Apexmills Blog

Outdoor Fabric: Made For the Shade (and so much more)

If you need a material that will hold up against wear and tear, resist stains, and maintain its bright colors, opt for an outdoor performance fabric. Specially constructed to be used in the open air, these textiles maintain their strength and appearance even through constant exposure to harsh climates.

Learn More About Our Textiles

Suitable for many applications, outdoor fabrics can improve the function and life expectancy of almost any product “under the sun.” Apex Mills has designed a wide range of quality, durable fabrics to enhance the goods of brands you see each day. We encourage you to challenge us with the specific needs of your outdoor fabric application and see the solutions we can create. 

For example, we were approached by a company looking for a durable, outdoor fabric that would serve as a canopy on their outdoor play structures for children. We engineered a fabric using safe, pollutant-free solution-dyed performance yarns for enhanced lightfastness and strength that could withstand the damaging effects of UV energy for long periods.

What Are Outdoor Fabrics?

Specific properties are needed for performance-based outdoor fabrics. They need to be tightly knit to prevent light from passing through yet be breathable so that air can circulate. In addition, they need to be water, mildew, and stain-resistant.

Some of the applications for outdoor fabrics include: 

    • Outdoor furnishings
    • Marine
    • Military
    • Tarps and covers
    • Window shades and awnings
    • Architectural structures

Engineered For Performance

There are certain properties to look for when assessing outdoor fabrics. Our process is to fully understand the application and the external elements the fabric will endure over the long term. Here’s a checklist for reference.

  Water-resistant: Our outdoor fabrics are treated with a moisture-resistant finish to prevent saturation and damage from rain, snow, or spills. 

  Stain-resistant: A specially formulated protective coating is added to minimize stains and repel oils and residue that collect from everyday use.

  Fade proof: Made to withstand the outdoor elements, including UV degradation, heat, and moisture, our wide range of color options have a minimum of 1,000 hours of extended lightfastness. 

  Strength retention: Designed for heavy use, these fabrics have up to 40% higher strength retention after UV exposure. 

  Easy to clean: Most outdoor fabrics can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. We offer bleach-cleanable fabrics for rugged, heavy use applications that will protect the product’s appearance.

  Wide widths: While other shade and outdoor textiles have seams that allow sun and moisture to pass through, ours can be constructed up to widths of 120”, reducing the number of seams to create a more protective barrier against the elements.

Choose Apex Mills for Sustainability

We carefully select our supply partners to deliver the highest quality fabrics to our customers in the most responsible way. We engineer durable and long-lasting fabrics to reduce the volume of waste in landfills and improve our environment. In addition, our outdoor fabrics are made with solution-dyed yarns that utilize the least water-intensive dying process to limit waste and pollutants.

Apex Mills is a leading warp knit textile manufacturer with 80 years in business and a staff with over 150 years of collective experience creating fabric solutions. Government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense, and Fortune 500 companies trust us to create quality products that meet their needs. We’re prepared to address yours with the same precision and turnkey design. We maintain high standards and produce long-lasting, American-made products. 

At Apex Mills, we custom design our fabric solutions to suit your company’s specific needs. Contact us today for a consultation. 


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