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Awning Fabrics: Choosing the Best Type

Dec 20, 2022 | Awnings

You need to consider several factors when shopping for a new awning. Besides the frame and canopy size, one of the most critical decisions is the material. Different awning fabrics offer unique benefits, so your choice must match your lifestyle needs and aesthetic preferences. 

In this blog post, Van Nuys Awning, Los Angeles’ experts in awning installation, explores the most popular awning materials to help you choose the best fabric for your specific needs. 

Vinyl Awnings

Manufacturers make vinyl awning fabrics in two main ways. The first option is a laminated vinyl comprising three to four layers:

  • A clear protective top coat
  • An outer layer containing the color or pattern
  • A polyester layer for strength 
  • The bottom colored or white layer

This awning fabric is the most popular. However, the second option of vinyl awning material is higher quality and more durable. It comprises polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and various chemicals to enhance flexibility. 

This vinyl awning fabric is waterproof, thanks to the multiple layers. However, it doesn’t breathe efficiently and is prone to tear in windy conditions due to its limited flexibility. 

Generally, vinyl awnings are robust, fire retardant, and stain-, mildew-, and UV-resistant. They are also easy to maintain and handle high humidity better than other awning fabrics. 

Canvas Awnings

Canvas was the primary choice for awning fabrics about four decades ago. This fabric is made from hemp, cotton, or linen. The standard method of classifying canvas is by ounces per square yard. 

A heavier fabric requires more material, increasing the cost. If you choose heavier canvas, you will enjoy more sturdiness and better resistance to wind, hail, snow, and other harsh elements. 

A notable downside of canvas awnings is that you must reapply clear varnish regularly. Otherwise, mold, mildew, and even rotting can occur. Prolonged sun exposure also leads to fading of this fabric. 

Fiberglass Awnings

Fiberglass is an excellent option if you need a hard-wearing awning material lighter than steel. Fiberglass awnings are available in opaque and translucent coloring, which allows light through. 

With this awning material, you’ll never worry about repainting, as manufacturers mold color into the material. The downside of this attribute is that you can’t easily change your awning’s look. 

Also, fiberglass awnings become brittle over time, cracking and necessitating a replacement. 

Acrylic Awnings

If you’re looking for quality fabrics for your awnings, acrylic should be among your first options. This synthetic material is a top-quality, luxurious fabric. Besides feeling like wool, it is water-repellant and moisture-wicking. 

Acrylic awnings don’t fade, making them an excellent choice if you want the same look for the next several years. However, they are expensive and can cost up to ten times their canvas counterparts. 

Hire an Awning Installation Professional 

If you need professional help choosing awning fabrics, the experts at Van Nuys Awning can help. We are market leaders in the production of custom awnings. We offer various outdoor fabrics, including Sunbrella fabric,  in a wide range of colors to meet your unique needs. Contact us at (818) 782-8607 to get a quote for a new custom awning or awning fabric replacement in Los Angeles, CA.

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