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Old 29-06-2011, 19:12   #1
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Paisley sunbrella fabric pattern?

Another thread about sunbrella fabric has spurred me to gripe about the lack of creativity in the design of sunbrella fabrics for marine use. Although my boat is a work in progress, aesthetics are hugely important to me.

I looked through a sunbrella catalog and was dismayed by the lack of artistry in their designs. I mean really...Just one look around the marina and you'll find the same solid color, blue, red, or green sunbrella boat clothes on just about every friggin boat! WTF? We will be installing a full sun cover, and sail covers when we find a pattern that suits us but I'm thinking just scew sunbrella and purchase some el cheapo fabric with an amazing pattern and just replace it every couple years. Am I not looking in the right place?

I would rather pay double the going rate for a sunbrella fabric with a bold gypsy/romany or moroccan style pattern than to cover my beloved Clementine with a generic fabric. She deserves better.

I googled patterns and found this site with some very cool patterns that I would love to see covering my boat.

Small Fish in the Big Taco: Costa Rican Coffee Carts......

Am I the only one who wants more style in my boating life?
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Old 29-06-2011, 19:20   #2
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Re: Paisley sunbrella fabric pattern?

I so agree with you. I would so love to have some of those patterns on my boat.
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Old 29-06-2011, 20:22   #3
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Re: Paisley sunbrella fabric pattern?

I hear your pain my friend. But having been a professional in the design industry for many years there are some sad facts that seem to preclude having wonderful patterns on our biminis and sail covers.

There are any number of companies who produce outdoor fabrics in addition to Sunbrella. Sunbrella has a big catalog of cool fabrics rated for outdoor use. most of these are 45" wide. But outdoor use is not marine canvas use.

The salt air is really harmful to textiles and the weather exposure on your boat is year round during the worst that mother nature can dish out.

Most patio cushions come in for the winter and are only out during the summer. Many of them live under shade or partial shade. They last a number of years in these conditions. Out in the weather, as marine canvas is, they would last only a few seasons, and the patterns would, many of them, fade and not look wonderful after a much shorter time. Different dyes perform at different levels. Patterns printed on, not dyed into the fiber before being woven, are more fragile.

Additionally marine canvas is a heavier weight than the residential lines. This helps it stand up longer to the harsh usage, and offers better protection to what it is covering. It's also available in wide widths, up to 80" which makes it much more functional for making large and long items. Like sail covers and head sail edges and cockpit cushions.

For your cockpit? if you are the kind of person who is careful to stow them when not in use, then go for it! Anything in any of the outdoor lines will serve well and there are wonderful choices. Check out the chenille....

For the cabin? anything synthetic will do the trick, most upholstery fabrics are perfectly suitable for in cabin usage.

But outside? serving a protective function? You want the tough stuff... really....

Here are all of the marine canvases; Sunbrella: Fabric showroom

Here are the awning fabrics. They are not as heavy as the marine grade, but pretty tough and would perform well, if not for as long as the marine rated; Sunbrella: Fabric showroom

Here are all the Sunbrella choices; Sunbrella: Fabric showroom

other outdoor lines include;

Waverly Fabrics Waverly Products - Waverly - Waverly Fabrics, Waverly Wallpaper, Waverly Bedding, Waverly Paint and more

Kravet Kravet Fabrics | Home Furnishings

Duralee Duralee - Duralee Fabrics, Duralee Trim, Duralee Fine Furniture

Robert Allen http://www.robertallendesign.com/sea...e=14&pageNum=1

Pindler and Pindler Pindler :: Fabric & Trims Pindler :: Fabric & Trims

All of these companies are well respected. Some of them have private collections produced by Sunbrella, so you get their fashionable designs and Sunbrella quality. But they are NOT the marine grade or weight.

They are not cheap either... nothing cool ever is, is it?

If you live near a metropolitan area large enough to have a design center it's worth a trip to the showrooms to look and see. There Are wonderful dynamic prints available. Many of then, although they are to the trade will make arrangements for individuals to purchase. If you get the brand and style number many marine canvas shops will be able to order the fabric.
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Old 29-06-2011, 20:54   #4
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Re: Paisley sunbrella fabric pattern?

Thanks Sara, that was a great help. One more question if you will, since sunbrella is an acrylic fabric, can I perhaps use an acrylic paint to create my own pattern or would this compromise the integrity of the fabric?
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Old 29-06-2011, 21:08   #5
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Re: Paisley sunbrella fabric pattern?

Wouldn't compromise the fabric I don't think...but I would wonder how long before it started chipping and peeling... after market stuff like that isn't very robust.
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