The Best Marine Upholstery Fabrics

It is wise to carefully plan and select quality fabrics that can endure exposure to water, heat, and moisture and save from repairs.

To help you get through the endless choices of available marine fabrics, we listed down boat interior upholstery ideas you can refer to. By the end of this post, you will surely have chosen the best marine upholstery fabric that matches your needs.

Top 1

Bry-Tech Marine1

It is premium marine-grade vinyl, UV resistant and mildew resistant. 

Top 2

VViViD White Vinyl Fabric

It is a high-quality marine vinyl material that is waterproof and easy to clean.

Top 3

Ottertex Marine Upholstery Fabric

It is made of 100% polyester, UV resistant, and waterproof. 

What is Marine Upholstery Fabric?

Essentially, marine upholstery fabric is a material that is used to cover every part of the furniture in a water-based vehicle, including its seats, threads, and foams. Just like regular upholstery fabric, it protects against dust and grime to prolong the useful life of the furniture.

Meanwhile, this marine upholstery fabric is specifically designed to withstand highly harsh elements in an aquatic environment, including high humidity, direct sun exposure, and frequent water contact.

Hence, it is usually made with a coated front side and polyester backing. The former blocks unwanted filth, while the latter keeps the material together. These two work together to allow durability and flexibility that ensure total coverage while preventing overstretching that may damage the fabric.

Types of Marine Upholstery Fabrics

The two common types of marine upholstery fabrics are vinyl and acrylic. Both materials provide the protection and toughness required for marine use. Their main distinction lies in the material and

     Vinyl marine upholstery fabric

Vinyl is always my first option for boat interiors. Made from PVC and polyester mesh, this may be the sturdiest upholstery material for aquatic use. It is a popular choice among boat owners because of its weatherproof and water-resistant properties against moisture, mold, and abrasions.

It can be easily cleaned by just wiping off filth, making it more versatile for indoor and outdoor use than acrylic fabrics, which I will discuss below. Besides, numerous boaters prefer this type for its leather texture. It creates an up-to-date aesthetic appeal without sacrificing the quality of the boat.

On the downside, its material is more constricting, which makes it challenging to stretch. It may wear and tear, especially when tightly installed and frequently used.

  • Acrylic marine upholstery fabrics

This second boat material upholstery is manufactured by coating woven fabric with an acrylic coating. It results in a delicate canvas-like appearance that creates a homey and laid-back atmosphere. This material is softer than vinyl, which is why this is common for sails and cushions.

As mentioned, this is less versatile because its cleaning requirements make it ideal for indoor use. Unlike vinyl, this requires soaking or washing to clean off dirty spots. It may be used for outdoor furniture if regular care and maintenance are administered.

Then again, this is proven to be a sunproof material that preserves the fabric's color. It is admirable for the breathable property that makes it an ideal accessory for furniture.

Benefits of Using Marine Upholstery Fabric

Your boat seat cover is more than an accessory. It is an indispensable part of your boat that should be taken seriously, given its intended protection and visual prominence. Hence, carefully selecting a first-rate marine fabric is crucial because it is a long-term investment.

In detail, here are the top benefits of using the suitable boat upholstery fabric:

  • It is the first line of defense against everything. We are well aware of our boat's risks every time we head out in the sea: water, sun, mud, and mold. Instead of stressing out, your boat seat covers to handle these problems. As repeatedly said, they are highly resistant marine-grade materials. They are also easy to clean in case they get soiled.

  • It preserves the original appearance of your boat interior. Instead of seeing prominent cracks and worn surfaces due to the test of time, your boat seats will look good as new every time you get on board. Marine fabrics can resist varying temperatures of different seasons. So, your boat is kept safe, whether used or maintained in storage throughout the year.

  • You spend less money and time. You may have read or heard of boaters who have already replaced their boat upholstery after a few months only. It’s upsetting to land on the wrong product. You can get the most from your money’s worth by choosing a marine fabric with the most effective results.

Buyer's Guide

    1. Grade: High-grade marine upholstery fabrics are designed to meet the specific requirements of the marine environment. This includes resistance to sun, saltwater, and moisture, as well as the ability to withstand heavy use and rough conditions.

    2. Material: Different materials offer different benefits and drawbacks when it comes to marine upholstery. Acrylic fabrics, for example, are colorfast and resistant to UV rays and fading, while polyester fabrics are durable, easy to clean, and quick-drying. Solution-dyed acrylic fabrics offer a combination of UV resistance, colorfastness, and durability, making them a popular choice for marine upholstery.

    3. Water resistance: It is essential that marine upholstery fabrics are water-resistant, as they will be exposed to water and moisture in the marine environment. Look for fabrics that have been treated with a water-resistant coating or have a tight weave that will prevent water from seeping through.

    4. Weatherproof: Marine upholstery fabrics should be weather-proof, meaning they are able to withstand extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions. This includes resistance to sun, wind, and rain, as well as the ability to maintain their shape and color over time.

    5. Ease of cleaning: Marine upholstery fabrics should be easy to clean, as they will get dirty from exposure to salt, sun, and moisture. Look for fabrics that can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water, and avoid fabrics that are prone to staining or discoloration.

    6. Durability: Marine upholstery fabrics should be durable and able to withstand daily use and exposure to the elements. Look for fabrics with high abrasion resistance, UV stability, and mildew resistance, as these features will help to ensure that the upholstery will last for many years to come.

care and maintenance

Marine upholstery fabrics require regular care and maintenance to keep them looking good and functioning properly. These fabrics are exposed to harsh outdoor elements and can quickly become damaged if not properly cared for.

    1. Cleaning: It is important to clean marine upholstery fabrics regularly to remove dirt, salt, and other debris that can cause damage. Use a mildew cleaner and water solution, making sure to rinse thoroughly. Allow the fabric to air dry completely before using it again. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive brushes that can damage the fabric.

    2. UV Protection: Marine upholstery fabrics are exposed to a significant amount of UV rays, which can cause fading and deterioration over time. To prevent this, use a UV-resistant protectant on the fabric regularly. This will help to keep the fabric looking vibrant and prevent damage from the sun.

    3. Chemical Exposure: Harsh chemicals, including suntan lotions, oil, and gasoline, can cause significant damage to marine upholstery fabrics. It is important to avoid exposing the fabric to these substances whenever possible. If exposure does occur, clean the fabric as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.

    4. Storage: When not in use, store marine upholstery fabric in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent moisture damage, mold, and mildew.

    5. Replacement: If the fabric is damaged or worn, it is important to replace it promptly. This will help to prevent further damage to underlying materials and keep the upholstery looking its best.