Alfresco kitchens are one of the best investment that you can make in your outdoor area. But what would be the purpose of having a perfectly equipped alfresco kitchen if you don’t have the right furniture to enjoy the many exquisite delights?! When it comes to choosing the right furniture, considering its base material and cushion fabric are essential to get the most bang for your buck.
Types of Outdoor Lounge Furniture Materials
One of the most popular, durable, appealing and commonly used material for furniture since ancient times is wood. Its natural beauty, workability and warmth make it the ideal material for creating dazzling furniture designs of all kinds and for all purposes. Although wood can be used for both indoor and outdoor spaces, not all wood types can be used for creating outdoor furniture. So, when looking for an outdoor lounge setting made of wood, it is recommended to stick to hardwoods like teak, timber and Acacia wood. Out of all hardwoods, it seems that Acacia wood is the most preferred choice by manufacturers.
This hard-wearing wood belongs to the Fabaceae family that comprises of hundreds of trees species that grow in tropical and desert climates around the world. Africa, India, Australia, the Philippines, the United States of America and Hawaii are some of the places where Accacia trees thrive the best. This type of wood has been used since the 18th century for furniture, cogs, ship posts and beams. In the 1791 were planted around 10 000 acres of Accacia tree as the main source of building material for the British Navy. Nowadays, the most common use of Acacia wood is for manufacturing furniture. Thanks to its durability, appearance and resistance to weather conditions, this wood is the ideal source for designing outdoor furniture, giving you the opportunity to choose a dazzling outdoor lounge setting for your space.
Metal is another strong and commonly used material for the production of outdoor furniture. It is also a great choice when used in combination with some other materials, like wood for example. The final results are aesthetically appealing, functional and long-lasting furniture pieces. Out of all types of metal available on the market, stainless steel and aluminium are among the most commonly used for the purpose.
Although lightweight, aluminium is one of the most popular types for manufacturing outdoor furniture. It is an appealing, smooth yet strong and flexible material, extremely easy to work with. Aluminium won’t rust and won’t lose its shape if exposed to the elements. It is also affordable and it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. Although weather-resistant, manufacturers say that a polyester powder coating is needed to increase its resistance against scratching and the elements. The main con of this material is that it has hollow tube frames which can be blown by high winds. If exposed to the sun for a longer period of time, it can retain heat.
Sturdy and appealing, stainless steel is a high-density material ideal for creating larger outdoor furniture like sofas, sectional and dining table sets. Its high density prevents dents and other damages that can result from frequently using it. This type of metal isn’t prone to rust and corrosion, however, a powder coating is recommended just like for aluminium. This can add to its resistance and durability which is extremely needed in coastal areas. Just like aluminium, the main downside of stainless steel outdoor furniture is that it can retain heat and can get extremely hot to the touch when exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time.
The Ideal Types of Fabrics
Olefin is a solution-dyed synthetic fabric that is durable, resistant to fade and with quick-drying properties. The thing that makes it quite commonly used for outdoor cushions and pillows is that it can stand up to mould, moisture and heat, while also being affordable. On top of that, olefin fabric is lightweight and smooth, easy to clean and resistant to abrasion and stains. In other words, this type of fabric is one-of-a-kind, ideal for the purpose, especially if you have little children and pets.
Just like olefin, acrylic is also durable and long-lasting. It is resistant to weather, mould and mildew and it can also withstand constant rubbing and tearing. These properties make acrylic fabrics a great choice for outdoor use, especially when talking about lounge setting cushions and pillows. Another great benefit of this fabric is that its colour won’t change a bit even if exposed to direct sunlight. That is because its threads are dyed before they are woven. Easy to clean and quite appealing, acrylic fabrics are also breathable.
Polyester is a synthetic type of material that is usually coated with vinyl (PVC mesh) or acrylic to protect it from the elements when used outdoors. Flexible, strong, quick-drying and resistant to water damage and staining, polyester is also resistant to tears. The main downside of this material is that its colour can fade faster since its hybrids are only painted on after the threads are woven or they are only dipped in colour.