Marine Vinyl Blog

April 19, 2017

0 comments


What Is The Best Marine Vinyl?

So you’re in the market for marine vinyl and are trying to figure out which vinyl to use for your project.

That’s Wonderful!

You clearly care about your project and want to get the most out of your time and money.

99% of people know very little about marine vinyl. Most marine vinyl feels and looks the same so how do you pick out the best marine vinyl for your project? Well it’s your lucky day as you have come to an expert that will give you free and honest advice.

Marine Vinyl Brands 

 

So

If you’re ready to figure out what type of marine vinyl is right for your project, blast through this helpful guide.

To get started let’s start by breaking down the vinyl to better understand the material in greater detail. Most Marine Vinyl ranges in thickness from 0.06mm to 1.5mm thick.

You might ask yourself…is thicker better?

The answer might surprise you. Marine Vinyl consists of a few layers. And it’s these layers that determine the thickness, weight and overall quality of the vinyl. Let’s start by dissecting these layers of vinyl to better understand how each layer impacts the final product. 

First we will take a look at the bottom layer. It is usually a knitted polyester fabric, but it can also have a fuzzy backing. This layer is very important as it gives the vinyl extra durability and helps to prevent it from tearing. The backing also impacts the stretch of the vinyl. If the backing is woven slightly further apart it allows the vinyl to stretch further and be more flexible.

Marine Vinyl Polyester Fabric Knit Backing


Next there is a layer of adhesive. This adhesive attaches the backing to the foam layer. This glue has an important job because if this glue fails the backing can peel off from the foam. Some adhesives work better than others. It’s pretty rare for this layer to separate, but occasionally it will happen if the machine that heats and presses all these layers together was not hot enough.

Marine Vinyl Fabric Foam Layer
The next layer is a PVC expanded foam. This layer makes the marine vinyl thicker. It gives the marine vinyl substance. Have you seen one of those flimsy plastic table clothes with a fuzzy backing? It’s much more pliable and can be crumpled up and tossed around easily. These cheap table clothes and marine vinyl are very similar. The main difference is the table cloth does not have an expanded PVC foam layer.

 

Marine Vinyl feels stiffer and stronger as a result of this foam. This layer can be any thickness and changes the “feel” of the material. It gives the vinyl more bounce, flex and stretch depending on what type of expanded foam is used. Thicker more dense foam makes the material feel stiff while more pliable expanded PVC foam gives the material more flexibility and makes it easier to use. I have found the better marine vinyl’s are softer and more pliable, but are extremely durable.

The next layer is the outer vinyl skin. This skin is the most important as this is the outermost layer that you will sit, hold, wear or use on a daily basis. This skin is usually .05mm thick, but you will find some vinyls with a thinner and thicker skin. This skin can be smooth or textured to allow for different looks. Marine Vinyl fabric Outer Skin Layer

The skin is made of PVC and it’s how the skin is made that determines whether the material is considered marine grade vinyl. When the outer skin is made additional additives are used to make the material marine grade vinyl. These additives provide UV protection, prevent mold/mildew/bacteria growth, prevent yellowing and help prevent staining. Some brands apply a clear topcoat on the vinyl and trademark them with things like PermaGuard or PermaBlok3. Don’t be fooled, most marine vinyl has the same clear coat and this is a marketing strategy to help make their product stand out. As long as the additives are mixed into the vinyl the material will be considered marine grade and high quality vinyl. If these additives are not added you are looking at regular vinyl that would be used indoors.

Some experts will tell you the weight is the best way to determine the quality of a vinyl. It is a good indicator, but you still need to be careful. It’s very easy for manufacturers to use a thicker and heavier knit backing to add more weight to the vinyl. Some might think that thicker is better, but once again its very easy to adjust the amount of expanded foam in the vinyl to change the thickness.

Now let’s really take a closer look at the marine vinyl under a microscope to see how this plays out in real life. Here are 3 different marine vinyl’s from 3 different companies. The bottom vinyl is the most defined as each layer is a different color. You can also see that the bottom vinyl has a much thicker backing giving it much more weight. The other 2 vinyl’s have the same colored foam as the outer layer, but if you look close enough you can see where the foam becomes one solid piece. If you pick these up and know nothing about them it would be tough to know which one is the best as they all feel very similar.

 Marine Vinyl Fabric Under a Microscope

              Let's look closer!


