The significant amount of time we spend at sea is a clear reflection that our boat is an extension of our home. It provides us with comfort and relaxation as we bask in the sun or watch in awe of the sparkling waters. This luxury is best enjoyed with fixtures and décor that perfectly fit to create a pleasant atmosphere.
In this sense, it is wise to carefully plan and select quality fabrics that can endure exposure to water, heat, and moisture and save from repairs.
To help you get through the endless choices of available marine fabrics, I listed down boat interior upholstery ideas you can refer to. This article includes information about each product, together with some buying guides and commonly asked questions about them. By the end of this post, you will have surely chosen the best marine upholstery fabric that matches your needs.
Table of Contents
- Best Marine Upholstery Fabric Reviews
- 1. Bry-Tech Marine1 White Upholstery Fabric
- 2. Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 3. VViViD White Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 4. Plastex Black Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 5. Payless Fabric Marine Vinyl Outdoor Upholstery
- 6. Bry-Tech Upholstery1 Black Vinyl Fabric
- 7. AquaGuard Teal Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 8. Bry-Tech Pleated Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 9. VViViD Grey Weatherproof Vinyl Fabric
- 10. Sunbrella Black Canvas Fabric
- 11. Bry-Tech Foam Backed Red Marine Vinyl Fabric
- 12. VViViD Blue Marine Vinyl Fabric
- What is Marine Upholstery Fabric
- How Does It Work
- Types of Marine Upholstery Fabrics
- Benefits of Using Marine Upholstery Fabric
- Buyer’s guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Marine Upholstery Fabric Reviews
1. Bry-Tech Marine1 White Upholstery Fabric
The first product is manufactured by Bry-Tech Distributors – one of the trusted brands when it comes to marine upholstery supplies. The Bry-Tech Marine1 Upholstery Fabric is a vinyl material that can handle all harsh elements in aquatic environments.
This fabric is specifically designed for water-based activities. Unlike commercial ones, this is designed to withstand extreme sunlight and moisture. Its coated surface can also repel water, making it suitable for outdoor use.
It is a heavy-duty material, yet we can easily install it by stapling or sewing. It weighs about 30 ounces per yard with a 1.10 mm thickness. This is why it has been a favorite in upholstering the seats of boats, motorcycles, ATVs, and home furniture even.
What’s fun about this model is its wide range of colors. You can also choose fabrics with diamond or carbon fiber textures if you want to upgrade from a solid color. Moreover, if you are a bit hesitant, fabrics are available in samples measuring 3 x 3 inches. You can match them with your upholstery and get a feel of their texture as well.
Once satisfied with your sample, you can get by the yard, which is 36 inches long and 54 inches wide. No need to worry about making flawless installations because longer yards can come in one continuous piece.
2. Marine Vinyl Fabric
If you have a passion for marine conservation, this option is for you. The Marine Vinyl Fabric is an environmentally conscious brand that offers enduring protection against water, mold, scratches, and sun exposure.
This is quite a heavyweight fabric, weighing 28 ounces per linear yard with a 0.95 mm thickness. The front part is made from PVC while its back is woven polyester fibers. That way, the fabric creates a soft finish while keeping your seats protected with its surface coating. The polyester backing allows it to be shaped firmly around surfaces without the worry of tear. Indeed, it is a good combination of durability, flexibility, and comfort.
I love the Marine Vinyl Fabric because it is a family-owned business run by people who love the outdoors themselves. They offer quality products at friendly prices because they know what the customers need and want.
Similarly, they allow a portion of their sales for charities on marine conservation. As an ocean lover, this gives me an immense feeling of fulfillment, knowing that my purchase helped a shared cause.
A yard of this is 36 inches in length and 54 inches in width. Ten yards or longer can be bought in one continuous roll. For shorter fabrics, they are folded and shipped in a box.
3. VViViD White Marine Vinyl Fabric
This boat upholstery material is produced by one of the biggest suppliers of vinyl and raw materials in the automotive industry. For a simple but clean look, the VViViD White Faux Leather Vinyl Fabric is a great option that allows long-lasting freshness even when exposed to water and dirt.
