Outdoor tablecloth: what material?
September 22, 2016 5:25 AM   Subscribe

I need to buy a fairly sturdy tablecloth for a small unshielded outside table in an area that's usually sunny, but where conditions range over the year from scorching hot / serious UV, to occasionally rainy and maybe a bit windy, to cold-but-not-(usually) freezing. What kind of material am I looking for?

In other words, what fabric or material option for a retail-available tablecloth is likely to degrade the least outside over time, especially in a very sunny climate?
posted by taz to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you intending to leave it on the table 24/7? Is there a reason why you can't bring it inside when not in use?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:56 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Certain grades of polyester with waterproofing backers are typically used for covering outdoor furniture, good quality covers will outlast temperature and uv and water.

something like this should do the trick.
posted by Karaage at 6:01 AM on September 22, 2016

A tablecloth made from a Sunbrella fabric shouldn't fade as much as other fabrics. Here's an example.
posted by Mouse Army at 6:43 AM on September 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Came in to say Sunbrella.
posted by vignettist at 8:05 AM on September 22, 2016

I have a regular polyester tablecloth (no waterproof backing) that I leave on my sunporch table all summer long. It does not fade, like cotton tablecloths have previously done . It dries very quickly (when I wash it), so it might meet your occasionally rainy criteria, too.
posted by sarajane at 8:24 AM on September 22, 2016

Oilcloth! It is harder to find but way way nicer than polyester and stands up like you wouldn't believe. There's been a piece of oilcloth on my porch table for about 4 solid years now and it's still in perfect shape. Granted my porch has a roof but still.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:45 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

+1 to Oilcloths.

We use it for outdoor catering all year round (including today!). Really durable and easy to wipe clean. Comes a wide variety of colours/designs.
posted by dogsbody at 7:25 AM on September 23, 2016

Thank you, guys. Sorry for the delay responding, but I had to wait for my order to come to see if it was workable. What I ended up getting was some lightweight coated ripstop nylon fabric that I came across while searching for oilcloth options on eBay. It was super inexpensive, so I figured I would give it a shot first to see if it would solve my issues. This is the sort of thing used for a variety of outdoor, camping, sailing, etc. uses, and it looks like it might weather the weather. If not, on to the oilcloth! Thanks again!
posted by taz at 4:38 AM on November 3, 2016

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