Awnings are a great way to add shade, style, and protection to your outdoor space. But how do you choose the right fabric for your awning? There are many factors to consider, such as durability, weather resistance, color, and budget. In this blog, we will guide you through some of the most common types of awning fabrics and how to pick the best one for your needs.
Types of Awning Fabrics
There are two main categories of awning fabrics: natural and synthetic. Natural fabrics are made from plant or animal fibers, such as cotton, canvas, or wool. Synthetic fabrics are made from man-made materials, such as polyester, acrylic, or vinyl.
Natural fabrics have a traditional and cozy look, but they also have some drawbacks. They tend to fade, shrink, rot, and mildew over time when exposed to sun, rain, and wind. They also require more maintenance and cleaning than synthetic fabrics. Some natural fabrics can be coated with synthetic layers to make them more water-resistant and fade-resistant, but this can also make them heavier and less breathable.
Some examples of natural fabrics are:
- Canvas: A strong and durable fabric made from cotton or linen. It can be dyed or painted in various colors and patterns. It is often coated with vinyl or acrylic to make it more water-resistant and fade-resistant.
- Cotton: A soft and breathable fabric made from natural fibers. It has a natural look and feel, but it is also prone to fading, shrinking, rotting, and mildewing. It is not very water-resistant or fire-resistant.
- Wool: A warm and insulating fabric made from animal hair. It has a natural look and feel, but it is also heavy, expensive, and susceptible to moths and mold. It is not very water-resistant or fire-resistant.
Synthetic fabrics have a modern and sleek look, but they also have some advantages. They are more durable, water-resistant, fade-resistant, fire-resistant, and easy to clean than natural fabrics. They also come in a wide range of colors and styles. However, some synthetic fabrics can be less breathable and comfortable than natural fabrics. They can also be more expensive and less eco-friendly than natural fabrics.
Some examples of synthetic fabrics are:
- Polyester: A versatile and durable fabric made from petroleum-based fibers. It can be woven or knit in various textures and weights. It can also be coated with vinyl or acrylic to make it more water-resistant and fade-resistant.
- Acrylic: A lightweight and breathable fabric made from petroleum-based fibers. It has a soft and wool-like feel, but it is also more resistant to fading, mildew, and ultraviolet light than wool. It can also be dyed in various colors and patterns.
- Vinyl: A plastic-like fabric made from petroleum-based materials. It is very water-resistant, fire-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. It can also be laminated or coated with other materials to create different effects.
How to Pick the Right Fabric for Your Awning
When choosing a fabric for your awning, you need to consider several factors:
- Climate: You need to choose a fabric that can withstand the weather conditions in your area. For example, if you live in a sunny and hot climate, you need a fabric that is fade-resistant and heat-resistant. If you live in a rainy and humid climate, you need a fabric that is water-resistant and mildew-resistant.
- Budget: You need to choose a fabric that fits your budget. Generally speaking, synthetic fabrics are more expensive than natural fabrics, but they also last longer and require less maintenance. You also need to factor in the cost of installation and cleaning of your awning.
- Style: You need to choose a fabric that matches the style of your home and your personal preference. You can choose from various colors, patterns, textures, and finishes of awning fabrics. You can also mix and match different fabrics to create contrast or harmony.
Here are some tips for choosing the right color for your awning:
- Choose a color that complements the color of your house or building.
- Choose a color that contrasts with the color of your roof or trim.
- Choose a color that reflects your personality or theme.
- Choose a color that suits the mood or function of your outdoor space.
Here are some tips for choosing the right pattern for your awning:
- Choose a pattern that adds interest and dimension to your awning.
- Choose a pattern that coordinates with the pattern of your furniture or accessories.
- Choose a pattern that reflects your style or theme.
- Choose a pattern that suits the size and shape of your awning.
What is the best fabric for a retractable patio awning?
Retractable awnings extend and retract and can be rather larger in size up to 30 ft wide x 14 ft projection. Therefore, Synthetic acrylic solution dyed fabrics like Tempotest Para, Sunbrella and Sattler is the natural choice due it the performance and stability and longevity. Solution-dyed acrylic is a synthetic material in which the color is saturated to the core of each fiber. The synthetic nature of solution-dyed acrylic gives it a longer lifespan compared to natural fabrics that will degrade over time. The better brands offer a 10-year limited warranty against fading and excessive loss of protective function, not including normal wear and tear. These fabrics also come with a coating like Teflon by Dupont and others that help keep the fabric cleaner. Each brand is available in hundreds of patterns from solids, to block stripes, to fancy stripes.
What is the best fabric for a retractable fabric roof Pergola awning?
Retractable fabric roof Pergola awnings are typically used for both sun protection and also for protection from normal inclement weather. The best fabric for Pergolas is a vinyl fabric such as Ferrari Soltis Proof 502 which comes in many colors, or it’s big brother Ferrari 602 which is a bit heavier and available in white and cream color. Ferrari Soltis Proof 502 is a highly durable, dimensionally stable material with a 10 year warranty. This waterproof material protects against bad weather and UV and offers exceptional dirt and mold resistance due to its PVDF surface treatment. Engineered with Serge Ferrari's Précontraint® formula, the awning fabric gives impressive structural stability. Composed of a coated polyester scrim, the fabric is mildew repellant, heat sealable, and easy to maintain. Since the fabric is heat sealed, it will not leak in the seams.
Choosing the right fabric for your awning can make a big difference in the appearance, performance, and longevity of your awning. You need to consider the type, climate, budget, and style of your awning fabric. You can also consult with a professional awning installer or designer to help you make the best decision for your awning project.
We hope this blog has helped you learn more about how to pick the right fabric for your awning. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Sunair awnings at 800-548-0408 or visit www.sunairawnings.com for more info. We would love to hear from you!