Designed to brave sea conditions, its top layer is made from PVC vinyl. This gives the fabric its high resistance to water, sunlight, and scratches. Also, its polyester mesh backing can tightly hug the surfaces it covers, ensuring extensive protection throughout the upholstery.
It claims to be a heavy-duty material, but it feels lighter than advertised. I have no problem with that because I like how light it is. Its front side feels good on the skin while its underside makes the fabric fall effortlessly around my cushions.
To add, I love its solid white color. It is undoubtedly the perfect boat interior fabric for a pristine look. No need to worry about getting dirt on this spotless material as any unpleasant filth can be removed with just a wipe.
4. Plastex Black Marine Vinyl Fabric
Interior design may seem like an overwhelming challenge. It involves a lot of color mixing and matching, plus you need to be wise in selecting a fabric with ample protection. You can keep it simple but elegant by creating a modern boat interior with the Plastex Black Marine Vinyl Fabric.
Universally, you can never go wrong with black. Hence, this fabric is an easy choice for boaters who struggle with colors. Besides, this marine upholstery fabric has a faux leather texture that makes it a sophisticated boat seat material.
Aside from making your cabin absolutely polished, this option ensures substantial protection. Similar to other materials, it has a PVC face and polyester backing. This gives the fabric a nice stretch all over your boat seats, keeping every part protected from dirt and stains.
Best of all, this heavy-duty piece is lighter in comparison to other marine fabrics. It weighs 13 ounces with about 1.1 mm thickness based on my measurement. It is pretty thick but soft, so it makes a good fabric for indoor seat covers.
5. Payless Fabric Marine Vinyl Outdoor Upholstery
You can expect a collection of beautiful colors when selecting the Payless Fabric Marine Vinyl Outdoor Upholstery. It varies from basic shades such as black, dark green, navy blue, to unique models like the turquoise, burgundy, lime green, and more.
As expected, this upholstery is made of Vinyl – a common material that promises long-lasting use in marine environments. We can confidently use this sheet for years to come without worry about mildew or mold. Also, there is a light pebble grain and a white knit backing on this fabric to increase its adherence.
We can use this product for various applications. On our boat, it will make fantastic seat cushions, auto interior, or ottomans. Also, the piece can withstand the UV rays despite being exposed under sunlight for prolonged periods. Hence, it can be the right choice for outdoor decorations.
Regarding its dimension, a yard of this sheet comes in 54 inches wide. But if you want to test its sample first, purchasing the swatch piece is recommended. With that, we can see if its color and quality matches our boat interior well enough. In my case, the navy model blends amazingly with my boat, boasting a sleek look.
6. Bry-Tech Upholstery1 Black Vinyl Fabric
Another contender that can achieve a monochrome theme is the Bry-Tech Upholstery1 Black Vinyl Fabric. It has a delicate texture with a smooth touch which makes it look and feel expensive. Also, the actual product comes close to the pictures posted online, so this model is trustworthy.
This boat seat cover material is a premium commercial grade material with a combination of a PVC top and polyester underside. Like most Bry-Tech models, it is also heavy-duty material. Weighing 29 ounces, it is a little lighter with 1.10 mm thickness.
Aside from black, this model also comes in different colors. You can add a hint color to your black theme to break the monotonous look. Still, black will forever be a timeless color that exhibits luxury.
As tough as it is, working with it is trouble-free. You can get five yards of this and install the fabric on your seats instead of hiring someone from an upholstery shop. With just a few yards, you will be surprised by your work of art just like how professionals do it.
7. AquaGuard Teal Marine Vinyl Fabric
If you are more into light colors, then the AquaGuard Teal Marine Vinyl Fabric is a delightful alternative for you. This alternative is a pop of life that will match the sunny weather at sea. Aside from teal, this also comes in other dainty shades such as mint, sky blue, turquoise, and ivory.
As light as it seems, this tough material for boat seats. It weighs 34 ounces but has a thickness of 0.95 mm only. I am still processing how heavier but thinner it is compared to other boat upholstery materials, but I have to move on because it works with effectively how it is.
