Polyester vs. Olefin Fabric vs. Sunbrella: What’s the Difference?

12 min read

The coin has three faces. Contrary to popular belief, this may appear to be an impossible task when working with traditional materials. These materials are hailed as the next best thing and are ideal for outdoor furniture and other uses. However, they might all be the same.

Olefin is constructed from polypropylene or polyethylene while Sunbrella uses high-end, fade-resistant acrylic. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the raw ingredient for polyester. Olefin’s greatest drawback is that it’s a synthetic fabric created of harsh chemicals, etc.

Continue reading this article to learn more about Olefin fabrics and their competitors. Use this guide to make an informed decision about your outdoor furniture. Spend a few minutes reviewing these useful resources.

Is Olefin Fabric Better than Polyester?



Whether you choose one or the other will be determined by your prior knowledge of the materials. It’s well known that polyester fades when exposed to the sun, but it’s also a relatively inexpensive material. As a cloth for outdoor furniture, it has a number of advantages.

You may create an eye-catching outdoor aesthetic that will have your neighbors envy with the variety of colors and patterns available. This cloth has lasted a long time because of the proper care it has received..

Polypropylene or polyethylene are the raw materials for olefin. Environmentally friendly as well. Despite the fact that it, too, is a synthetic fiber derived from chemicals and petroleum materials, this description stands.

In addition to being stain-resistant and quick-drying, this outdoor fabric alternative is said to be nearly as fade resistant as Sunbrella in terms of fade resistance. In addition to offering a wide range of color and design options, this fabric also boasts a high level of durability.

Many Olefin materials are marketed as waterproof, although this is not always the case. With these features, it is clear that Olefin is a better option than Polyester. Is this the best of both worlds? Only you can answer that question.

Unless you are concerned about the overall cost of the product, Olefin should be your go-to outdoor fabric instead of regular polyester because of these improvements. Because of this, polyester remains superior to nylon despite its flaws.

Olefin vs Polyester

Because Olefin is a better fabric than polyester, one may say it is the superior one. If you want to get a better picture of the two materials, a head-to-head comparison is the way to go.

Polyester has been around for a long time, but its terrible looks and lack of quality nearly ended it. Over time, polyester has been improved so that it may be used in the outdoors. It can be made waterproof, fade and stain resistant, and other characteristics.

This material’s greatest drawback is that it fades more quickly than Olefin when exposed to the elements. Compared to Olefin, Polyester is more likely to be waterproof or water-resistant. In contrast, olefin does not fade as soon and is considered a long-lasting outdoor material.

Olefin, on the other hand, is rumored to be unsuitable for spot cleaning or bleaching. Even though Olefin is a more slick material, you can use either polyester or olefin as a next-to-skin material. Olefin’s roughness may not bother some people while they are relaxing in the sun.

For those who live in a rainy location, this is a huge perk, as both materials are quick-drying. Both materials have a long shelf life if properly cared for.

Is Olefin Fabric as Good as Sunbrella?



There’s a difference between a brand name and a fabric name, and Sunbrella is neither. Sunbrella is a brand name for acrylic outdoor fabrics, which is what is used to make the cloth.

Polypropylene, an oil and gas byproduct, goes under the brand name Olefin, as do outdoor fabrics with the Olefin trademark. It’s fair to claim that Olefin is almost as good as Sunbrella when comparing the advantages of the two materials. Olefin is less expensive than Sunbrella fabrics, which is the most significant difference between the two.

They’re both easy to care for and comfortable, and they’re both fashionable. Both have a lot in common with regards to these categories. When picking between the two, your personal style will be the deciding element.

When excessive heat is added, Olefin will lose out to Sunbrella. Because this fabric is delicate, it should be dried outside rather than in a dryer. Because Olefin can be recycled several times without harming the environment, it is an environmentally friendly product.

When comparing Sunbrella to Olefin, the former is said to be more colorfast and water resistant. In the light of these facts we can conclude that Olefin is nearly as excellent as Sunbrella and may even outperform the competition in some areas.

Olefin, on the other hand, has a lower melting point and, as a result, is considered the inferior substance. If you live in a hotter part of the country, this could be a problem.

Olefin Fabric vs Sunbrella

Although Acrylic Sunbrella materials are more expensive and less environmentally friendly than Olefin, they are often considered to be the superior option.. This is due to the fact that it is the most durable of all outdoor fabrics, including polyester and Olefin.

As you’ve just read, Olefin and Sunbrella are often comparable in terms of performance, but Olefin has less downsides. Olefin, on the other hand, is a much softer fabric, and it doesn’t generate static electricity, which isn’t ideal at any time.

Sunbrella, on the other hand, has a stronger brand name recognition, making it the most popular outdoor fabric. This substance is better known than Olefin because it has been around for a longer time. You may discover that both materials are good in terms of water resistance and comfort.

While Olefin is less expensive than Sunbrella acrylic, it does not last as long. Some people claim that Olefin can be spot cleaned and bleach can be used, while others argue that it cannot be cleaned at all.

This is an important topic that should be clarified prior to purchasing the product. Cleaning Sunbrella is a breeze, as there is no uncertainty about how to maintain the fabric’s appearance. Many potential clients are put off by the difficulty of recycling this material and the fact that it is not biodegradable.

Sunbrella’s initial cost may be more, but because it requires less frequent replacement, it may up up being the more cost-effective option. When shopping for outdoor fabric, this is something to keep in mind.

