Sage Lifestyle


Outdoor Furniture Materials and Maintenance


Our outdoor furniture is characterised by great design, high quality materials and handcrafted solid construction.  The furniture is built both to be lived in and to last and deserves to be looked after. The beauty of the current generation of outdoor furniture is that the materials used generally require minimal maintenance so you can spend your time relaxing with a book, soaking up the sun or entertaining friends and family.


Below we detail the materials used in our outdoor furniture range and the best way to care for them.


Synthetic Weave


Synthetic fibres are used by the leading outdoor furniture brands worldwide for manufacturing quality outdoor furniture.  Natural rattan by contrast, although very strong and durable, does not survive well in outdoor settings.  Natural rattan is very susceptible to moisture and ultra violet light.  Even with protective finishes it deteriorates relatively quickly in the outdoor elements.


Our manufacturers use Viro® synthetic fibers for its outdoor ranges. Viro® is 100% HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) which means that it is non-toxic and 100% recyclable. Viro® is used by top global designers and furniture makers throughout the world for their outdoor furniture applications and is regarded as one of the top 3 high end fibre brands.  HDPE is a more closely packed structure than Low Density Polyethylene (“LDPE”) and consequently has a higher density and strength as well as excellent chemical resistance properties.  Some furniture brands use cheaper fibers that are either largely PVC based (PVC contains plasticizers that can be toxic) or lower quality LDPE’S both of which do not have the enduring characteristics of HDPE.


The key characteristics of the HDPE synthetic weave used are:

  • UV Resistant

  • Resistant to chlorine, salt, suntan creams and oils

  • Colourfast and will not fade

  • Weatherproof, will not stain from water or dirt and is not vulnerable to rot, mould or mildew

  • Extremely durable, will not warp or crack

  • Ease of maintenance

  • 100% recyclable



Clean with a soft brush and warm mild soapy water to remove any dust and dirt and then rinse with clean cold water from a bucket or garden hose. Take care not to damage the fibre with sharp objects.

We recommend you do not use water blasters or other pressure washers.



We use certified plantation teak from Indonesia.  Teak is the premium natural material for outdoor furniture as it is an extremely durable hard wood.  It requires very little care to preserve its good looks and integrity over decades of use.  It requires no special treatment or coating to extend its long life as the natural oils below the surface are sufficient to protect it from the elements.  However customer preferences differ in relation to the natural silvering of the wood so in this regard there are some choices for the proper care of its appearance.



New teak furniture often has a slight surface sheen from the naturally occurring oil in the wood. This surface oil will wash away once the furniture has been outdoors for a short period of time. We recommend that all new teak furniture be wiped down after unpacking to remove any dust particles left over from the manufacturing process prior to placing cushions or fabrics directly on it.


Teak will naturally age to a handsome silver grey colour. This silvering process will be evident after a few months and generally takes between six and twelve months to fully weather depending on the local conditions. Water spots or other discoloration may occur early in the weathering process and some small cracks may also develop in the woods surface. This is all part of the natural weathering process and such effects will soon blend into the surrounding surface of the wood. The slight separation of the grain has no effect on the strength and longevity of the furniture and it will return to its original smooth feel after the initial weathering process. The oils and resins that remain inside the teak give it its lasting durability.


Oils and Cleaners

If you prefer your furniture to retain its original golden honey palette we recommend that on delivery you consider using a quality teak sealer such as the products which are applied to teak in marine environments. If your furniture has already faded in colour a teak cleaner can be applied prior to sealing in order to restore the original colour. Where the furniture has been outdoors for some period of time and is very faded a light sanding will also aid in reviving the colour prior to sealing. Depending on the conditions, the cleaning and sealing process should be applied once a year.


There are many commercial teak oils and stains available but we generally advise against using oils as they do not have the longevity of the cleaning and sealing process and need to be regularly applied to achieve the desired result.  They may also be damaging to the natural oils in the teak. Oiled teak may also be more susceptible to mildew and irregular colouring as it weathers. Paint or varnish or other similar products should be avoided as they tend to crack and flake from the surface as they are not suited to being applied to teak.



Clean with a soft bristle brush and warm mild soapy water.  The cleaning will assist in returning the teak to a smooth finish. Tough stains or any mildew that resist the soapy water can be dealt with by adding one part household bleach to two parts mild soapy water (be careful with the bleach solution around fabrics). Remember to rinse well with cold water after washing and wipe the surface dry with a soft cloth or towel. DO NOT use water blasters or other pressure washers as they can scour and roughen the surface of the teak. An annual cleaning once weathered should suffice to keep the teak in good order in most environments. As already noted commercial teak cleaners are available if required for teak that has not been cleaned for some period and has become blackened or dark grey.


Stainless Steel


Our manufacturers use stainless steel 304 their furniiture ranges  This is a high quality steel that is resistant to corrosion and oxidation with excellent toughness and attractive appearance.  If customers require marine grade stainless steel 316 for specific environments (for example where the furniture is positioned where it will continually get sea spray) it may be available as a custom order at additional cost on request (subject to availability).

Stainless steels are not totally impervious to corrosion. Exposure to salty air can cause minor superficial corrosion called “tea staining”.  Stainless steel requires regular maintenance in order to keep it clean and shiny.