More importantly, this fabric is certified marine grade. Resembling most upholstery fabrics, this product can be used to accessorize not only boat seats but also bags, shoes, and furniture. But what makes this oustanding over regular vinyl fabrics is its solid protection from water and cuts.
With a blend of PVC and polyester materials, the waterproof front side shields the upholstery from abrasions and heat while the woven backing provides elasticity that prevents the fabric from tearing up.
8. Bry-Tech Pleated Marine Vinyl Fabric
Having a hard time manually folding thick vinyl fabrics just to get that pleated design? In case you don’t know yet, the Bry-Tech Pleated Marine Vinyl Fabric is already available! This fabric is a uniquely textured boat seat fabric that can fight mold, heat and tension all in one piece.
Akin to the Marine 1 model, this model is weatherproof. This PVC-coated polyester fabric has repellant properties that protect boat upholstery from sun and moisture. In addition, this material will prevent the formation of molds on surfaces, keeping boat seats safe from mildew and stains.
But what makes this distinctive is its pleated design. The pleats run vertically every 1.5 inches across one yard. It is a great material for boat seats because it exactly fits the backrest upholstery. Plus, it gives an elongating appearance that adds a little personality to them.
This is a perfect choice for boaters who prefer a clean and classic interior. Instead of keeping it safe with plain white, you can accent your boat accessories with this textured material. This can be used as an insert in your boat seats, making them more refined and flawless.
Aside from aesthetic purposes, its polyester padding gives a soft touch to the fabric. This mesh backing is also resistant to molds, serving as extra protection against possible mildew stains and smells. This way, you won’t have to fret about deep-seated spots that may grow within your seats.
9. VViViD Grey Weatherproof Vinyl Fabric
If you’re indecisive between a spotless white or deep black motif, just go for the middle and choose the VViViD Grey Weatherproof Marine Vinyl Fabric. This option has a neutral shade that creates a cool atmosphere together with the soothing sounds of the ocean waves. Its PVC side is also adorned with a leather finish that supplements the elegance of the color grey.
For your information, this product works well with chairs, cushions, and pillows. It is one of the softest marine vinyl materials I have seen. It has a polyester mesh backing that allows the fabric to drape gracefully over the boat upholstery. I like its lightness since it makes the boat stay more relaxing.
Moreover, the fabric underside is also friendly with the material on contact. Thus, the piece can be easily stapled on soft surfaces like wood. For this reason, it has also been used for restaurant chairs and table covers, apart from boat use.
Similar to its white counterpart, this boat seat cover material is spill-proof. If you’re still anxious about the imaginary stains in your head, then this grey fabric is a safe pick. This can also be cleaned with a damp cloth without causing discoloration on the surface.
10. Sunbrella Black Canvas Fabric
We are almost done with the list but all interior fabrics for boats mentioned are made with PVC vinyl. Some users might not be fond of this material as it seems a little synthetic and gives off an industrial vibe. To make your cabin homey, get a hold of the Sunbrella Black Canvas Fabric.
This option is a durable commercial grade material. It is a breathable fabric that can withstand harsh sunlight without fading its rich color. This is perfect in decorating a boat cabin with beautiful seat cushions, throw pillows, and drapery. Truly, it lives up to its creative name on sun proofing.
Moreover, boat owners even use this for their outdoor boat deck seat covers. Its acrylic material can resist heat and moisture, keeping molds from growing on the surface. However, seats should be stored indoors after use to maintain the quality of the fabric.
Aside from boat accessories, its white model is commonly used as a sail. This marine upholstery fabric is a medium weight material, but it has a soft flow and sturdy grip. It can effortlessly face strong winds and beat the harsh sun, upholding the integrity of your boat sails.
One downside of this sailboat upholstery fabric is its cleaning and maintenance requirements. Unlike the previous vinyl fabrics, it may need brushing and soaking depending on dirt or stain buildup.