So now you’re probably asking yourself…if the weight and thickness are not good indicators to determine good vinyl what should I be considering?

There are two simple ways to identify great marine vinyl!

The first is easy. Look at reviews. If a brand has great reviews and they are talked about positively in blogs and forums it’s likely a great brand. ​​​Read the reviews carefully to see if the product works well for your use. Remember this honest feedback is from other people that have actually used the marine vinyl. It’s also recommended to look for products with lots of reviews as that gives you a larger sample size with better feedback. If something has only 10 reviews or none at all think twice before buying. Clearly a five star review is best, but also look for some negative honest feedback. It’s impossible to please 100% of people.

The second way to identify awesome marine vinyl fabric is to look at the product specifications also known as “Specs”. These Specs are scientific based tests that were developed to help people understand how fabric will hold up in different environments.

I will walk you through a few of these tests to help you better understand what to look for when selecting a marine vinyl. The Chemical Fabrics and Film Association have laid out specific tests to help consumers identify marine grade vinyl. Those specifications can be found here.

Everyone’s first question is how will my marine vinyl hold up in the sun?

You need to check the “specs” for the Light Fastness Test (AATCC 16 Xenon Arc or CFFA 2). This test uses a special UV light to replicate the impact of the sun and other harsh environments like salt water and humidity. The material is left in this machine and checked at certain times to better understand how long it takes for the material to fade and break down. Many brands of marine vinyl will state that their material is UV Protected or UV Resistant, but that doesn’t tell you how the marine vinyl will hold up in the sun over time. This test measures the impact of fading over time. When you see a product that claims it has 500 hours of UV protection this is likely the test that was performed to be able to make that claim.

All marine vinyl has an additive to help it last longer in the sun. The more of this additive that is used the longer the material can hold up in harsh elements. This additive is very expensive and drastically impacts the cost of the final product. To be considered marine vinyl the material needs 1000 hours of UV treatment. Most of the cheaper marine vinyl marketed on the internet does not come close to this 1000 hour mark. Keep in mind 1000 hours is still not a lot of time. This is why it’s always recommended to cover or store the material inside to maximize the life of the material. If the material is properly cared for you will be able to extend the life of the product.

The next question you might ask yourself might be “Is this marine vinyl durable and will it hold up over time?”

Check the vinyl’s spec sheet for the following abrasion tests (ASM D 4966 Martindale or ASTM D 4157 Wyzenbeek or CFFA 1a #10 Duck). These test methods are crucial to understanding the durability of the marine vinyl. It is most common for marine vinyl companies to use the Wyzenbeek test method, but you will also find some companies that use the Martindale test method. The Martindale test method places a rotating disk with standard wool fabric on top of the marine vinyl and counts how many times the fabric goes around in circles. Each pass equals one rub. The rubs are counted until the fabric fails. This video from my friends at GovMark do a great job describing this test here.

The Wyzenbeek test takes a rod and places a piece of fabric on the end and the rod moves back and forth on the fabric until the fabric fails. The Wyzenbeek test method is counted as a double rub as one pass back and forth counts as one double rub. This is another really helpful video from my friends at GovMark to show how the Wyzenbeek test is performed. 

The Wyzenbeek test method is used most often to allow for easier comparison between products, but the better test is actually the Martindale test. The advantage of the Martindale over the Wyzenbeek test is that the Martindale utilizes a special pattern called the Lissajous Pattern. According to Keith Wallace from Advanced Testing Instruments “This pattern allows the sample to be tested in every direction as the same time while the sample is rotating simultaneously. Whether testing warp or weft direction, it is performed with one test. The problem with Wyzenbeek is the sample is rubbed in the same position throughout the test creating elevated friction, heat and built up of coatings or other finishes on the abradant because the abradant does not change position as does the sample on the Martindale with the Lissajous Pattern.” 

In my opinion both test simulate people sitting, stepping and scratching at the vinyl making it a better real life use case to how the material is more likely going to be used. The higher the rub counts the longer your material should last. As I mentioned earlier the thicker the outer layer of the vinyl the more rubs one should expect from the vinyl. The only problem is thicker material with a higher rub count is also much stiffer and harder to use as it has less stretch. It is also significantly more costly. A marine grade vinyl needs to be able to withstand 25,000 double rubs.

