The elements can take a considerable toll on outdoor fabrics. High temperatures, ultraviolet light exposure and moisture, can cause many materials to fade or even disintegrate. Upholstered patio furniture, awnings and even pool floats are at risk. Fortunately, there’s a fabric that’s made to endure anything Mother Nature throws its way. It’s called solution-dyed acrylic, and it has a starring role in our range of world-famous pool bean bags.
What Is Solution-Dyed Acrylic Fabric?
Acrylic fabrics are durable, high-performance synthetic fabrics made from acrylic fibres. They have some advantages including lower specific gravity, mildew-resistant properties and an ability to manage moisture. Even without added colour, they’re a great choice. However, nobody wants to be limited to the boring, white fabric. When you add colour to acrylic, it comes to life. The method that you use to attach the dye has a high impact on how long it will stay true. Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics keep their colour longer because of the specific process that’s used to dye the fibres.
Piece-Dyed vs. Solution-Dyed Fabrics
Acrylic fibres start as a liquid acrylic polymer solution. The chemical fluid is forced through a device called a spinneret, which has many tiny holes. Long acrylic fibres are extruded during this process. Without any added dye, they come out of the spinneret sporting a generic white colour. When piece-dyed or “stock” fabrics are made, the extruded fibres are dipped into a vat of dye. Only the outer surface of the threads are penetrated by the dye colour; their interior remains white. The method produces a bright tone, and it allows manufacturers to create smaller batches of fabric using less dye. Most synthetic fibres used for textiles and carpets are dyed in this manner.
Solution-dyed fibres are coloured in an entirely different way. When they’re being made, the dye is added to the chemical solution before it goes into the spinneret. Fibres that are extruded during this process have dye thoroughly mixed into them. The colour doesn’t just sit on the surface; it goes all the way through the fibre.
It’s easier to understand the difference between solution-dyed fabrics and piece-dyed ones if you compare them to carrots and radishes. If you cut open a radish, you’ll see that the inside is white despite the outer peel’s bright red hue. However, when you cut a carrot, it’s orange to its core. Solution-dyed fabrics are like carrots. The acrylic threads and yarns created with solution-dyed fibres eventually become fabrics which share the same thoroughly permeated colour qualities.
How Is Solution Dyed Acrylic Fabric Different From Other Fabrics?
The benefits of solution-dying fibres aren’t immediately apparent. You might not notice any difference between them and their vat-dyed peers unless you look under a microscope. However, in practical use, their value becomes clear. Because the colour saturates each entire fibre and thread, it’s almost impossible to fade or bleach it away. Solution-Dyed acrylic fabrics are some of the most colourfast in the textile industry. They’re ideal for healthcare and foodservice applications because you can clean them with harsh, germ-killing substances like diluted chlorine bleach without losing their vibrancy. They’re also ideally suited for outdoor use in both residential and commercial settings.
Piece-dyed fabrics such as nylon and polyester start to fade almost immediately after sun or water exposure, but solution-dyed fabrics stay bright and cheery through every season. In the past, solution-dyed fabrics were typically not as luminous as yarn-dyed fabrics, but they’ve come a long way. Today’s solution-dyed fabrics are rich and vibrant enough to rival the brightest surface-coloured alternatives easily.
Why Acrylic Fabric Is the Ideal Choice for Our Outdoor Pool Bean Bags
For regular use in chlorinated water and saltwater, the product needs to be tough. We chose solution-dyed acrylic fabric for our range of Portsea pool bean bags because it has everything needed to stand up to the natural elements and handle heavy use and abuse. Here are its great benefits when used in a pool setting.
- It’s durable and long-lasting even when frequently used in direct sunlight.
- It dries quickly after use, which reduces the chances of mildew or mould growth.
- It’s strong yet comfortable.
- It’s attractive and colourful, and it’ll stay that way for many years.
If you’re looking for the best pool floats, or a large dog bed, think big. Our Portsea bean bag loungers will maintain their colour and keep you floating in cloud-like bliss with solution-dyed beauty and our highest standards of quality craftsmanship.