Marine Upholstery Fabric Types

Boat at a dock with sunset in the distance
  • 8-60 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-2,000

If you own a boat, there are many different ways in which you can enhance your marine upholstery with a range of fabrics and designs. Marine upholstery fabrics have to be made with the boating industry in mind, so it is not like you can buy some carpet or sofa material from your local outlet, and simply install it in your boat.

There are a number of factors which you will have to take into consideration when you are looking for the right kind of marine upholstery fabric for your boat.

Upholstery Needs

When you are looking at the types of marine upholstery available, you will need to consider the needs of the boat, and of the fabrics already in the craft. The primary need of any material which is used on a boat is that it be waterproof, not only to slight moisture, but in case of accident, fully resistant to any kind of water.

As well as this, you will also need a fabric that is tough, and able to withstand a lot of heat, and the full force of the elements. You are not only sailing the boat across water, but you are also exposing yourself to extremes of temperature, high winds, and other problems which a house upholstery would never experience. When considering the types of materials, you should then consider which is the best for your boat.

1. Vinyl

Large boat in a marina

Vinyl is the classic upholstery fabric for a boat, as seen on many 80's TV programs. Vinyl fabric is hard-wearing, and flexible, so you can fit it around any item that you need to be covered without losing too much. Modern vinyls for the boating industry are coated in a finish which is designed to protect the fabric from the elements and from dirt, so you will be able to use it in your boat for many years.

Vinyl is also available in a range of colors and textures, which means you can get modern-looking upholstery for your boat without compromising on toughness.

2. Laminate

Laminated fabrics, including acrylic, are also suitable for use in a boat. These types of marine upholstery, which includes brands such as Herculite, are not only waterproof and hard wearing, but are also resistant to flame and friction, both of which are very positive things on a boat. Herculite itself also has additional finishes which can make it antibacterial or anti-static, depending upon the type of environment you will be in. Acrylic furniture can be fashioned to look like canvas, and is waterproof and sunproof.

3. Mesh Fabric

upscale boat interior

If you want a more authentic look for your boat, then you could consider upholstering your furniture in a mesh or string fabric. These are often made of PVC, and come in a variety of makes and colors. Mesh fabric for boats has been designed to be quick-drying, and the actual fabric is vinyl, which is a good material for use on a boat.