Another important test that you need to look for on the spec sheet is crocking (AATCC 8-2001 or CFFA 7). Crocking is not something you cook in a Crock Pot. Crocking refers to the rubbing off of color from a wet and dry fabric when subjected to continuous rubbing. Imagine sitting at a fancy restaurant on a beautiful white bench seat. Now imagine 1,000 people sitting on that seat wearing blue jeans and now after 2 weeks that beautiful white bench is now tinted blue. This test measures the impact of bleeding fabric and you want to avoid this as much as possible. You should look to make sure that the marine vinyl has a minimum dry crocking grade of 4 and a minimum wet crocking grade of 3.

Many people love marine vinyl for it’s durability, but since it’s not a normal fabric sewing it is sometimes is a concern. Many people will prefer to use an industrial sewing machine, but some marine vinyl will work with regular sewing machines. However you sew your vinyl is up to you, but you want to make sure the vinyl you choose can hold up when sewn. Some vinyl when sewn can rip easily at the seams and others will hold tight. You should look on the spec sheet for seam strength or seam slippage test ASTM D4034 or ASTM D434 or CFFA 14 as this measure how much weight can be applied at seams before ripping. A good quality marine vinyl should be able to hold 35 pounds of weight before slippage. 

When you use marine vinyl in a boat you will hopefully be constantly sitting on those beautiful seats. Well, what if one day as you sat down you forgot about that pointy car key in your pocket. Would your material hold up? This is why you want to check the breaking tensile strength test. The test you would want to look for is the EN388 puncture test or the ball burst test. These tests figures out how much force the material could handle before breaking. A good marine vinyl should be able to withstand 50 pounds of force before breaking. Another similar test measures tear resistance (ASTM D5587). Imagine you had a piece of paper and ripped it in half. This test measures the weight needed to rip the vinyl. A good quality vinyl should take at least 15 pounds of direct force before tearing.

Do you plan on using your marine vinyl in extreme cold? Check to make sure the marine vinyl has a cold crack rating. Most marine vinyl can be left in cold temperatures without any impact, but if the vinyl is moved or beaten aggressively in harsh temperatures it is possible it could crack. So let’s say you are using it for your snow mobile. You might want to make sure it is rated for -10 or -20 degrees Fahrenheit. If the vinyl will be in a boat that is in the cold movement your material should be just fine if it is rated at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This test is performed with the Gelbo Flex tester using a cold chamber. The sample is crushed and rotated at 440º or 180º. This can be done at sub temps or extreme heat and the goal is to see if the material holds up under these extreme conditions. Once again this only impacts material that will be moved around and abused in extreme cold temperatures.

Lastly you will want to know if the marine vinyl is safe!

There are a few things you should look for when it comes to safety. The first is flammability. Most marine vinyl is naturally flame resistant as plastic typically melts before it ignites, but if the material you bought was from overseas chemicals might have been added that can make it unstable and more likely to ignite quickly. This is why it is important to look for vinyl that has passed the proper testing. If you see on the spec list “UFAC” this is a test for cigarette ignition. This is a simple test to see how long the material will burn if a lit cigarette is left on the material. Another test is “Cal TB117-2013”. This is a test that is required by California law to ensure a material is safe and will not catch fire quickly.

Another test that also measures flammability for automotive use is the “MVSS302” test. This test measures the material burn rate to see how quickly a material will burn. This test is designed for the automotive industry. If you see that the marine vinyl has passed these tests that is great news.

The next safety requirement you should look for is “CPSIA”. This is a test that is required by law that is used to make sure a product is safe for kids. If you plan on making vinyl covered foam blocks, clothing, gloves, bags or many other products for kids under 12 the vinyl needs to pass this test. This test measures lead levels and makes sure it is compliant with ASTM F-963 safety standards imposed by the consumer product safety improvement act of 2008 (CPSIA).

Another similar test that checks for lead and other hazardous substances is RoHS. You should also look to see if a product has passed the test for California Proposition 65 as this test checks the contents of the material for any chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm. If you see a product has passed these tests then you are in great shape. Many people often times overlook the safety of a material, but safety is really important and should not be overlooked. 

My friend Keith Wallace from Advanced Testing Instruments told me the other day that safety testing is actually the most important point that should be evaluated. “You would never use a parachute that wasn’t tested or hop in a car with an air bag that wasn’t tested or jump on a trampoline that wasn’t tested. Proper testing is crucial to prevent serious injury or death.” I would agree with Keith. If you were smoking on your boat and a small piece of ash fell on your seat you would never want to see it ignite as if lighter fluid were dumped all over.

