What Is Olefin Fabric? Buyers Guide & Reviews

15 min read

There are new and old fabrics. If you’re a sewer, it seems like fabric makers are constantly producing new materials for you to use. Finding the right fabric may be a real challenge with so many variations available. They could just be the same product with a different name.

What is olefin fabric? Propylene gas, various oil products, and ethylene are mixed to create olefin fabric. This means that it is made entirely of man-made materials. Yes, it’s safe for the environment because it doesn’t require any land or water for manufacture, and it’s soft and comfy to sit on.

Continue reading this article to find out more about Olefin fabric. Useful information is provided so that you can apply it to the appropriate sewing projects. To put it another way, it’s more of an outdoor fabric than a clothes fabric.

What is Olefin Fabric?



Synthetic fibers are used in this product, which is an improvement over polyester. Because it’s designed to be durable and comfy, it’s not going to fade as rapidly as polyester.

It’s primarily meant for use on outdoor furniture, such as chairs and umbrellas, as well as automobile upholstery. Both polyester and outdoor acrylic textiles will be attracted to the wide range of colors and patterns available in this material.

As a bonus, the cost is lower than that of acrylic choices, but it is a bit more expensive than that of polyester. In some cases, high-quality materials are believed to be watertight.

This cloth is perfect for use on outdoor furniture, curtains, and umbrellas because of these properties. It should be able to endure the local weather conditions. When treated and maintained properly, the material will last for many years. It can endure a long period with regular treatment.

Although it is a synthetic material, it is a good alternative if you want to decorate your pool area or outdoor patio with acrylic fabrics and polyester.

What is Olefin Fabric Made of?

To avoid reading this part for people who don’t like synthetic materials, you may want to skip it. An entirely lab-created cloth formed from a gas that had previously been burned off is what this is. It was destroyed because, up until 1957, no one believed it had any practical applications.

Land and water are the only resources this substance is not derived from. As a result, it’s a little more environmentally friendly than some other fibers. It takes a lot of water and a lot of land to cultivate those kinds of plants.

Scientists blend propylene gas with oil and ethylene components to create this substance. All the materials are gathered using a steam cracking technique and then mixed. A polymerizing method is used to develop the physical characteristics of this product in this process.

A lengthy chain with repeated structural units is formed by linking together single molecules at this point in the process of biochemical synthesis. A spinneret is used to melt the pellets into a molten liquid state. Melted materials are spun into yarn or cloth using a device called a spinneret.

It’s hard to color or stain fabric once it’s been turned into thread. Using waste from other petroleum processes, this procedure is both environmentally friendly and low in carbon emissions.

Olefin Fabric Characteristics

There is some confusion about some of the characteristics of Olefin. Some people claim it to be waterproof and water-resistant but others say the opposite. It will depend on the quality of the fabric that you buy whether you get waterproof or water-resistant material or unprotected fabric.

Olefin has a reputation for being difficult to understand. Despite claims to the contrary, some people say it is waterproof and water-resistant, while others deny this. Whether you purchase waterproof or water-resistant fabric or unprotected fabric will be determined by the quality of the fabric you purchase.

Olefin is believed to be less prone to fading than polyester, nearly as durable as acrylic outdoor fabric, and a lot more vibrant. Its attractiveness is due to a variety of colours and designs applied to the material at the time of manufacture.

Because it is stain-resistant, it works well as automobile upholstery.. Although the material is washable, you should avoid exposing it to high temperatures. Then it will probably melt on you.

What does Olefin Fabric Feel like?



For whatever reason, this cloth has a harsher texture than either acrylic or polyester. It has a rough surface, yet it isn’t sandpaper-like in that you can sit on it.

Compared to other fabrics, this one is a touch more abrasive in texture. In spite of its rough texture, this cloth is nonetheless a pleasant choice for sitting or lying down on. Because of the fabric’s softness, most people don’t mind the rough texture.

The way a fabric feels is, of course, highly dependent on the fabric’s quality. For a fraction of the price, lower-quality products may not provide the same level of comfort and softness as a higher-quality product.

The absence of additional chemicals in the manufacture of this substance will make it more enjoyable to use. There is not supposed t be any fire retardant, no chemical stain treatment, no anti-microbial sprays, no PFC treatments, and so on.

