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MMI Outdoor Adventure Series: Best Outdoor Fabrics

MMI Outdoor Adventure Series: Best Outdoor Fabrics

Summer is finally here! Around this time, we would normally be in Denver, CO exhibiting at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. This year due to COVID-19, everything is looking a bit different for everyone. In leu of our Outdoor Retailer booth - we decided to do this series of blogs to showcase the products we would have shown there.

Due to new social distancing rules in place just about everywhere…there are even more opportunities to get outside. We’re anticipating outdoor apparel and gear will be HUGE sellers this season as more and more consumers are heading outdoors to social distance and get some Vitamin D. So, when it comes to raw materials - it’s important to pick ones that make your outdoor gear and/or apparel stand out from the crowd. We can help you there!

First, let’s break down some of our popular fabrics that can be used in outdoor applications and which one’s weather better than others.


Polyester is a tough, versatile fabric. Polyester works well outside because it is resistant to stretching, abrasion, mold/mildew, and rot - it’s also lightweight and flexible. Polyester can also come vinyl-backed which adds to its inherent durability. Solution-dyed polyester is especially great for outdoor use - it has exceptional UV/sun resistance and wear properties. Not to mention, solution-dyed fabrics are much better for the environment (less water waste is used during production).

Our stock fabrics to check out:

This fabric is lightweight, yet tough and durable. It features a fire-resistant UV coating making it ideal for tents or awnings.

This fabric is tough. It’s designed for rugged and harsh conditions – yet is very economical. It’s the perfect choice for boat covers or tents due to its water and mildew resistant qualities. Looking for a versatile fabric that could work for multiple projects? This material has almost endless uses for outdoor and sporting goods applications.

We also stock 600D Polyester with Medium/Heavy Vinyl backing adding to its durability.

polyester end uses


Nylon has a lot of the same qualities as polyester but also some key differences. One difference being nylon has superior abrasion resistance - making it the choice fabric for use in military and pet applications. Nylon is easy to wash, extremely versatile, and somewhat UV resistant. It’s also extremely quick-drying and highly water repellent, too!

Nylon really is one of the most versatile fabrics in the textile industry - so it is no surprise that it (and blends of Nylon like our Stretch Wovens) have many common outdoor uses such as bags and packs, tents, tarps, dog gear, and outdoor apparel.

Our stock fabrics to check out:

500D/1000D NYLON
Both 500D Nylon and 1000D Nylon are made of a nylon weave that varies in thickness. Although they are both made from the same material, the 500D weave is made from thinner yarn than the 1000D. 1000D is known to have a greater puncture and rip resistance over the 500D, but both are extremely durable fabrics that hold their color (especially solution-dyed nylon) and are built to last. Note: our stock 500D Nylon is domestic/mil-spec (Berry Compliant). We offer domestic, import, and mil-spec (Berry Compliant) options of 1000D Nylon.

These fabrics are various mixes of nylon and spandex - so you get the excellent inherent abrasion resistance of nylon with a bit of stretch from the spandex that makes these fabrics especially great for outdoor and performance apparel.

nylon end uses


While ripstop is technically not a specific fabric but a weave that is done in many different synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, and blends) ...ripstop fabrics have unique uses, especially when it comes to the outdoors. These fabrics pride themselves on being unable to rip or extremely resistant to ripping, hence the name “ripstop”. They are commonly used in rain jackets and camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags. Kites, parachutes, and flags are commonly made from ripstops, too. Ripstops are easy to identify because of the square, cross-stitch pattern they have.

Our stock fabrics to check out:

70D (1.9 OZ.) RIPSTOP
This fabric is breathable and lightweight - yet provides excellent strength/durability. It’s also finished with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which helps water bead up and roll off the fabric. Our domestic option also features a fire-resistant UV coating. Typical outdoor applications include hammocks, tents, stuff sacks, and lining for bags or jackets.

ripstop end uses

Lucky for you, we stock all three of these fabrics in many different varieties, deniers, and colors. We also offer custom fabric with finishes of your choice and are pretty good at finding whatever fabrics our customers need - thanks to our amazing sourcing and purchasing departments!

Check out our fabric closeouts list as well – there are currently several fabrics on the list at LOW prices that would work great for outdoor applications.

Please let us know if you are in need of fabric for your next outdoor gear or apparel project. Contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050 for pricing, samples, and more information.