Now what’s the difference between Marine Vinyl brands? There are dozens of named brands like Nautolex, Sunbrella, Mobern, Enduratex, Naugahyde, Spradling, Ship 2 Shore, Stamoid, Atlantis and Flexa Marine Vinyl. First off, these are all simply brand names that companies have spent millions of dollars marketing. Each one of these brands might offer different colors, patterns and textures. The specs are usually similar, but even within the same brand you will find different products with different specifications. Most of these products are also not sold direct from the factory, which means the prices are marked up more than once.

Remember you want a strong durable safe product that has been properly tested. Now all these materials are very similar if you look at the specs. The biggest difference is price. You can see the price varies from $6.95 to $19.99 per yard. The only major difference is how much money each company shoves into their own pockets.

I would love to hear your feedback. Was this helpful? Is there something that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Sources: Chemicals Fabric Film Association, GovmarkAdvanced Testing Instruments

March 13, 2017

0 comments


www.MarineVinylFabric.com awarded Google Trusted Stores badge

www.MarineVinylFabric.com, which offers great quality marine vinyl, was recently selected to join the Google Trusted Stores program. To help shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Trusted Store badge is awarded to e-commerce sites that demonstrate a track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When visiting the MarineVinylFabric.com website, shoppers will see a Google Trusted Store badge and can click on it for more information.

"This badge is a true honor. It shows our commitment to customer service and quality. It is not easy to become a Google Trusted Store and we will continue to stand by our products and put the customer first." - David Goldman: Owner

As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at a Google Trusted Store, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with MarineVinylFabric.com and the customer to address the issue. As part of this, Google offers up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases.

Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like MarineVinylfabric.com to attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites.

Your feedback is important to us. We read each and every review to help make sure our service is the best in the market. We also use the information to improve our service and product. Thank you to all our loyal and happy customers for helping us become a Certified Google Trusted Store. 

March 03, 2017

0 comments


Customer Spotlight

We simply sell a great quality product. It's you that turns our marine vinyl into amazing works of art. As a result we love to highlight our talented customers. This week let's learn about Robert Guy in this weeks customer spotlight.

 

Name: Robert Guy
Business: JCG Designs LLC
Contact Information: 1 770-313-3027
Location: Winston GA

 

How did you get started? 
I started in the mid 70s, but not on boats at first. I spent a lot of time fishing and boating on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. I began doing upholstery when I was a child, helping my parents restore old cars.  I assisted with the fabrication and sewing of entire interiors of vehicles. I fixed up a 1961 Mercedes 190SL, 1957 Chevy, 1969 Buick Gran Sport, Jeeps, and much more.  Later in life, I got into boats and I noticed that many of the boats I was seeing around had old cracked and deteriorated interiors. I originally had a hobby of buying old neglected boats, and refurbishing them. The new interiors made the whole project look very nice.

 

What is your favorite project and why?
I really enjoy designing cushions and tops with multiple color accents and designs.  They look much better than plain colors or white.

 

What do you look for when selecting materials?
My material selection and procurement probably takes the longest in the whole project. Sometimes I will match original colors, which is a challenge, but sometimes I will select materials based on tones and sharpness of the boat colors.  Sometimes you can change it up a bit, for a newer and better look for your boat. Vinyl is also easy to work with, and you have to be careful to get the correct weight material for the project at hand.  

 

What is your favorite tool?
In my shop, my oldest machine - Pfaff 545 is my favorite "go to" machine.  I have 8 industrial sewing machines in service currently including Pfaff 545s, 1245, 145, Consew 226R1, Cones 206 RB3, and a Singer 29-4 “Patcher”, but that 545 H3 is my favorite for upholstery.  I also use a Seiko CW-8B cylinder arm machine for top stitching tight inside curves and such.

 

What one tip would you give someone who wants to attempt a DIY project?
My advice to a DIY project manager would be to take your time, use contact tools and materials, and make accurate measurements.  Vinyl is very forgiving, but for the perfect look, you need to observe these things to get it right.

 

What do you wish your clients knew before they met with you?
My clients should know I work fast, and am all about customer service.  I ask them critical questions about design, preferences, etc, to make sure they get what they want. Unfortunately, I do lots of repair work and alteration work on articles that were fabricated by other shops.  It’s simple…   The customer comes first!