There are no chemicals or other additions in this fabric, so you won’t have to worry about how it will feel to wear.

What does Olefin Fabric Look like?

You can expect it to look like any other light-weight material. Colors don’t fade too much, and it comes in a wide range of them. That means that it should remain in good condition even after being exposed to the light for a long time.

In addition, you should be able to obtain it in a variety of patterns, so that the cloth is visually appealing even when viewed from a distance. Because it’s mold-resistant, it won’t turn green from prolonged exposure to rain.

As a result, it won’t look ragged, ripped, and shabby because it’s resistant to abrasions. It should be in like-new condition, if not better. That’s because of its colorfastness.

You’ll also avoid the look of a wet fabric. Because of its low absorbency rate, water is swiftly and easily wicked away from this material. In the event of heavy rain, the fabric’s quick drying properties ensure that it looks beautiful after the storm has passed.

Keep an eye on it, especially if it’s exposed to direct sunlight. It’s possible that the fabric will look shabby while it’s being stabilized by the sun.

Is Olefin Fabric Safe?

Using this material in your car or outdoor furniture, for example, is completely safe. Despite the fact that it contains synthetic and petroleum components, it is a safe cloth to use. Due to its manufacturing process, it is possible to declare this with certainty.

According to our previous statements, this product contains no PFC treatments, no fire retardants applied to the fibers, no anti-microbial sprays utilized in its manufacture, and no volatile organic compounds at all.

Additionally, no other chemical coatings are used in the production of this product. Environmentally friendly because it does not include any chemicals. Acrylic and polyester decompose much more slowly than this biodegradable substance. For another thing, it can be recycled a total of up to ten times before experiencing any negative side effects.

Consequently, it’s a safe cloth to sit on and to employ in various creative endeavors. There is a little downside to this substance, which is that it can melt. If you use a dryer to dry the wet fabric or leave it out in the scorching heat, this is a problem to consider.

Is Olefin Fabric Soft?



If you are looking for a fabric that won’t irritate your skin even though it’s meant for outdoor use, this is it. When you sit or lay on it, it has a coarser texture than, example, acrylic or polyester.

Fabric quality and weave style both play a role in how soft a garment feels. Even if the material is extremely soft, you may not believe it’s excessively so because of your personal degree of comfort.

You may notice that the fabric has a wax-like feel to it when you touch it. Synthetic materials often have an unnatural feel, and no matter how hard they try, scientists will never be able to match the softness of natural fibers.

Olefin cannot match the softness of natural fibers like cotton or wool, so don’t hold your breath waiting for it to be as soft. When it comes to softness, synthetic fabrics simply can’t compete.

Is Olefin Fabric Breathable?

Despite its modest weight, no one has claimed that this material is particularly effective at regulating body temperature. In other words, the fabric’s ability to release moisture is completely ignored. It is safe to assume that the cloth is impermeable due to its composition, which includes petroleum compounds and other non-natural components.

However, this is understandable given the rarity of this fabric’s application in garments. It’s for non-apparel uses where breathing isn’t a requirement. Automobile seats and furniture, medical sutures and sutures, umbrellas, outdoor furniture and similar items don’t require the cloth to breathe well.

Plastic, on the other hand, does not have a breathable surface due to its similarity to plastic. It is preferable to don this type of clothing on cooler days of the year rather than hot days. Due to its melting potential, it should be avoided in situations where temperatures are expected to reach much beyond 100°F.

Is Olefin Fabric Waterproof?

One of the more puzzling characteristics of this fabric is the fact that it comes in a variety of colors. There are some who claim that it can be both water-resistant and water-proof in particular situations. As a result, some people argue that the material should be kept away from pools and other water sources because it is both toxic and non-toxic.

If you want to know if the fabric you’re buying is waterproof, water-resistant, or just plain cloth, you’ll have to look at the labels. In the shops you visit, it’s difficult to tell what quality of fabric is being offered there.

A benefit of this material’s low water absorption rate is that it will dry rapidly. It’s also claimed that water stains can be cleaned more easily than oil stains.

Some say bleach can be used on this fabric, while others advise against it. Before you buy anything, it’s critical to read all the labels. You don’t have to be bothered by this perplexing data.

