Material for replacing seats in outdoor furniture

Updated November 21, 2016

Outdoor furniture seats are made of a fabric that can withstand weathering or are treated to prevent mould and fading. No matter which type of material your outdoor furniture has, you can easily replace it with a similar fabric for a more suitable fit for your environment. The benefit of replacing seats of outdoor furniture is that you can reshape and restyle it to fit a more modern look.

Choosing Materials

Choose the type of fabric that best suits your region's weather. Locations with a large amount of rainfall will benefit from a seat with a plastic cushion, and sunny environments need porous fabrics such as cotton with a UV blocking treatment.

Treat the natural fabric with a water resistant and UV blocking spray prior to attaching it to the furniture. Synthetic materials like plastic are not appropriate in hot, sunny weather because they can melt and become extremely hot.

Consider the filling you prefer in your outdoor furniture cushions. Cotton stuffing is extremely comfortable and dries out fast if it becomes wet, but you need a large amount of it to create a spongy cushion. Foam padding is excellent for outdoor cushions, especially under synthetic fabric because you can prevent it from becoming too wet. The dense, spongelike material of foam, prevents it from drying quickly and can lead to mould.

Removing the Old Cushion

Untie an old, removable seat cushion or pull the staples loose from an attached seat. Examine the stuffing inside to determine if it is reusable. The filling should not be wet or discoloured because that can indicate mould. If it does not present either of these conditions and bounces back to shape after pressure, you can reuse it.

Constructing the Seat

Cut the top of the cushion from the new fabric you selected. Add a couple of inches to each side to create a clean edge for sewing or stapling. Some outdoor seats are in a removable cushion form so you need to sew the top and bottom of the cushion together.

After you sew three of the four sides, insert your chosen filling and sew closed. Many outdoor removable seat cushions have a set of strings hanging from it to tie it to the chair and prevent it from being blown off. Add these ties to the location of the cushion that sits next to a structure for tying around. (Usually at the back corners of the cushions.) The bars of a chair back are suitable for holding cushion ties.

Create a seat that attaches permanently to a chair by laying the stuffing on the seat and covering it with a single sheet of the material. Staple the fabric to the chair around the stuffing on the surface or underneath the edge of the seat.

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