 

What do you enjoy doing when your not working?
I keep a twin engine Proline 29 Sport center console fishing boat at Captain’s Cover Marina, near my vacation home in Port St. Joe FL, and when not at work, every spare moment of my life is spent there on it either trolling offshore, island and sand bar “get togethers”, or just family time on the water.  There is something about the salt water, sand, and sun, that heals the soul like nothing else.  My wife and daughters enjoy it as well, which makes it even better!  This past summer, we caught Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Kings, Tuna, and other varieties.  

 

Do you do other work besides marine upholstery?
I am currently taking any requests for new custom and recovery cushions, coaming bolsters, T tops, Bimini Tops, Isinglass Enclosures, engine covers, fender covers, and other requests for jump seats, curtains, etc.  I also do side work with leather goods, and other miscellaneous requests.  No job is too big or too small, and I do work via mail and shipping too. Marinevinylfabric.com is my first stop for color selection.
Thanks Robert!

 

If you want us to highlight you and your work email us at Sales@MarineVinylFabric.com
February 22, 2017

0 comments


9 Easy Steps To Make An Ice Fishing Bucket Seat

Winter is officially here so that means it's ice fishing time! Don't worry spring will be here before you know it and we can go fishing from our boats soon enough. While there is still ice outside try to make yourself an easy ice fishing bucket seat.

This simple ice fishing bucket seat is so easy that you can build it in less then 2 hours with scraps from your garage? Not everyone will have these supplies laying around so we have priced everything out for you and you can build this for under $50. 

This bucket seat is perfect for ice fishing. You can use it as a tackle box and carry your gear easily out on to the ice or you can fill it with boiling water and keep your buns warm as you wait for your beer to kick in and keep you warm and toasty.

 Materials

 Tools

  • Jig Saw
  • Scissors
  • Staple Gun
  • Glue
  • Marker

Step 1: Flip the bucket over on top of the plywood and trace the circle on to the wood using the marker.

Step 2: Use the Jig Saw to cut out the circle. Cut along the outside of the line to make sure the wood can fit nicely on top of the bucket without falling inside.

Step 3: Use the board as a template and now trace the circle on to the foam and cut it out using scissors or a utility knife.

Step 4: Glue the foam to the plywood and let it dry

Step 5: Lay out the marine vinyl fabric upside down and place the plywood circle on to the material. Take the backside of the marker and place it against the wood. Now tip the marker up slightly to begin drawing a larger circle around the wood. Note this circle doesn’t need to be perfect, but you want this circle to be about 5 or 6 inches bigger than the plywood circle to give you room to wrap both the plywood and foam.

Step 6: Staple the fabric on to the plywood board. Make sure you pull the fabric tight as you staple to remove any creases. If you need to get rid of minor creases you can use a hair drier to smooth out the fabric

Step 7: To keep the lid in place take a hinge and screw it on to the bucket.

 

Step 8: Cut 2” thick PVC pipe into 3” sections. The top of each section should be a 45-degree angle and the bottom should be a straight cut. These will hold your fishing polls.

Step 9: Place the PVC sections on the bucket and drill 2 holes in the bucket on the side of the PVC pipe and use 5” zip ties to secure it to the bucket. Tip: to keep the bucket balanced attach the PVC pipe evenly around the bucket to help distribute the weight .

Store your fishing gear inside the bucket or fill the bucket with boiling water to keep you warm. Either way I hope you enjoy it.

Athletic Gym Vinyl Fabric

Meet Flexa Marine Vinyl! Besides being great for boat seats and upholstery this athletic PVC Vinyl is a High Endurance material that is manufactured for gyms and workout equipment. This durable Athletic Vinyl is reinforced to withstand aggressive daily use and is built for rough and tough play. 

This is the vinyl you want in your gym equipment, as it’s perfect for every athletic application. Do you have a rip in a wall pad that needs repair? Or do you need to make some gym mats for your martial arts studio. This vinyl fabric is strong and will also work for punching bags, lifting equipment, wrestling mats and medicine balls. This Fabric is great for workout facilities and school gyms. This Athletic vinyl is so strong it can be used for football dummies, tackling shields and step-over dummies.

