What is the Best Type of Fabric for Awnings?

Due to its ability to withstand time and still look amazing, acrylic fabric is the best type of fabric available for awnings.

The rest of this article will show businesses and homeowners different types of materials for their awnings and why they are the best fabric for their canvas awning.

Why Awnings are Important?

Awnings are added to an exterior wall of a building.  They can be used to shield the sun from shining through the window directly, while also allowing natural light to pass through the window. Awnings also allow customers or homeowners to enjoy their outdoor space because it provides shelter from heat or rain.  Awnings provide protection from the elements for your patio furniture as well.

What Different Types of Fabrics are Available?

The three readily available fabrics for awnings are acrylic, canvas, and vinyl.  Each comes with its own pros and cons.

Acrylic Awnings

This synthetic material is a quality, luxury fabric.  To the touch, the acrylic fabric feels like wool. It is moisture-wicking and water-repellant.  It is the best choice if you don’t want the dyed color to fade.  Acrylic awnings are excellent choices for those who want the same appearance years after it was installed or who will keep it extended indefinitely.

Out of the three, acrylic awnings are known as a luxury fabric because they can cost up to ten times the cost of canvas awnings.

Canvas Awnings

Canvas is made from cotton, hemp, or linen, becoming woven linen.  The preferred method of classifying canvas is by ounces per square yard.  The heavier the fabric, the more material is used which increased the cost.  The heavier canvas is sturdier, allowing it to weather wind, snow, and hail.

Unfortunately, canvas awnings need clear varnish reapplied regularly or it will result in mold, mildew, or even rot.  Further, canvas awnings will fade over time due to sun exposure.

Vinyl Awnings

This type of acrylic weighs in at 18 ounces per square yard, similar to heavier canvas weights.  This synthetic material is pliable and flexible, while also being flame retardant, water-resistant, and mildew resistant.

As vinyl awnings have several layers, their main drawback is cost with it being roughly three times the price of the same-sized canvas awning.  They also have limited ability to allow air to pass through or to dry properly.  This can make these awnings feel a bit stuffy and not as cool as other materials available.

Metal Awnings

Metal awnings were very popular during the 1950s and the 1970s.  Metal awnings can be painted to match buildings.  This awning stays stationary and would best for those that wish it to remain indefinitely in position.

Metal awnings fell out of favor because in order to prevent rust, they need regular repainting.  Further, metal awnings can dent easily and have a more in-depth, necessary cleaning ritual.

Fiberglass awnings

Fiberglass is a lighter alternative to steel awnings.  Unlike steel, the color is molded to the material, therefore, not requiring repainting.  They can come in opaque or translucent coloring, thereby allowing light through.

Fiberglass is not without its negatives.  While it does not need to be repainted, this also means its owner cannot easily change its look.  Further, with time, this type of awning can become brittle and crack, necessitating a replacement.

Which is the Best Fabric for an Awning?

The best fabric for an awning comes down to personal preference.  Canvas provides a cost-effective solution that is hardy.  Acrylic may be the best for business owners who want to maintain a professional appearance.  Metal and fiberglass have positives, but also is prone to needing to be replaced sooner rather than later.  Vinyl falls somewhere in between these, being somewhat budget-friendly and fairly effective.

Acrylic awnings are the best fabric if cost is not a major concern and will keep homes or businesses looking new with little upkeep.