How Olefin is Made
Olefin is a synthetic (man made) fabric that is derived from ethylene and propylene. It was first developed in Italy in 1957. Olefin is manufactured by melting the chemicals and feeding them through a spinneret (a large shower-head like device) to form long fibers. Olefin is difficult to dye once it has been formed, so it is usually solution-dyed with the colors being added directly to the polymers before or during melting.
The production of olefin is very environmentally friendly. The production process results in very little by-product, meaning that it creates nearly no waste. Also, the fiber itself is recyclable and can be re-extruded up to 10 times..
Olefin is a manmade fiber that is typically used along with other fibers to create outdoor fabric blends. It is often used in outdoor furniture and for a variety of other applications, including house wrap, marine coverings and clothing. Depending on its chemical structure, olefin may also be referred to as polyethylene or polypropylene. It is manufactured in a similar manner as polyester and nylon. The chemicals used are melted and fed through a shower-head-like device called a spinneret head to form long fibers. Olefin typically has a smooth texture and is usually solution-dyed. It is a durable fabric that dries quickly and resistant to weathering, chemicals, stains and mildew..
to- SUN is a solution dyed olefin fabric, which means it goes through the same process as Sunbrella to make its color. Olefin is also a mildew resistant, quick drying, and water repellant fabric. Another benefit is that it is resistant to chlorine. Though olefin is a lesser known fabric than acrylic, its best feature is that it is MORE DURABLE and wears less over time!
Why Olefin is Great
Wicks moisture and dries quickly
Resists fading, mildew, chemicals, and insects
Highly stain resistant
Good abrasion resistance
Easy to clean
Uses for Olefin Fabrics
Olefin fabrics are versatile for a variety of applications. They are used in automotive interiors; home furnishings such as patio cushions, upholstery, and wall coverings; and industrial uses like disposable non-woven fabrics, filter fabrics, bags, and geotextiles.
Drawbacks to Olefin
Olefin is very heat sensitive and the fabric can break down and melt in extremely high temperatures. This isn’t a problem for day-to-day use, but does mean it requires a little extra care when cleaning. After washing olefin fabrics they should be line dried or tumble-dried with gentle or no heat. Also, in general, avoid ironing olefin. If you must iron, use the lowest temperature setting available.
Olefin as a basic fabric also is sensitive to sunlight. However, most olefin fabrics that are manufactured for outdoor purposes have stabilizers added to counteract this problem..