15 June 2009 Earth Times

New Weather-proof Materials for Garden Furniture

Garden furniture

Rescuing seat from garden furniture before a storm won't be necessary this year. The trend in the 2009 garden season, which emphasizes no matter what the weather conditions are, is not about finding a dry place for the cushions, rather it deals with modern nanotechnology that has made it possible to develop fabrics on which water beads up and rolls off. Companies that produce are using the fabrics to create luxurious upholstery, bed-like chaises and rugs for the outdoor areas of a home.

"This means the barriers that divide indoor and outdoor living spaces are becoming more porous," said Henriette Preiss of Cologne's trade show organization. It's already possible to foresee that this new trend in next-generation will be even stronger at Spoga, a garden and leisure-time show scheduled to open in September in Cologne .

Many types of have been weather-resistant for a long time. "But lately, much of the new, high-tech and weaves hold up even better in extreme weather," said Preiss. The makers of the products say they eliminate worries about being soaked through or stained by mould.

"Fabrics can be made water-repellent through a special coating on the underside," said Dan Schmitz of the fabric maker Schmitz-Werke in Emsdetten, Germany . Alternatively, fabric can be made water- and dirt-resistant by a process that includes a special finish. "Fabrics in our Swela collection, for example, are made of a high-tech polyester weave in which nano molecules are bound with the outer surface of the weave."

The upholstered seating group Tangalooma by Omniform in Harsewinkel , Germany , also can be left outdoors for the entire summer season. The cushion covers are made from sturdy artificial thread on which water beads up, the manufacturer said. The thread is comparable to that which is used in high-quality awnings. The fibres, however, are processed to make them prettier and more comfortable for sitting.

The water-resistance of the doesn't stop with the cover. It's also a feature of the material inside the cushion. It is made of a combination of high-quality quick-dry foam and weather-resistant Diol, which is filled with a weather-resistant polyester weave. The material has a drainage system, including canals, that ensure water flows off. If the covers get covered by pollen, they can be removed and washed.

Rugs are typically thought of for indoors, but there now are some made for the outdoors and with various in mind.

"A rug such as Lavaro can add atmosphere and colour to a grey terrace or balcony," said Kai Hartmann of Ikea in Germany . The rug is waterproof and can be left outside for the entire summer season.

The latest awnings, which provide privacy and protection from the sun, are made from water-resistant cloth, said Gerhard Rommel of Germany 's association for manufacturers of window shades and awnings in Bonn .

To ensure that the fabric, which is usually not only water-resistant, but also dirt-resistant, remains clean, it must be exposed to rain so that the water will bead up and any dirt will roll off with it.

Source: Earth Times /...

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