Marine upholstery is different than other types of upholstery because it must withstand harsh outdoor conditions, such as overexposure to sunlight and the elements. For this reason, marine-grade fabrics must be stronger, durable and low maintenance. Some different types of marine upholstery include marine-grade vinyl, laminated and acrylic fabrics, as noted by Gary's Upholstery Products LLC.
Marine upholstery is typically used for awnings, boat seating areas and boat cushions. Extreme heat, saltwater and moisture can damage normal types of upholstery fabrics used in home furniture. However, marine upholstery is designed to withstand heat and repel moisture conditions. A very common type of fabric used on marine vessels is marine-grade vinyl, such as Boltaflex, Nautolex, Enduratex and Morbern brands. Boltaflex has a protective finish that makes it easier to clean.
Some other marine fabrics used for marine upholstery are acrylic canvas and laminated fabrics. The Sunbrella brand offers dyed acrylic canvas-type fabric that is suitable for seating and bunk beds. Herculite is a brand of laminated fabric that comes in a variety of colors. Different types of Herculite fabric products are designed to meet certain physical properties or performance criteria. For example, Herculite 20 is for medium applications duty and has properties, such as ultraviolet resistance and impermeability, according to Gary's Upholstery Products LLC. Herculite 80 is for heavy-duty use. Besides its use as marine upholstery, Herculite products have other applications in other industries, including the aerospace, petrochemical and agriculture sectors.