11. Bry-Tech Foam Backed Red Marine Vinyl Fabric
Last but not least from its family is the Bry-Tech Foam Backed Red Marine Vinyl Fabric. It is a reliable protective upholstery that will give you the extra comfort that you’ve been searching for.
Equally impressive as its peers, this marine grade upholstery fabric that guarantees protection rain or shine. It has a water-resistant surface that can tolerate moisture and prevent attracting the spread of mildew. Any sight of dirt or mold on its smooth exterior can be easily eliminated with a damp cloth.
But what makes it special is its thicker foam backing. This gives the fabric a smoother appearance and touch that will make you want to snooze inside your boat a little longer. If you’re already impressed with the softness of the former Bry-Tech products, then will not get enough of this boat seat fabric.
This marine fabric allows safe use and storage all year. Its PVC vinyl has no trouble with catching some sun and heat during summer. Similarly, it can handle the dropping temperatures that cause drying and cracking of fabrics during winter. This way, you get to save money and time from replacing your worn upholstery.
If you still prefer other colors, then you have 40 more shades to choose from. Best of all, all their fabrics share the same color spectrum. So if you want to upgrade your existing Bry-Tech fabric with this one, there’s no more need to go to the actual store to match that little fabric cut-out painstakingly. Just go online and select this foam-backed model in your first color choice.
12. VViViD Blue Marine Vinyl Fabric
A bonus item that is worth the mention the VViViD Blue Marine Vinyl Fabric. This item is a matchless because of its beautiful ocean-like shade. This royal blue material has a faux leather finish that just beams with sophistication and taste. Such a material is ideal for bags or earrings because of its exquisite color and quality.
Standing up to its reputation, this marine upholstery fabric has a weatherproof PVC coating that shields surfaces from water, UV, dirt, scratch, and dirt. It is a versatile material for both indoors or outdoors to protect furniture and upholstery. Combined with the softness of its polyester backside, it will also keep you comfortable even during the summer heat.
Furthermore, blue is a great color for boat interior. It forms a connection between the sea and the boat. It perfectly blends with scenic sky and turquoise water, creating a picturesque sight from where you sit. Together with whites and intricate anchor designs, you can also create your nautical boat theme.
As an avid boater, I am absolutely excited to use this as my next boat interior look. When at sea, I enjoy hanging around the boat deck with my feet kicked up to get a relaxing view of the serene water. It’s amazing that I can finally replicate this vibe inside my very own cabin with this colored fabric.
What is Marine Upholstery Fabric
Essentially, marine upholstery fabric is a material that is used to cover in every part of the furniture in a water-based vehicle, including its seats, threads, and foams. Just like regular upholstery fabric, it protects against dust and grime to prolong the useful life of the furniture.
Meanwhile, this marine upholstery fabric is specifically designed to withstand extremely harsh elements in an aquatic environment, including high humidity, direct sun exposure, and frequent water contact.
Hence, it is usually made with a coated front side and polyester backing. The former blocks off unwanted filth, while the later keeps the material together. These two work together to allow durability and flexibility that ensure total coverage while preventing overstretching that may damage the fabric.
How Does It Work
If you’ve reached this section of the post, chances are that you are looking for do it yourself marine upholstery ideas to replace your damaged or faded boat furniture fabric. I am glad to share that upholstery is a project that you can do yourself. Take note, however, that you will need time and determination to finish this job. In the end, the beautiful result will be worth the sweat.
The first thing to do is to take measurements of the parts that need covering. It is necessary to add allowances to all sides of at least four inches. These excess portions will be tucked in to hold the fabric in place.
Based on your measurements, purchase the fabric you will be needing. Fabrics are usually sold by the yard or 36 x 54 inches wide and long respectively. Plan your desired fabric size by imagining how you will be cutting the pieces for each part. Make sure to buy extra fabric in cases you need more.
To remove the old fabric, carefully remove the staples, screws, or nails. Safeguard the foams and paddings as they are delicate materials. You should pay attention to how the fabric was attached so you do the same with your new fabric.
