon and cabins the "home" variety is perfectly adequate
No signs of any wear after some years

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Old 09-08-2014, 05:59   #12
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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Originally Posted by Annie in WA View Post
If I had an expensive leather-like fabric, I don't think I would want to sew patches on them or treat them the way we do ours. perhaps it depends on how you use your boat.
Most leather and leather-like cushions are made with breathable fabric backs/bottoms. Even if not, I don't understand why it would be an issue sewing velcro patches on their backs and undersides.

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Old 09-08-2014, 06:02   #13
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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Leather/imitation etc is simply not comfortable in warm humid conditions.
This is certainly subjective, but we had leather for 15yrs and never found it uncomfortable in the tropics. Quite the opposite, in fact - one feels cooler on it.

Expensive imitation leather like ultraleather, brisa, ultrasuede, etc are similarly very comfortable in the tropics.

Cheap imitation leather and vinyl are a different story.

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Old 09-08-2014, 08:12   #14
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Re: Interior Fabrics

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Replace ours with Ultrasuede, zipper for easy removal. Blood cleans up with water and a soft cloth. Been on the boat for 5+ years. Weekend warrior.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:47   #15
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Re: Interior Fabrics

I have used Sunbrella, both interior furniture fabrics and the marine canvas, Nauga Soft naugahyde, and regular outdoor upholstery fabrics.

For wear and tear resistance you can't beat the Sunbrella marine canvas (the same stuff you use for sail covers) but I will say that it is a bugger to work with and I wouldn't even try it if you don't have a heavy duty machine. It's also just harder on the hands and harder to handle in general. Once it's done it will last forever though. The Sunbrella furniture fabrics are great to work with and also wear extremely well, but they are pricey. With the marine canvas you can usually find a good deal on a quantity of yardage on eBay. (Be careful that the listing doesn't say Sunbrella type fabric. If it says that it's not really Sunbrella. Ask me how I know this.) You will very rarely find the furniture fabrics at a discount on eBay and if you do it will only be for a yard or two of someone's leftovers. Okay for accent pillows. I usually go to a local shop, like Calico Corners, and look at the Sunbrella sample books to see which fabrics I like and then order them from Sailrite. They seem to have much better prices than anyplace local I have found.

The Nauga Soft was very nice to work with. I liked the look and feel of it. Sitting on it in hot weather could be a little sweaty. I usually put a towel down. I liked the fact that it wiped clean though.

I have sometimes opted for less expensive fabrics for our little weekenders, but since we usually didn't keep them a long time I can't say how they worked out long term.
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