Frequently Asked Questions
• Why Acrylic fabric?
• How do Sunbrella fabrics lock in colour? Do they provide UV protection?
• Are Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics waterproof?
• Do Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics dry quickly?
• What are the Warranty specifications on Sunbrella brand fabrics?
Product Design and Construction Questions
• Are all cushions made with zippers?
Fabric Care and Cleaning Questions
• How often do I need to thoroughly clean the fabric? Can I hose them down?
• How can I clean bird droppings off of my cushions?
• In your cleaning instructions you use the term mild or natural soap. What is mild or natural soap?
• Is Elements/Sunbrella brand fabric waterproof and mildew proof?
Why acrylic fabric?
Elements Weatherproof Soft Furnishings primarily uses Sunbrella solution-dyed acrylic fabrics because they are designed for easy maintenance and longevity. Solution-dying is the process of adding color to acrylic fibers during manufacturing while they are in a liquid state. This characteristic of acrylic fabrics is the key to locking in colour, easy cleaning and long life. For this reason, acrylic fabric offers incredible resistance to stains, weather and wear in any application.
How do Sunbrella fabrics lock in colour? Do they provide UV protection?
Sunbrella fabrics are made from 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic yarns. Solution-dying is the process of adding colour to acrylic fibers during manufacturing while they are in a liquid state. This characteristic of Sunbrella fabrics is the key to locking in colour, easy cleaning and long life. Sunbrella fabrics have been tested and proven to provide up to 98 percent UV protection from the harmful effects of the sun. Whites and lighter coloured fabrics provide less protection than darker fabrics, which have more depth of colour. This protective factor is inherent to the product and will not be reduced by usage and/or fabric exposure to the sun.
Are Elements/Sunbrella brand fabric waterproof?
Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics are not waterproof, but they are water repellent. This means that during the finishing process, a water-repellent finish is applied to the fabric. Normal wear and usage will reduce the effectiveness of this finish, as will cleaning the fabric.
Do Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics dry quickly?
Because Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics are woven, they are also highly breathable, which is why they dry quickly with only air exposure.
A clothes dryer is not necessary and will often overheat and shrink the fabric.
An important note about Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics, is that they are treated with a flurocarbon coating, which greatly enhances water repellency. This coating requires replenishment after every vigorous cleaning.
Are all cushions made with zippers?
Yes all of Elements cushions include marine grade zippers to allow for easy cushion cover removal and washing.
What types of filling are used in your cushions?
Our occasional cushion inserts are filled with Polyester fibre filling.
How often do I need to thoroughly clean the fabric? Can I hose them down?
In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be required every two to three years. However storing your cushions or soft furnishings indoors through colder months will greatly reduce the frequency needed for thorough cleanings. One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella fabrics looking good and delay the need for deep or vigorous cleaning is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabrics and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. Always remember to allow the fabrics to air dry after hosing it down.
How can I clean bird droppings off of my cushions?
For those stains that are beyond our normal care and cleaning instructions, such as bird droppings, roof run-off, acid rain, pollution, rust, tree sap, insect stains, etc., we suggest immediate cleaning with a mixture of – dishwashing liquid (60ml), bleach (1 cup), 1/4 cup mild soap and 4 litres of clean water. Spray or apply to entire area and allow to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes. Remove stain(s) with a sponge, clean towel or very soft bristle. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Allow fabric to air dry. If stain and/or mildew are severe, bleach quantities may be increased.
In your cleaning instructions you use the term mild or natural soap. What is mild or natural soap?
By ‘natural soap’ we mean a basic gentle soap. Gentle soaps rinse out easily and will not diminish the water-repellent ‘finish’ applied to the fabric. Remember to use cold water and spot clean only, and allow the fabric to air dry.
Is Elements/Sunbrella brand fabric waterproof and mildew proof?
Sunbrella fabric is not waterproof, but it is water repellent. This means that during the finishing process, a water-repellent finish is applied to the fabric. Normal wear and usage will reduce the effectiveness of this finish, as will cleaning the fabric. Elements/Sunbrella brand fabrics, if kept clean, will not mildew. An inherent characteristic of acrylic fiber is that it will not support the growth of mildew as a natural fiber will. Mildew will and can grow on any surface that is dirty, so to keep your Sunbrella fabrics from mildewing, you must keep your fabrics clean. If mildew growth becomes a problem, please refer to our care and cleaning instructions.