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What are the Different Types of Awning Fabric?

Terrie Brockmann
Terrie Brockmann

Manufacturers use only a few different fabrics for awnings. Many of the differences are the treatment that the fabric is given. An example of this is the different choices of polyester, which is one of the most popular fabric choices. The polyester material is available with an acrylic coating, vinyl laminate, or PVC coating. Other fabric types include cotton canvas and acrylic fabric.

One of the main purposes of awnings is sun blockage or shade. Awnings adorn homes, businesses, and recreational vehicles. Often the function of the awning determines the awning fabric that is used. For example, a homeowner who uses an awning for shade in an area where the sun is bright will choose a fade-resistant fabric. A person living in a tropical region may choose a sturdy fabric that can resist harsh winds and tropical rains.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Cotton canvas awning fabric is a classic choice. Generally, it is more environmentally friendly than other choices. Cotton fabric does not hold up as well as the synthetic products and often requires periodic sealing with waterproofing chemicals. In most areas, canvas for awnings consists of a cotton-polyester blend or another woven fabric, such as acrylic.

When choosing a fabric for awnings, people often look for a material that will not stretch out of shape. Acrylic-coated polyester is an awning fabric that is stretch resistant and generally does not leak. Another factor that buyers look at is a fabric's color-fastness, and the colorful, solution-dyed woven acrylic is touted as a good choice in that matter. This acrylic fabric is also weatherproof, which makes it a good choice for rainy regions.

The vinyl laminated polyester material is ideal for humid areas because it resists mildew. It also reduces the amount of ultraviolet (UV) rays that enter the structure. UV rays frequently cause furnishings to fade. Another product that resists mildew is the PVC-coated woven polyester material. This very durable awning fabric is very popular because it provides good shade and is easy to clean and maintain.

Typically, the bright colors and waterproof quality of the solution-dyed, acrylic-coated polyester fabric make it ideal for boats and recreational vehicles. One type of awning fabric that is mesh-like, lightweight, and breathable is the vinyl-coated polyester. This fabric is suitable for awnings that a designer chooses more for design than function. Woven polyester fabric without coatings and laminates is easy to clean and supplies excellent heat-filtering shade.

When shopping for awning fabric, a person should look for material that does not stretch, leak, or fade. Generally, heavier cloth is suitable for over doorways, while the lighter fabrics are adequate for covering window awnings. Many businesses find that an awning prevents the sun from fading the items in the display windows. The proper choice of fabric is important to a business because it does not want a fabric that needs special cleaning or one that leaks on the customers.

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