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Color is the Most Important Factor in Choosing Outdoor Fabrics

When it comes to choosing an outdoor fabric, 98% of retailers and 100% of designers consider color to be very important to the customers according to a recent study by Casual Living. But what colors people choose depends on the type of chair and who you ask. According to retailers, just over three quarters of consumers like grays when it comes to cushions, while two thirds like blues, and slightly less than half like browns. When it comes to slings, just over seven in ten consumers like browns, and just less than seven in ten like grays, while not quite three in ten consumers like blues. When it comes to pillows things get a bit more colorful. A bit more than three quarters of consumers like blues, while slightly less than six in ten consumers like oranges, with reds trailing oranges by just a few percent.

However, if you ask designers, they feel fairly confident that blue is the most popular color for cushions, slings, and pillows, and expect blues to be the best selling color of 2016. Regardless of who you ask or what color you choose, customers are staying away from light fabrics that get dirty easily.

Given the fact that color is such an important factor in choosing a fabric, it should come as little surprise that consumers biggest concern with fabrics is fade resistance. 96% of retailers state that customers ask about fade resistance. The next biggest concern is how quickly the fabric dries, followed by stain resistance, mildew resistance, and then water resistance.

After color, the next most important factors in choosing a fabric according to retailers are durability, coordinating fabrics with a group, and design and pattern, all of which are important to 90% or more of consumers. Fabric softness and fell along with care and maintenance are both important to more than 80% of consumers. Surprisingly affordability is near the bottom of the list of important factors, with less than two thirds of consumer concerned about the price tag.

While only nine in ten retailers stated that design and pattern are important to consumers, all designers surveyed stated that design and pattern are very important to their customers. When it comes to cushions and slings, solid patterns are far and away the most popular. Stripes come next, for cushions they're popularity is about half that of solids, while for slings they're popularity is about a third that of solids. Abstract and geometric patterns are just about the only other design that get a modest amount of interest for cushions and slings. However, when it comes to pillows consumers are looking a lot of different patterns. Over three quarters of consumers consider abstract and geometric patterns for their pillows. Two thirds consider botanical, leaf, and flower patterns for their pillows. While just over half consider paisleys and scrolls, and just under half consider stripes. Animal prints, which receive interest from a little more than a third of consumers, also are more popular than solids which receive interest from one third of consumers who are buying pillows.

Off the floor fabrics and custom or special-order fabrics pretty much split the fabric market evenly. Retailers report that just over half of sales are for off the floor fabrics, while designers report that just over half of sales are for custom or special-order fabrics.

If you are in the casual furniture industry and are getting ready for a busy casual season ahead of you, now would be a great time to give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000. You will no longer need to worry about seasonal cash flow problems, and will have the confidence of working with a partner that has been factoring for the furniture industry for 30 years.

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