Sunbrella fabric, boating, pantyhose and the moon…
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Sunbrella fabric, boating, pantyhose and the moon…

Go to Sunbrella’s page on Skipper’s Review

Sunbrella fabrics have been a household name in outdoor fabric for a long time, yes in furniture but of course also in the marine industry. Boat and yacht seating, bimini tops etc. Why has Sunbrella been the go to product for so long and what does Neil Armstrong have to do with it?

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: Hey Sarah O’ Kelly here with Skipper’s Review TV. I’m at the West Palm Beach International Boat Show 2019 here in Florida. Absolutely gorgeous day and I am with William McDaniel.

SUNBRELLA: Bill McDaniel,  Glen Raven Custom Fabrics.

SKIPPER’S REVIEW:  One of those fabrics being Sunbrella. This is not exactly an exciting topic but it is a topic that we can all relate too. We’re gonna talk about the Marine end of things, bimini tops, cushion covers.  How did Sunbrella come up with and stay at the top of the line as far as no mildew, color not fading, you can scrub it with whatever? 

How long has Sunbrella been in production?

SUNBRELLA:  Glen Raven is a hundred and fifty year old textile company. Sunbrella was founded in 1960 so we’re a 50 year old plus, product. The unique thing about Sunbrella is  the color actually is an integral part of the fiber. When the fiber is extruded or it’s formed, the colors are put in prior to that. In clothing, for instance,  the fibers are formed and then it’s dyed after the fact.  We could use a radish as an example of how our cloths are dyed in the fact the color doesn’t go all the way through. The durability, the performance, all of those characteristics are built into the fiber. 

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: What about the factor of no mildew, how come there’s no mildew, mold all that?

SUNBRELLA: Well again, being a man-made fiber, mold and mildew is actually a microorganism so it has to have a food source or a protein source to be able to actually grow and and to live. If something gets onto the fiber or onto the fabric,  if you spill something and don’t clean it off or whatever, then it has a potential for mold and mildew to grow.  No need to worry if that happens because you can use a hundred percent bleach on Sunbrella. Bleach has no effect on the color or the strength and it’ll kill the mold and clean it right up.

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: So Sunbrella is a household name when it comes to outdoor fabrics and coverings, how did it start, how did it end up becoming what it is now?

How is the moon connected to Sunbrella?

SUNBRELLA: Well our company, Glen Raven, just a real brief history we started out life as a hosiery mill. One of our founders invented the pantyhose. The flag that’s on the moon is made from fabrics made in the Glen Raven company. We transitioned into the awning business prior to 1960. A fiber manufacturer came to us and said we have this unique product we’d like for you to look at for outdoor applications.  That’s how it got started.  At that point it was two or three different styles and colors and now it’s literally hundreds if not thousands.

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: Do you have any other newer products coming on the market or you still have the standard of what you’ve been offering for a number of years?

SUNBRELLA: Actually this year, very excited about this, it’s a product called Horizon. It’s a vinyl based product that has a five-year warranty against loss of color or strength or any kind of atmospheric intervention.  Uniquely, Horizon also has a three year warranty against bacterial staining or pinking. If Horizon does stain or pink within the three year time span, we  have a $40 per yard labor allowance to correct that. So it’s the first time in the history of the company that we have a sunbrella branded product that’s not woven and it’s complementary to the fabrics that we do weave so we’re very excited about that and it’ll be available in just a very short time.

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: What kind of uses will that be used for you think?

What is so great about Sunbrella’s new product, Horizon?

SUNBRELLA: It’s primarily seating, so you can use it in a cockpit area. What we like to say is Sunbrella is imminently cleanable but it’s not necessarily wipeable. This product is something you can wipe off if something gets on there. Typically if you get to it early enough you can wipe anything off  Sunbrella. If you don’t get to a stain right away on Sunbrella it is washable but not wipeable.  Horizon is always wipeable and that’s what we were after

SKIPPER’S REVIEW: All right, well thank you so much Bill. Thank you guys for watching and Sarah O’Kelly at Skippers Review TV at the West Palm Beach International Boat Show 2019

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