Is Olefin Fabric Toxic?



The garments you wear made of this material or the numerous other applications of this material could be affected by this, but not so significantly. Carpet manufactured from Olefin is an exception to this rule, however, because of the distinct manufacturing procedures involved.

Olefin textiles do emit the same kinds of off-gassing fumes as other carpet fabric types. Until the off-gassing stops, you should be cautious and keep the room adequately aired. Alternately, you might make use of a filtering air conditioner, air conditioner, or humidifier.

Toxicological concerns may not arise because this synthetic fiber does not acquire the same chemical coatings and additions as other synthetic fibers. It’s also made of gas, petroleum products, and ethylene so it’s not completely safe either.

Except for carpeting, no one has mentioned that it is hazardous yet, but that doesn’t rule it out.

What is Olefin Fabric Used for?

Currently, this material only has a few clothing applications. As a non-fashion material, you won’t find many apparel items produced from this.

Textiles are used to make a wide range of products ranging from carpeting to umbrellas to car seat covers to fencing to industrial products to automobile parts to wall panels.

This is more of a business tool than a fashion statement. If you are looking for a sturdy fabric, you may find it in athletic clothing, socks and hoodies, but not in dresses, blouses, pants and suits.

As far as home design is concerned, you’ll find this fabric utilized in anything from curtains to slipcovers to wall coverings to carpet tiles. Because of the large range of colors available, you should be able to choose a sofa, chair, or even a drape that will match the color of your wall.

There should be no problem with the design.

Olefin Fabric for Sofa

If you plan to use your patio furniture outside, this material is a good choice for sofa upholstery. It has all the qualities you need in a cloth for both indoor and outdoor use.

If you choose the proper colors and patterns, it is a plush, comfy cloth to sit on. A stain-resistant sofa should be suitable for children and pets to dine on and play on.

Depending on whether or not it’s water-resistant and/or waterproof, you have a lot of protection in the event of spills and mishaps. It’s possible to use bleach to remove any stains that occur, save for oil-based stains, depending on who you listen to.

There is only one drawback to using this material in your home: it is not often coated with a fire retardant spray or given any other kind of protective coating at all. Because of this, the sofa could catch fire if someone accidentally drops a cigarette on it or the flames reach it.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to consider before purchasing the material.

Where to buy Olefin Fabric by the Yard?



This won’t be a difficult task. You might begin by looking for locally owned fabric shops in your region. Then, head to your local mall’s department stores. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Joanns if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the pricing you desire at those two locations.

The other big box stores, such as Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowes, may also have a supply of this product available. In terms of finding outdoor furniture textiles, the latter two should be ideal.

Online choices should be considered if all of these fail to meet your needs. There are many of places online where you may buy this stuff by the pound. However, their prices may be lower than those of all the other stores you might choose from.

In online buying, you don’t get to see the quality, condition, or actual color of the product until it arrives at your home. It may also take many days before you can put it to use on your next task.

Olefin Fabric Price

This fabric isn’t the cheapest or the most costly outdoor cloth you can buy, but it’s in the middle. It’s a good option in the middle, but only if you treat it well.

In-store prices for this fabric are unknown to us, however we expect them to be higher than those found online. Prices ranged from $5 to more than $16 a yard on a single online retailer. If the material is of high quality, the price will be higher or lower.

On Etsy, the price ranged from $11 to $12 a yard, while Amazon’s prices ranged from $25 to more than $25. The cheapest way to get this material is to buy it in bulk and then get far more length than you would ever need or want.

About $2 per yard is being offered by wholesalers. In the event that you are fortunate, some of the previously mentioned stores may be running deals, offering coupons, or otherwise lowering the cost of their textiles. You’ll save a little money if you choose any of those options.

Always shop around to find the greatest possible deal.

Some Final Words

What is olefin fabric? It’s a man-made substance marketed as being low-impact on the environment and eco-friendly. Because synthetic fibers don’t typically have these qualities, it could be an encouraging indicator.

Additionally, the material can be long-lasting, soft, comfy, and visually appealing. This may be a nice alternative if you don’t want to use polyester on your outdoor furniture. Although it is more expensive, nylon is a superior material.



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