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What Fabric Is Best For An Awning?

Awnings are commonly used to block the sun or create shade for areas adjacent to homes, businesses and recreational vehicles. Awnings have been used for centuries to provide protection from the sun and the elements, yet today there are a number of different choices when it comes to the fabrics that awnings are made from.
Here are three common types of materials that awnings can be made from, along with their advantages and special features.


Canvas is perhaps the oldest known material used for awnings, yet it still provides advantages even when compared with today’s newer materials. Canvas awnings are lightweight, environmentally friendly and are breathable, which can help to cool down a shaded area.
Canvas awnings are usually a blend of cotton and polyester or acrylic. However, cotton canvas is less resilient and durable than other, more modern fabrics and will need sealant with waterproofing chemicals in order to weather the elements.

Polyester & Acrylic

These are manufactured fabrics that have many advantages, most notably, the ability to hold its shape over time, resist the elements, and avoid maintenance costs with superior quality. Polyester, in particular, is a very popular fabric as it holds its colors well against bright sunlight.
Both polyester and acrylic are adaptable, depending on the main use of the awning. For example, in tropical regions, awnings are typically used to shelter outside areas from the harsh wind and elements while in dryer regions it is primarily to protect against the harsh sun.

Polyester awnings are often coated with acrylic, vinyl lamination, or PVC coating to be fade resistant and waterproof. Plus, vinyl lamination and PVC coating provide valuable protection against mildew, which is generally the most damaging substance for awnings because it gets in the fabric and slowly destroys it.

Polyester is also very versatile in its construction, allowing for unique, designer, models to be used. The extremely popular mesh-type awning is lightweight, breathable, and very customizable. In fact, polyester fabric that is not coated is very easy to clean and maintain while filtering out the heat.

There are some awnings that use acrylic-only materials. They are less common than polyester but have their uses as well. Acrylic has many of the advantages of polyester, including being weatherproof.

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