At last the sun is out, it actually feels like summer, Wimbledon has been and gone in a fortnight of unusually near perfect weather and Andy Murray has won. Wow!
For once we can plan our barbecues and a bit of outdoor living and make like our Mediterranean friends.
So, we pull back the covers on the garden furniture, dig out the cushions from the shed and remember that when we put them away we’d promised ourselves that, in the spring , we’d get new covers made and, of course, we completely forgot.
If this sounds rather like your own experience then a word of advice when choosing fabrics for outdoor use; you want to choose fabrics specifically designed for the job, engineered to meet the demanding requirements of the outdoors.
They need to have a high resistance to fading, be fully washable and resistant to mould, mildew and stains, as well as being water repellent with high tear and tensile strength and good abrasion resistance.
A tall order you might think, but luckily there are lots of fabrics designed specifically for outdoor use, although some are very dull.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more exciting, two ranges in particular might interest you – Tiana from Designers Guild and Ionia from Osborne & Little.
Tiana is a collection of striped, floral and textured fabrics in fresh lively colours including lime green, pink and vivid turquoise, as well as some more conventional options .
Both weaves and prints are designed to withstand the elements.
Tiana and Greenwich Outdoor (right) are both stunning graphic leaf designs, the former large scale and the latter smaller scale, while Mataro is a stylish and sophisticated yarn-dyed weave with a tweedy texture in a lovely colour palette, woven in a specialised quality for use on garden and poolside furniture.
For more information go to designersguild.com.
Ionia, from Osborne & Little, is named after the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece and conjures up the intoxicating atmosphere of the Mediterranean.
With fabric names like Ithaki, Paxos and Zante they transport us to these lovely Greek islands before we’ve even seen them!
Kerkyra a beautiful stylised leaf trail and Ithaki a mid-scale ikat trellis of contrasting colours on neutral grounds; both capture the spirit of the Ionian with a beautiful colour palette which includes turquoise, lime, rust, denim, as well as more neutral tones of black, stone and ivory. For more information go to osborneandlittle.com. Simone runs The Interior Trading Co in Marmion Road, Southsea, interior-trading.co.uk.