11 Facts to Choose Outdoor Fabric by the Yard

I needed to select outdoor fabric by the yard. When I did it, I understood that many factors should be considered for a proper outdoor fabric. Waterproof fabrics are the most suitable for this task, and I have lined up all in detail about my selection.

When you select outdoor fabric by the yard, you should identify these behaviors such as high waterproofness (>10K) and low breathability (<10K), UV resistance, thermal resistance, durability, shading less, easy to use, more comfortable and easy to clean.

Let’s see how these characteristics directly affect the selection of the best outdoor fabric by the yard. You had better read on for more detail.

01. Waterproofness of the Material

Outdoor umbrella
Outdoor umbrella

This is the main factor you should know when you select an outdoor fabric. Waterproofness is the key to outdoor usage. If you need to make any kind of furniture, tent, covers and many more outside. It should withstand rain as well as snow. Snow and rain both contain water. So major factor is to stop the water from leaking inside with fabric.

Let’s see how the waterproofness of the cloth is measured. Here we used the static column test. It is a 1-inch diameter water column and closed with fabric on one end. When the water height is increased, pressure will be increased. The end of the column is closed with fabric. So when the pressure is increased, water tries to leak throughout the fabric.

According to the rain and snow pressure, waterproofness will be varied. You can see it above the image. So when you select the waterproof fabrics, you had better select the high-value waterproofness fabrics. It will be waterproof in heavy rain.

If you love the environment, these 07 Best Eco-Friendly Waterproof Fabrics will be very usefull.

static column test
Water Column Test Images credit: Powder7

02. Breathability

Breathability is transferring the amount of vapor through 1 Sq.m of fabric per day. It is measured 0 – 20,000g. If there is a higher amount of water transferring, it is more breathable. So when you select the fabric for the yard, does it necessary to consider the breathability?

Probably I think yes. Because the covers, tent, and especially jackets need good breathability. So the excess water should be removed quickly. Therefore it is very important. When considering both wateproofness and breathability, you have to spend the higher cost for the waterproofing fabrics.

According to the international standards, there are two test methods: the upright test method and the Inverted test method. Most are used the inverted test method.

RangePerformance (g m−2 d−1)
Moderate10,000 to 20,000
Waterproof breathability

For wearing fabrics breathability is a measurement, how the extent to fabric can keep you warm. If there is a high value you will be less warm and low value you will be worm. There are some insulations inside the fabric to prevent this and keep you warm.

03. Water Resistance

Water resistance and waterproofness are different. Above I discussed waterproofness. But here it is, water resistance. Water resistance does not mean 100% waterproof. But it is certainly waterproof. So you can use it for any water resistance projects in the yard.

Water-resistance fabrics will leak water inside. Hence it can be used for cushion covers etc. It will wet inside and takes more time to dry. You can use water-resistant fabrics for table cloth covers and other outdoor fabrics. These 21 Best Waterproof and Water Resistant Fabrics can be used for your outdoor project.

There are some applications in the market. You can use it to increase the water-resistant of the fabrics. More than water resistant, we meet water repellent. So there is a difference in Water Repellent Fabrics Vs Waterproof Fabrics: See the Difference

05. UV Resistance

UV is another harmful ray for the materials. If the material is not UV resistant, it will be decay, and its strength will be reduced.

So when you select an outdoor fabric by the yard, you had better select UV resist fabrics. Sometimes colors will be changed due to this. There are coatings that you can apply to the fabrics. Those will resist the UV effect do it DIY.

06. Thermal Resistant

The yard fabrics can be directly open to the sunlight, and then they will be heated. When heating happens, it is difficult to use. You may have a bad experience with that. So I can show you that this effect is not good for outer usage. There are fabrics with thermal resistance. Those are covered with neoprene, silicone, ceramic, and refractory.

These coatings provide additional protection like UV resistance, and chemical wearing resistance with extreme durability. When you select a fabric, check yours is with these kinds of characteristics.

07. Color Changing (shading)

Use light color to minimize the color changing

When fabrics are used long-term, their color can be changed due to environmental effects. Color can be fired with sunlight. It will be reduced colors, and sometimes shading can occur. So better select less shading and less color change fabric with waterproofing for your yard. Else it will show an older look for the furniture.

08. Usability

Usability is the most important thing. Although all factors are matched and usability does not match what will happen. It is unable to use it. When you select a fabric, check whether it is pretty flexible and soft. Do not select hard fabric. So you will not be able to sew it by folding small parts.

As well as, this hard material will be water leak through the sewing needles ways. So better select soft fabrics with super adhesiveness.

09. Durability

Using waterproofing fabrics in the yard should be long-lasting. It should be durable without any problems. There are some coatings that you can apply to the fabrics. Those will protect the fabrics long-lasting.

10. Comfortability

What fabric we use for outdoor purpose it should be comforting. Some fabrics are insulated inside to increase comfortability. So select that kind of fabric. Sometimes folding sewing lines can be too hard, and it will reduce the comfortable hence when you prepare the covers reduce the sewing folding lines as much as possible.

11. Easy to Clean

This is one of the most important things we should think about. Outside, fabrics are quickly dirt. Hence it should be clean continuously. If you select the easy-to-clean fabric, you will no need to worry about it.

These all above factors are the most important factors that helped me a lot to select a better fabric for me. I lined up for your necessity. I hope they are very important to you. And also below are the waterproof fabrics you can use for your outdoor purpose.

When you wash a waterproof fabric, its waterproofness will reduce and you have to use DWR liquid to reactivate the waterproofness.


When you select a waterproof fabric for the yard, waterproofness is the main factor—more than that, there are above the factors I mentioned above. Hence, when selecting a fabric for the yard, consider all factors for the best selection.

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Owner Randy Organ

Randy Organ

I am Randy Organ, a researcher as well as 10 years experienced technician for home construction. My hobby is studying new problems and seek well technical and modern solutions. Water is an invaluable resource. But it hurt much more to many more industries. Structures and electrical are a few of them. Here I try to find ways and solutions for the water leaking