First remove any surface dirt or dust with a soft brush or cloth. To get the best results, we recommend washing the steel regularly with a soft brush and mild soapy water. Any tarnishing created by salt and sea air and atmospheric rust particles should be removed with an appropriate stainless steel cleaner.  Avoid abrasive cleaning products. Cleaning should be undertaken more regularly in maritime areas and other more highly corrosive environments to remove any tea spotting and surface particles. We suggest cleaning perhaps a minimum once a quarter in such environments and 1-2 times a year in less corrosive environments. Commercial stainless steel cleaners are available but please read the labels carefully to ensure they are suitable for application to outdoor furniture. After cleaning, rinse well with clean water and dry with a soft cloth or towel.


Powder Coated Steel


Some of our range also uses powder coated steel where there is a requirement for a thinner frame design with added strength. Galvanising essentially describes a process whereby the steel is coated with a layer of zinc. The zinc layer provides cathodic and barrier protection which prevents the steel from oxidising resulting in a much longer life span in outdoor environments. Cathodic protection means that even if the coating is scratched or abraded, the exposed steel will still be protected from corrosion by the remaining zinc – an advantage that is not present in paint or enamel coatings.


Powder coating is typically applied electrostatically to the galvanised steel and is then heat cured to bind it to the steel. The powder coating acts as an additional layer of protection to the galvanised layer and results in an attractive finish. Combing galvanising and powder coating materially extends the life of the steel furniture.



To get the best results from this type of product keep the coated steel clean by washing regularly with a soft brush and mild soapy water. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth or towel.




Powder coated aluminium is both highly weather resistant and lightweight making it perfect for outdoor use. Aluminium reacts with oxygen in the air to form a layer of oxide which although extremely thin provides excellent corrosion protection. Importantly the oxide layer is self-repairing if damaged.

Our Manufacturers' furniture ranges feature strong 1.8mm Aluminium tube framing that is high-density welded and reinforced providing added strength and longevity. Aluminium has zero toxity.



Remove any surface dirt and dust with a soft brush or cloth. Use mild soapy water and a soft brush or sponge to keep the Aluminium clean.  Avoid using anything that will scratch the surface. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth or towel.

Commercial aluminium cleaners are available but please read the instructions carefully to ensure they are fit for purpose.



Fabric Care

Summer sunlight in New Zealand is extremely harsh. The sun’s UV rays will affect the colour of fabrics.  Whenever possible, we recommend that you limit the amount of direct sunlight on your fabrics to minimise the amount of fading and also that you move and rotate cushions so they get equal exposure as much as possible. 


We recommend Sunbrella fabrics with QuickDryFoam® inserts for cushions on furniture that will be completely out in the weather. We generally specify them as standard. QuickDryFoam® is exceptionally porous and permeable allowing maximum drainage of water and circulation of air enabling quick use even after the cushions become saturated with water. QuickDryFoam® uses UREGARD a built-in anti-microbial protection that prohibits the growth of common moulds and fungus even when furniture is left outside for prolonged periods of time.


Brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabrics. Wipe up spills as soon as they occur and spot clean soon after stains occur. 


The following cleaning & care instructions are recommended by Sunbrella.


General or light cleaning

  1. Brush off any loose dirt.

  2. Prepare a cleaning solution of approximately 1/4 cup mild detergent (or dishwashing liquid) per 4 litres of lukewarm water.

  3. Use a sponge or a soft bristle brush to clean.

  4. Allow cleaning solution to soak into fabric.

  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all detergent residues.

  6. Allow fabric to air dry.


Spot cleaning

  1. Apply a light mist of mild detergent and water using a spray bottle.

  2. Work the solution into the stain by lightly scrubbing the area with a sponge or very soft bristle brush.

  3. Rinse thoroughly to remove all detergent residues.

  4. Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel or sponge.

  5. Wet-vacuum or blot excess water.

  6. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until all detergent residue is removed.

  7. Air dry.


For removable covers


Hand washing

  1. Soak fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup mild detergent per 4 litres of lukewarm water.

  2. Use a sponge or a soft bristle brush as necessary.

  3. Rinse thoroughly to remove all detergent residues.

  4. Air dry.


Machine Washing


Machine wash in cold water (after first checking that the fabrics can be machined washed). Depending on wash load size, use normal amounts of mild laundry detergent and add approximately 1 cup of bleach. Allow fabric to air dry.

Heavy cleaning for stubborn stains and mildew

Mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To clean mildew, or other stubborn stains:

  1. Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of mild detergent per gallon of clean water.

  2. Spray on entire area and allow to soak into the fabric for up to 15 minutes.

  3. Remove stain with a sponge, clean towel or very soft bristle brush.

  4. Rinse thoroughly to remove all detergent residues.

  5. Allow fabric to air dry.

  6. If stain and/or mildew are severe, bleach quantities may be increased slightly.


Re-treating the fabric for ease of cleaning


Outdoor fabrics have a special finish that enhances water repellence.  The finish is designed to last for several years of normal use, but it may be advisable to refresh this finish after a thorough cleaning or extended use.  There are many commercial fabric guards available on the market but ensure you always test before use and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully prior to applying.