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The 3 Best Fabrics to Use Outdoors

The 3 Best Fabrics to Use Outdoors

Now that the weather is improving over here in the Midwest and eastern part of the country, we are thinking more and more about being outside. Weather, rain, humidity, and all kinds of precipitation are all factors when it comes to being outside in good or bad weather. So when it comes to fabrics, picking the right one for outdoor uses is important. Let’s break down three of the best fabrics to use outside and which ones "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).



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.



Ripstop is technically not a specific fabric but a weave that is done in many different synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, and blends). The weaving technique used to make this fabric stops rips from spreading once they begin - hence the name “ripstop”. Ripstop fabrics have unique uses, especially when it comes to the outdoors. They are commonly used in rain jackets and camping equipment like tents and sleeping bags. Kites, parachutes, and flags are commonly made from ripstop, too. Ripstops are easy to identify because of the square, cross-stitch pattern they have.


Lucky for you, we stock all three of these fabrics in many different varieties, deniers, and colors. If we had our way in Cleveland...we would be concerned about “outdoor fabrics” all year round. But we know that’s not the case, so we’ll get excited about anything outside as spring takes full force.

Please let us know if you need 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.