What is Olefin Fabric – Polypropylene Fabric | Olefin Fabric Uses

What is Olefin Fabric – Polypropylene Fabric | Olefin Fabric Uses

Olefin is a soft, lightweight woven fabric designed for outdoor use. Its refined appearance makes it an elegant fabric for your projects for indoor and outdoor use. Olefin fabric is made from synthetic materials known as polyfins. Tough, fade-resistant, stain-resistant, and durable, this fabric lends itself to many applications. Olefin can be made in a wide variety of weaves, textures, colors, and prints, making this fabric perfect for bringing pops of color to your indoor and outdoor environment.

Olefin fabric has a remarkable history in science. It was first manufactured in 1957 in Italy. Giulio Natta, a particularly skilled chemist, was the first to formulate olefin fibers suitable for many applications in the textile field. Natta and his partner Karl Ziegler won the Nobel Prize in 1963 for developing a method to transform polyfins into fibers using titanium as a catalyst.

what is olefin

Olefin Fabric uses

This outdoor fabric is perfect for projects where you want a durable fabric that stays soft and chic. The main olefin uses are:

  • Tapestry
  • Cushions and pillows
  • Curtains

Characteristics of the olefin fabric


The production of olefin fabrics is environmentally friendly. The manufacturing process creates very little waste and the fiber is 100% recyclable: it can be extruded again into a new yarn up to ten times.


Olefin is water-resistant, it has exceptional abilities when it comes to water. This fabric does not absorb mold and dries very quickly (If you live in an area with heavy rainfall, you can breathe because your cushions won’t stay soggy after a passing rain.)

Also repels mold and sweat, so you can be sure that you won’t get stuck to your chair on hot summer days.

Abrasion Resistant

Another side effect of the strength of olefin fabric is that it is resistant to abrasions and wear. This means that it won’t easily puncture or wear out in high-use spots.

UV and fade resistant

The outdoor fabric should not fade in the sun. Olefin Fabrics stay luminous and maintain their elegance over the years, whether the weather is nice or not.

The Advantages of Olefin Fabric – Olefin vs. Acrylic

Beyond these so many wonderful features, olefin is a soft, lightweight fabric. This makes it the perfect fabric for projects where you value comfort as much as durability. High-end olefin fabrics can compete with outdoor upholstery fabrics in terms of their aesthetics and pleasant-to-the-touch texture, yet they are still tough enough to meet outdoor demands. Olefin is incredibly stain resistant which is a real plus for families with kids and pets or anyone who likes to have fun.

Olefin vs. Acrylic

When weighing the pros and cons of outdoor fabrics, many people hesitate between olefin fabric and acrylic fabric, another fabric commonly used for outdoor cushions and upholstery.

The main difference is that acrylic is made from solution-dyed acrylic yarns, while olefin is made from solution-dyed yarns woven from polyolefin fibers. Both types of fabric are ideal for outdoor use, but the olefin has many advantages.

  • Better wear resistance: This fabric is more wear-resistant than acrylic, especially when it comes to abrasions.
  • A Wider Variety of Textures and Weaves: Compared to acrylic, olefin upholstery fabric is also available in a wider range of styles, textures, and weaves which opens up a whole world of exciting design possibilities for you.
  • Does not transmit static electricity: unlike acrylic, olefin is not prone to transmitting static electricity (a small detail, nonetheless important if you are resting on your patio furniture in shorts!).

How To Clean Polypropylene/Olefin Fabric

The olefin has few drawbacks. However, remember that this fabric is heat sensitive so, no tumble dry. Instead, let it air dry to keep its shape. If possible, also avoid ironing these fabrics. If you need to iron, please make sure you are using the lowest temperature available and use light touches.

Easy to Clean Olefin Fabric

Because stains don’t stick to the fabric and water runs right off of the fabric, olefin is very easy to clean. This makes it even more ideal for use in automobile interiors or on outdoor furniture, as it can stand up to spills and messes with ease. The only exception to this is oil-based stains. These may be difficult to clean from olefin fabric.

Fortunately, the olefin is easy to maintain: to keep this fabric impeccable, it is sufficient to wipe it from time to time with a cloth with soapy water.

Is olefin a good fabric?

Olefin fabric has many advantages: – These fabrics are extremely durable. – Spills and stains are easy to clean. Stain resistance and durability are a huge benefit if you have pets or children in your home.

What are olefin fabrics?

Olefin is another name for polypropylene fiber. Chemically speaking, polypropylene sounds like a complicated process, but is in fact a greener fabric than cotton, wool, silk, or rayon. Olefin, or PP, is a synthetic based polypropylene fabric that was first created in Italy in 1957.

Is olefin fabric a plastic?

Created in the 1950’s, Olefin (Polypropylene and Polyethylene are types) is a man made fiber that is created from plastic pellets that are melted, and then forced through a spinneret, which resembles a showerhead, creating the fiber, which is then spun into yarn and woven into fabric.

Is olefin a good fabric for a couch?

Olefin is becoming a popular choice for upholstery fabrics. This fabric is made from melted plastic pellets that are spun into yarn. The plastic fibers do not absorb water, which makes olefin naturally resistant to water-based stains. It is also extremely durable and resistant to mildew, abrasion, and fire.

Can olefin be washed?

Olefin can be washed in cold or warm water. Like most synthetic fibers, high temperatures in the washer can cause olefin fibers to melt and stick together, shrink, or deform. Always use cool or warm water when washing and cold water in the rinse cycle.

Which is better olefin or polypropylene?

Olefin is one of the most colorfast fibers on the market. However, since it is not as resilient as other fibers, polypropylene is better suited to low-profile loop (Berber) carpets in which there is less need for superior resiliency.

Is olefin fabric UV resistant?

Olefin is a fantastic umbrella fabric. Olefin has amazing UV resistance and dries quickly when wet. Olefin has been developed since the 1960’s so colors, texture, and style are available. This makes it perfect for outdoor design and entertainment areas.

Is olefin the same as polypropylene?

Olefin is the generic name for polypropylene, a synthetic fiber used to make many different products, including carpet. In the carpet industry, the terms are typically used interchangeably. It is far less expensive but it doesn’t last as long as other fibers and has poor resistance to soiling.

Is olefin the same as polyester?

Olefin is another type of carpet material, which is also known as polypropylene. Polyester carpet ranks in strength between nylon and olefin carpet and has a very low price tag. This type of carpeting will not result in any set of allergy, it is resistant to insects and moisture, and it is very easy to clean.

Is olefin comfortable on a sofa?

Olefin/Polypropylene: This is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear. It has no pronounced weaknesses.

What does olefin feel like?

What Does Olefin Fabric Feel Like? Olefin fabric is colorless and imparts a wax-like feel to the touch. This fabric feels new even after long use as it is a resilient fabric. Being stain-resistant, it keeps stains away from its surface.

What fabric is best for sofas?

Best Sofa Material Types

  • Leather. Leather is easy to clean. An age-old favourite, leather is a no-brainer when it comes to sofas of any style.
  • Linen. A tough and rough textile.
  • Cotton. Woven cotton fabric is durable.
  • Wool. Wool blends are durable and warm.
  • Leather. Classic brown leather.

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