There are several considerations in choosing the best marine upholstery, including the proposed use as well as the environment to which the material will be exposed. All marine upholstery should be waterproof and mildew resistant, and if the upholstery will not be covered or inside an enclosure, ultraviolet ray resistance is a must. Whether the watercraft will be in fresh water or salt water is another factor when deciding on the right marine upholstery to use. After all of the precautionary weatherproofing is decided, you want to pick a design that suits your particular style.
Canvas is a material commonly used in marine upholstery because of its strength and durability. This fabric is also commonly used as a protective cover for boats, cars, and other vehicles that need protection from the elements. Canvas is unique in that it has good strength but is able to breathe. This porous fabric tends to stay cooler in the sun while still maintaining its durability. Canvas is typically available in almost any color or style and is reasonably priced.
Vinyl is another popular fabric for aquatic vessels. This is a type of plastic, so it can be custom designed for almost any size, style, or color needed. This material can be treated and cleaned very easily and is a good choice for exterior use. It is important to remember that vinyl tends to be very hot when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time and will crack if not treated on a regular basis. Due to the great waterproof aspects of vinyl, it can be hosed down on a regular basis; therefore, the effects of salt-water damage can either be avoided or prolonged with this material.
Leather is a popular material for almost any upholstery job; however, when exposed to water and sunlight, it will crack fairly quickly. There are products that can be applied to leather to make it more weather resistant, but the process can be expensive and time consuming. While this is a desired fabric for many different applications, it is not the best choice for marine upholstery.
There are many different options for marine upholstery that can express your unique style and design. Make sure when deciding on the perfect material for your needs that you consider sun exposure, waterproofing, and salt-water damage. As with any fabric purchase, always consider the durability and practicality of the material.