With your purchased fabric, just cut the pieces and attach them one. Use a staple gun as it is relatively easy to use when securing the material. Once done, cut out the excess fabric, and you are done!
Types of Marine Upholstery Fabrics
The two common types of marine upholstery fabrics are vinyl and acrylic. Both materials provide the protection and toughness required for marine use. Their main distinction lies in the material and
- Vinyl marine upholstery fabric
Vinyl is always my first option for boat interiors. Made from PVC and polyester mesh, this may be the sturdiest upholstery material for aquatic use. It is a popular choice among boat owners because of its weatherproof and water-resistant properties against moisture, mold, and abrasions.
This can be easily cleaned by just wiping off filth, making it more versatile for indoor and outdoor use as compared to acrylic fabrics, which I will discuss below. Besides, numerous boaters prefer this type for its leather texture. It creates an up-to-date aesthetic appeal without sacrificing the quality of the boat.
On the downside, its material is more constricting, which makes it challenging to stretch. It may be prone to wear and tear especially when tightly installed and frequently used.
- Acrylic marine upholstery fabrics
This second boat material upholstery is manufactured by coating woven fabric into an acrylic coating. This results in a light canvas-like appearance that creates a homey and laid back atmosphere. This material is softer than vinyl, why this is common for sails and cushions.
As mentioned, this is less versatile because its cleaning requirements make it ideal for indoor use. Unlike vinyl, this requires soaking or washing to clean off dirty spots. It may be used for outdoor furniture if regular care and maintenance will be administered.
Then again, this is proven to be a sunproof material that preserves the color of the fabric. It is admirable for the breathable property that makes it an ideal accessory for furniture.
Benefits of Using Marine Upholstery Fabric
Your boat seat cover is more than an accessory. It is an indispensable part of your boat that should be taken seriously given its intended protection and visual prominence. Hence, careful selection of a first-rate marine fabric is crucial because it is a long-term investment.
In detail, here are the top benefits of using the right boat upholstery fabric:
- It is the first line of defense against everything. We are well aware of the risks our boat faces every time we head out in the sea: water, sun, mud, and mold. Instead of stressing out, your boat seat covers take care of these problems. As repeatedly said, they are highly resistant marine grade materials. They are also easy to clean in case they get soiled.
- It preserves the original appearance of your boat interior. Instead of seeing prominent cracks and worn surfaces due to the test of time, your boat seats will look good as new every time you get on board. Marine fabrics can resist varying temperatures of different seasons. So, your boat is kept safe, whether used or kept in storage throughout the year.
- You spend less money and time. You may have read or heard of boaters who already replaced their boat upholstery after a few months only. It’s upsetting to land on the wrong product. You can get the most from your money’s worth by choosing a marine fabric with the most effective results.
As pointed out above, marine upholstery is a multi-functional part of your boat. But you can only reap its maximum benefits if you wisely look into the different considerations that will cater to your needs. See below the distinct features of boat interior fabric that you may want to have for your own:
This is the first thing to consider when choosing a piece of fabric for boat seats. Between commercial grade or marine grade one, you have to choose the latter because it is equipped with dependable features that are extremely important during marine use. Regular vinyl fabrics are reliable, but they have limited properties that may jeopardize the quality of your upholstery.
I have discussed earlier that marine upholstery fabrics usually come in two forms: vinyl and acrylic. They slightly differ in terms of strength, versatility, and appearance. Ultimately, both materials are tremendously helpful in furniture protection. Refer to the discussion on types of material for their thorough comparison.
- Water resistance
Of course, your boat interior material should be able to block water from seeping through. Even a tiny drop can encourage mold formation that will eventually grow into a large colony if unnoticed or left unattended. Fabrics have different levels of permeability. It is best to choose one that is completely waterproof to protect every layer up until the innermost part.
Similarly, it should safeguard your boat fixtures throughout the year. They should be able to bear excruciating heat and negative temperatures. This protects the fabric from deterioration and discoloration, ensuring long-lasting protection and staying away from frequent upholstery repairs.
