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When it comes to outdoor furniture, focusing on the finer details such as the quality of the componentry is essential if you’re after longevity. Equally as important is the ongoing care needed and ensuring that your furniture continues to perform and maintain its beauty comes down to understanding its materiality.
Here is our comprehensive guide to caring for your furniture, whether it’s made from teakwood, weave or stainless steel.
Aluminium and steel
Both of these materials are highly suitable for outdoor use due to their resistance to rust and great strength. To maintain steel and aluminium furniture like our Arc chairs or Darwin dining range, simply wash with a soap and water solution, before rinsing off with clean water.
Basics, Broadcloth, Botanicals and Canvas
Made from solution-dyed Sunbrella yarn, these outdoor acrylic fabrics are color fast and hard-wearing. While they will not crack or become hard with weather exposure, they should be cleaned regularly with a mild soap and lukewarm water solution at under 100°F. For stubborn stains, a solution of 1 cup (8oz) of bleach and 2oz of mild soap per 1 gallon of water should be used. The fabrics should then be rinsed thoroughly to remove soap and allowed to air dry.
It is important that these fabrics are not left in a soaked state, and that cushions are rotated and left to air dry in a well-ventilated space.
Batyline is a high-performance exterior fabric (see our Tulloch range and Marillo dining chair) that provides great comfort without sagging during use. Cleaning this material only requires the application of a mild soap and water mixture with a soft brush. The fabric should then be rinsed with clean water and dried with a cloth to avoid water stains on stainless steel frames.
An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is traditionally known for its malleability and durability. It also develops a beautiful patina as it ages. Brass furniture, like our Kotti dining armchair, simply needs to be washed with a soap and water solution and rinsed off with clean water to maintain its appearance. Don’t polish the brass, as this will remove the beautiful natural patina.
Compact laminate is an incredibly durable material that offers a contemporary and clean aesthetic (our Porto dining range is a great example). It is a material requiring minimal maintenance and a clean with a damp cloth is usually all that’s required. Streaking can be avoided by rinsing and wiping the furniture dry, and if there is any buildup of grease and grime, a non-abrasive cleaning agent or soap solution should be used.
Woven in Belgium, our linens are tough, stain-repellent and showerproof, and because linen is a natural fibre, regular care is needed to ensure the fabric’s longevity. Linen cushions should be regularly vacuumed using low suction to remove dirt and loose debris. While the fabric can be washed using a machine, this should be at a maximum temperature of 104°F and with a mild, natural detergent free of any chlorinated bleach or bleach-like chemicals. Regular linen can be tumble dried on the lowest temperature, however our raw or slub linens must be allowed to line dry in a well-ventilated area.
It’s important not to allow dirt to remain on the fabric for a long time or leave your cushions in a water-logged state, as this encourages mould growth. Instead, they should be positioned on their side to allow any water to run off. Overall, linen covers are most suitable for sheltered outdoor areas such as balconies and verandas.
304 stainless steel is a corrosion and rust-resistant material, requiring low maintenance. Tea staining may occur on flat horizontal surfaces or where the furniture is located close to coastal environments. However, this does not affect its structural integrity and longevity.
To keep the material’s natural sheen, wash the furniture down regularly and apply a stainless-steel cleaner (available at hardware stores). In very saline environments such as coastal areas, extra cleaning is needed to maintain the polished appearance.
Teakwood is a highly durable hardwood, known for its stability. The resins within the timber contain oils that are both water resistant and repellent to insect attacks, allowing it to last for many years outdoors with little to no structural deterioration.
The natural color change from golden brown color tones to a silvery grey patina does not affect the timber’s durability or strength. To get the best out of your teak furniture, we recommend that the teakwood is left in its natural state, without the application of oils or varnishes. These are difficult to maintain and may encourage mould growth.
As with indoor furniture, regular cleaning is a must to keep teakwood free from pollens and dirt. Teak furniture should be brushed off and wiped with a damp cloth, with extra attention paid to horizontal surfaces. Remember that the timber is a natural, organic material and may be subject to mould growth in certain conditions.
Teak can be refreshed periodically by using an appropriate teak or deck-cleaning solution and sanding it lightly using 400 grit sandpaper.
Weave and strapping
Both of these synthetic materials which you’ll find on furniture such as our Balsa, Claybourne and Hayfield ranges are highly fade-resistant, also drying easily after rain. They can be cleaned with a mild soap and clean water solution, applied with a soft brush. Abrasive agents or scouring pads should not be used, as scratches can remain on the surface.
Visit our Learning Library to find more tips for refreshing your furniture across the seasons.