Flexa Vinyl comes in over a dozen solid colors. This heavy-duty indoor/outdoor PVC Vinyl is very easy to clean. Easily wipe sweat and blood away with warm soapy water. This Athletic PVC fabric is smooth making it look great while also making it easier to clean. This Athletic Vinyl is UV treated making it perfect for any outdoor weather. Need to have your teams logo printed on the material? No problem. Flexa Vinyl can be printed, sewed and heat-sealed.

 What should you look for in Athletic Vinyl?

You will want a heavier weighted vinyl. You will see Athletic Vinyl range in weight from 13oz per linear yard to 26oz per linear yard. We understand that most people want a material that will hold up to constant daily abuse. That is why we only carry PVC fabric that is 26oz per linear yard. We want to bring you high quality material at the most affordable prices.

Another important factor when selecting a material for a gym is the burst strength. The burst strength tests how much force can the material withstand when it receives a fast burst of pressure. On a scale of 1-10 the average burst strength of most athletic vinyl is 5 our material comes in at 10 (Test: CNS1353).

Working out and playing in a gym should be safe and fun. Athletic Teams should practice and win with the best gear and that is why we are here to help you grow stronger. Our durable Flexa PVC vinyl is perfect for you and will get you to the top.

We pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional product at the lowest cost possible. We understand that school budgets can be tight and everyone wants the best deal possible. We also know that you want material that is durable and will last. We also know that gym and school equipment gets abused. We also know that you don’t like to deal with shady sales people that will over charge you to get a commission. That is why at www.MarineVinylFabric.com we have straightforward pricing that rewards people for the more they buy. It’s simple when you buy more you also save more.

How to make an outdoor bed?

Have you ever gone to a tropical resort and laid in one of those beautiful beds on the beach? There are usually only a handful of these beautiful beds that people usually fight over. If you have ever been to one of these resorts people usually wake up at the crack of dawn to try to reserve their bed for the day. They come with their book, margarita and other beach gear at 4:00am to claim their bed for the day.

If you have not experienced this first hand, you have likely seen an ad for a resort with one of these beds. Let me paint that picture for you. The sun is setting with that perfect pink and purple sky. The bright blue waves are crashing on to the beautiful sand. There are usually white linens on the bed gently blowing in the tropical wind. Than reality kicks in and you realize you are inside on your computer on a cold day wishing you could be relaxing on one of those beds. 

Well here’s your chance to bring a small part of that experience to your backyard. We are going to show you how you can build your very own outdoor bed.

First you need to figure out how much space you have. Do you have room for a king, queen, full or twin? Once you figure out what size space you have its time to get to work. Depending on your level of DIY skills you need to start by making a platform for the bed. Some people use pallets to lift the bed up and create a more modern look to the bed. Others might want that beautiful canopy type bed with large posts. These beds look more elegant, but are more complex to build. 

Once you have identified what type of bed frame you want, its time to get your hands dirty. Here are the supplies you will need.

  • Wood
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Some type of saw
  • Marine Vinyl Fabric
  • Sewing Machine
  • UV Upholstery Thread
  • Double sided craft tape
  • 3” latex mattress topper

If you chose to make your frame/base out of pallets then pick them up and cut them to the size of the bed you want to build. If you chose some other type of frame you will need wood. The wood should be an outdoor wood. Cedar, teak and oak work well, but pressure treated wood will also work and is usually much cheaper. We would suggest staining or painting your wood before you put it together.

Every bed regardless of the type of bed you want to build needs legs, a frame, and slats. Your design will determine what size wood you will want to use for your frame but we would suggest a wood with a minimum of 2” thickness, as you don’t want the frame to break from too much weight. Thicker wood creates a more durable frame. Take your wood and cut it to size in a rectangular shape the same size of the bed and screw it together. Now you have a frame. To give it more support place a piece of wood down the center of the frame and screw it in place. Now cut slats to go across the frame and place each slat about 1-2 inches apart. Once the whole frame is covered you can either add legs to raise the bed up or add decorative casings and posts to reflect your design. 

Now that you have an awesome frame it’s time to turn it into an outdoor bed. Depending on your comfort level select a hard, medium or soft mattress or mattress topper. Since this will be outside in the sun the bed will naturally be a bit softer as the heat will soften the latex mattress material. This makes the bed more comfortable, but needs to be considered during your selection process. We suggest you choose a medium or hard topper for an outdoor bed. We would also suggest a thicker mattress topper or mattress so you don’t feel the wood slats underneath.