- Ease of Cleaning
Regular care and maintenance are imperative to prolong the life of your boat seats and cushions. This thought seems demanding, but upholstery covers are cleaned with minimal effort. You won’t need fancy equipment to look after them. Even with just a clean cloth, you are good to go.
Boat upholstery materials are generally sturdy for marine use. But then again, their varying thickness and material affect pliability which could either make or break the fabric. Although this also depends on the intensity and nature of activities that the material will be ideal for particular applications. It is better to choose a fabric tested to be useful for your purpose.
Care and Maintenance
The time you spent to pick out the top-rated marine upholstery fabric will be a waste without a proper maintenance routine. If you keep taking your boat interiors for granted, it will eventually degrade and lower the value of your boat. Make it a habit to pamper your boat with these three simple tips.
- Invest in a superior material for your boat in the first place. In particular, choose between a vinyl or acrylic marine-grade fabric. Both options offer high levels of durability, flexibility, and comfort required for marine use.
- Wipe seats after each use. While boat covers are water-repellent, this does not mean that they make water vanish into air. So, always bring an absorbent rag with you when going out for a sail and meticulously dry seats before storage.
- Correspondingly, purchase a mildew cleaner. This is a reliable product that guarantees the removal of unsightly mold and musty odor. I have already previously shared a post about the best finds you can use. Refer to this article for their benefits and instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes the best marine upholstery fabric?
Boat upholstery is a niche market need, but there are plenty of well-known brands that can help you with your concerns. No need to cross waters just to search far and wide because they can be easily reached online.
Here are trustworthy manufacturers that specialize in marine upholstery:
- Bry-Tech Distributors
- Marine Vinyl Fabric
These brands are highly dependable suppliers of raw materials for aquatic vehicles. They tailor marine fabric for boats to make them strong, adaptable, and invincible in the best possible ways. Many boaters have tried and tested these brands on their own. I can also attest that my purchases from these manufacturers are some of the significant investments I did for my boat.
What is the difference between marine vinyl and regular vinyl?
Both marine vinyl and regular vinyl are suitable materials for outdoor upholstery because of their durability and resistance. However, the former is specially developed to possess properties that combat UV and mildew. Hence, marine vinyl is the best choice for boats given their intense exposure to moisture, water, and sunlight.
What is the best material for boat seats?
Marine-grade vinyl is a go-to fabric for boat seats. It has a PVC component that resists water, mildew, and abrasions. Partnered with a mesh backside, it is also a flexible but durable fabric that guarantees full and lasting protection of your whole upholstery. The long-term quality of your boat seats is sure-fire with vinyl.
What is the best fabric for boat cushions?
I recommend Sunbrella marine fabric for your boat cushions because of its softer and lighter choices. Its acrylic-coated polyester fabrics are breathable materials with a canvas look that will add a touch of home and comfort in your boat.
Where can I buy marine upholstery fabric?
The best place to buy upholstery fabric is Amazon. It is a convenient online platform to view every product color, brand, and deal without going through rows of ceiling-high shelves or getting a whiff of the prominent smell of synthetic leather just to find the best wholesale prices near me.
You also won’t struggle to carry a heavy roll of fabric back home. Smoothly handle all transactions online through this website. All you have to do next is sit back and relax until your order is delivered right to your doorstep.
As a whole, boat interior design is a fun and exciting process. You just pick out a theme and work your way from there. Marine fabrics are generally hard-wearing, versatile, and waterproof. They are also easy to install and maintain. From the list of products enumerated here, you can easily choose one that will cater to your preferences and intended use.
As much as I’d love to, declaring the best marine upholstery fabric among them is impossible because each item is unique in its way. With the best of my ability, I can only present some of the finest materials you can use for your boat by discussing some of the advantages and disadvantages that I have encountered with them. You may consider these product reviews in making your final decision.
I have also shared a list of considerations that can serve as your buying guide when deciding on material. If you have more questions in mind, you can refer to the FAQs and read on common upholstery concerns among boaters. Hopefully, this post will make boat interior design stress-free and exciting for you.