Thanks to great strides in technology, the latest outdoor furniture and decor mix functionality with design-savvy aesthetics. Fully upholstered outdoor lounge suites can now be left outside without having to compromise on style and comfort. Katrin Hermann-Van Dyk, marketing director at Hertex, shares tips for choosing chic fabrics for patio and outdoor settings.

Q: What should you look out for when selecting an outdoor fabric?
A: Ensure it’s made of synthetic fibres produced especially for outdoor purposes, usually solution dyed acrylic or olefin.

Q: Why synthetic fibres?
A: These fibres are known for their colourfastness. If the fabric will be exposed to direct sunlight, make sure it has a high light fastness with a rating of 7 to 8 and is easy to care for.

Q: What about stain resistance?
A: Fabric with a stain-resistant finish like Teflon is first prize. This water-based finish provides water and oil repellence and protects fabrics against spills and stains. The fabric doesn’t absorb the spill and instead forms a bead, which lies on top of the fabric or rolls off it.

Q: How can you protect fabrics against a shaded or damp environment?
A: Choose an outdoor fabric that’s treated with a mildew-resistant finish.

Bianca Ungerer of Marlanteak shares some of the latest outdoor furniture and accessory trends.

Q: What are the latest colour trends in patio and outdoor furniture?
A: Mid-tone hues like dusty pink, maroon, olive green, mustard and teal.

Q: And design?
A: There’s a movement towards more complex combinations of materials. For example, combining aluminium, timber and woven fabric elements to create a subtle eclectic aesthetic.

Q: What’s your secret antidote to a dull patio?
A: A vase of brightly coloured flowers on your outdoor dining table. It’s an easy way of inviting colour into your space.

Images (from left to right): Marlanteak and Canetime