Olefin vs Polypropylene



A fabric can’t actually be compared to itself. The only way to compare is to have a look at the various hues and patterns and select the one that most appeals to you. If you’re seeking for a higher quality cloth, texture and comfort won’t be a role in your choosing.

Because Olefin is made from polypropylene, we say that. A method known as steam cracking is used to combine propylene gas, oil products, and ethylene to create this material.

In 1957, Italian scientists made the groundbreaking discovery of polypropylene. Only in 1963 was the method for creating this novel substance recognized with a Nobel Prize. Olefin fabric was created as a result of the scientists’ employment of titanium in the process of creating fibers.

With the exception of titanium, both olefin and polypropylene are synthesized materials derived from the identical raw materials. After melting, the melted product is pushed through a spinneret to create thread or fibers.

Those fibers are then woven into cloth or yarn from that point on. Sunbrella textiles are more expensive than polyester because of the manufacturing process. It’s possible that it’s the “just perfect” fabric for outdoor use in the eyes of Goldilocks.

To sum it up, polypropylene and olefin are the same substance, just in different physical forms.

Is Olefin a Good Upholstery Fabric?

Outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and even outdoor curtains can benefit greatly from the usage of this material. It is well-built, long-lasting, and water-resistant. Aside from that, the colors and designs are rather appealing. Those are the most important considerations when choosing a cloth for outdoor furniture.

However, if money is an issue, it does cost more than polyester, but it does not fade as quickly as the latter. When it comes time to replace the material, you don’t have to hurt the environment by using a technology that produces this material and can then be recycled.

It is also thought to have a low carbon footprint because it is made without the need of any land or water. The scientists discovered a more practical use for the propylene gas that had previously been burned off.

This material has a high level of resilience, however it may not last as long as Sunbrella. It’s safe to rest on or rub against because static electricity isn’t generated.

With proper care, the material should last you a long time and should be easy to clean even with bleach, depending on whoever you ask. This fabric’s ability to dry quickly is another reason why it’s a smart choice for outdoor furniture.

This product’s adaptability allows you to utilize it in a variety of ways, and you can coordinate colors and designs to ensure that your backyard or outdoor area is fashionable and looking its best.

Is Olefin Fabric Durable?



As a result, they can be stronger than natural fibers, which is one of its advantages. That’s because the synthetic fibers are made from a variety of different substances. No exception is made to that rule; Olefin is a highly long-lasting fabric.

Olefin, on the other hand, may not be as long-lasting as Sunbrella, so keep that in mind. It’s hard to find a synthetic fiber as durable as acrylic, and even polyester can’t compete.

Regular polyester is less durable than olefin, which accounts for its higher price. When it comes to long-lasting materials for outdoor use, this is to be expected.

It is expected that you will pay more because you are purchasing less material and using it for a longer length of time. When it’s time to replace your outdated outdoor materials, keep this in mind.

Then, depending on whom you ask, Olefin may not be as water-resistant as it is touted to be. As a result, it’s not a material you want near your pool while people are splashing about a lot. Water can harm Olefin, causing it to wear out more quickly.

However, if the water-resistant rumors are correct, this may not be a problem. Be flexible and consult with the salesperson to ensure that all of the necessary safeguards are in place before you make a purchase.

Olefin Fabric Disadvantages

We’ve already discussed the main drawback. You don’t want to allow this material become too heated. It is still made of plastic, which will melt if it gets too hot. You should hang dry the material after cleaning it for this reason.

Hang drying the cloth outside will save you money on your electricity bill because it does not take long to dry and does not fade. We’ve also discussed some of the drawbacks. Even though it’s not as pricey as Sunbrella, this material is still more expensive than polyester, so expect to pay a premium for it.

Olefin is a better alternative to conventional polyester, but it comes at a price. Sunbrella is more expensive, but it also lasts longer, so you’ll have to check your budget to determine if it’s worth it.

In terms of water-resistance, there will be a drawback. A lot of people aren’t sure if this material can keep water out of it. According to some, this brand’s clothing is waterproof, but others believe it’s water-resistant.

Then there are those who say that because it is not water-resistant, you cannot spot clean it or use bleach on it. This tells us that the material comes in a variety of qualities, each with its own set of features.

Olefin Fabric by the Yard



When it comes to outdoor furniture, you’ll be glad to hear that this material is readily accessible by the yard. When it comes to quality, one internet retailer is selling high-grade material for under $10 per yard.

Slub Ofelin material, on the other hand, is only available by the yard at Hobby Lobby and perhaps its competitors. In terms of pricing, we found the car upholstery version on Amazon for roughly $25 per yard.

Depending on the quality of the cloth, each outlet will have a different price tag. You may find out how much fabric costs in your neighborhood by visiting your local fabric store. Go to the mall and do some shopping first, then compare costs there.

This material can be found in a wide variety of places. On-line shopping for this product will be the most secure and convenient option. Using a mouse will only cause you to accidentally spill your coffee.

To save money, look for the best online retailer that offers the greatest delivery deals. You may have to wait a little longer for the material to arrive, but at least you saved some money using this strategy.

Some Final Words

It’s not always easy to compare different textiles. Even when comparing like-for-like materials, it’s a highly subjective process. Although olefin isn’t polyester or acrylic, it has many of the same raw materials.

Everything comes down to how much money you have available. It’s a good option if you live in a climate that doesn’t get too hot, because it’s the most affordable of the three.



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