Marine upholstery requires the use of materials that are waterproof, UV resistant and tolerant of other rough components found in water. There are a number of ways by which one can upgrade the marine upholstery of one's schooner, using a variety of fabrics and damp resistant materials. The fabric used in marine upholstery is produced keeping in mind the boating industry, and there are a number of factors affecting its features.
Taking into consideration the types of marine upholstery fabrics which are available in the market, it is essential to scrutinize the specific needs of the boat, and also the kind of fabric that is already in the craft, if the boat is being re-upholstered. The most important requirement of any material used on a vehicle for water transport is that it should be impervious to water, not only to slight moisture, but in case of accident, fully resistant to any kind of water. Equally significant is the necessity for the fabric to be able to withstand large amounts of heat and sunlight. While sailing in the water, a boat is also subjected to extremes of temperature, strong winds and other harsh elements. As such, upholstery for boats and ships must be chosen wisely and with precision.
The most appropriate and widely used fabric for marine upholstery is vinyl. It is a durable & waterproof and looks like leather. It is found in a wide variety of textures, colours and weights. Plasticizer, a chemical polymer, when added to polyvinyl chloride during the manufacturing process becomes vinyl. Vinyl fabric is usually available in three types – non-backed vinyl, non-expanded vinyl and expanded vinyl. Among these, expanded vinyl is usually preferred in marine upholstery as it contains additional treatments for better ultraviolet protection and prevents colour fading. It is also known as marine-grade vinyl and is finished with a coating that inhibits bacterial growth and mildew.
Laminated fabrics, including acrylic, are also used as a substitute for marine upholstery in Northern Beaches. Besides being waterproof and hard wearing, these fabrics can also withstand friction and flame, both of which are positive things on a boat. Acrylic furniture can be fashioned to look like canvas, and is waterproof and sun-proof.
For imparting more of an authentic look to the schooner, the furniture in it are mainly upholstered with mesh or string fabric. These are basically made of polyvinyl chloride and are found in a wide range of colours and makes.