To make your bed waterproof we would suggest you use Marine Vinyl Fabric. This material is built for outdoor use. It’s water resistant and repels water. It’s UV protected to help protect the material from fading in the sun and has anti-mildew properties to help prevent mold. It’s very durable, heavy-duty fabric. 

Using the Marine Vinyl Fabric you will need to make a case for your mattress. It’s very easy if you have a sewing machine. You will need a thicker needle (size 90) as it goes through the thicker material easier. Use a UV protected upholstery thread as it’s a thicker thread and won’t fade from the sun. Here’s a quick tip to make your life easier place a small piece of scotch tape on the presser foot to allow the fabric to run smoothly through the machine and use double sided craft tape to hold your seems together. Now sew the fabric like a giant pillowcase to slip over your latex mattress. While the sewing machine is out you may want to make 2 or 3 outdoor pillows using the same steps mentioned above.

That relaxing outdoor bed doesn’t need to be in your dreams. Go ahead make it a reality. With a little work you can be sipping your own margarita with a book in your own back yard.

April 27, 2016

0 comments


Marine Green and Recycle Clean

Our main mission is to bring you the highest quality marine vinyl at affordable rates, but how we do that is equally important. We want to help keep this planet green and clean. This is why we do our best to create as little waste as possible.

At MarineVinylFabric.com we recycle all our cardboard, plastic and wooden crates. Any marine vinyl scraps are repurposed for samples or are donated to a local school for arts and crafts projects. It takes time to properly sort our “waste” into proper piles, but we know as a company that it’s the right thing to do to help make the world a better place.

 

It’s also important for us to find partners that also share the same values and go out of their way to leave a small footprint on the environment. Our cardboard tube supplier uses recycled material. We make sure to purchase shipping bags that are recyclable. And most importantly we makes sure our marine vinyl manufacturer uses state of the art technology to prevent harmful byproducts like releasing harmful smog into the environment. We don’t want to pollute our airways or waterways and as a result we go out of our way to create as little waste as possible.

Another way we support a green environment is by donating a portion of every sale to a marine conservation effort. At MarineVinylFabric.com we feel it is our duty to leave the world cleaner for future generations to enjoy. This year we have chosen to donate money to the Marine Mammal Center to help feed and protect the wildlife within the ocean. Animals every day are threatened by harsh oil spills, floating trash and other debris that invade their habitats. This trash is killing off entire ecosystems and species. Every sale will help make the world a better place. Every year we will support a different cause to keep the world cleaner and more peaceful. Let us know in the comments what causes you would like to see supported in the future. Remember a happy clean world is a peaceful world.

Fabric Size Chart

How big is one linear yard of fabric?

Most fabric today is sold by the linear yard. One linear yard is 36" long and the width varies based on the roll of fabric. Our material is 54" wide. Here is a helpful chart to help you quickly convert linear yards into inches and feet.

Yards
Length
Width
1
     36 Inches (3 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
2
      72 Inches (6 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
3
     108 Inches (9 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
4
     144 Inches (12 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
5
    180 Inches (15 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
6
    216 Inches (18 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
7
    252 Inches (21 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
8
    288 Inches (24 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
9
    324 Inches (27 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
10
    360 Inches (30 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
11
    396 Inches (33 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
12
    432 Inches (36 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
13
    468 Inches (39 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
14
    504 Inches (42 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
15
    540 Inches (45 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
16
    576 Inches (48 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
17
    612 Inches (51 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
18
    648 Inches (54 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
19
    684 Inches (57 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
20
    720 Inches (60 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
21
    756 Inches (63 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
22
    792 Inches (66 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
23
    828 Inches (69 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
24
    864 Inches (72 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
25
    900 Inches (75 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
26
    936 Inches (78 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
27
    972 Inches (81 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
28
    1008 Inches (84 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
29
    1044 Inches (87 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
30
    1080 Inches (90 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
31
    1116 Inches (93 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
32
    1152 Inches (96 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
33
    1188 Inches (99 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
34
    1224 Inches (102 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
35
    1260 Inches (105 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
36
    1296 Inches (108 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
37
    1332 Inches (111 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
38
    1368 Inches (114 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
39
    1404 Inches (117 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)
40
    1440 Inches (120 Feet)
54 Inches (4.5 Feet)