00:34 – The 3 types of awning fabrics
00:49 – Canvas – the original awning fabric
01:26 – The 2 best brands for canvas
03:35 – Mesh – the 2nd type of awning fabric
03:58 – The difference between canvas and mesh fabric
04:28 – Acrylic fabric is mainly for folding arm awnings
05:20 – Which type of fabric is for you?
Hello everyone, I’m Jason the owner of BlockOutblinds.
We received a lot of inquiries both on the phone and via email asking about the different types of external awning blind fabrics so I thought I’d talk a bit about that today.
The three different types of awning blind fabrics
As you may or may not know there are a few different types of fabrics when it comes to external awning blinds and not everyone is clear to what type of fabrics are available. There are three types. The first one is your standard canvas awning fabric, then you also have your mesh type fabrics, and then you have the acrylic type fabrics. Now I’ll just go through the three different types.
The first one is your Canvas Awning fabrics. Now these are your original fabrics that have been around for a long, long time. You might have noticed this one at a few older houses. This is one of the original fabrics that have been around for many, many years – probably fifty years or more. When it comes to canvas fabrics there are quite a number of brands out there. But there are not many out there that are tried and tested and are of the highest quality. Remember that these fabrics are going to be outside in the elements for hopefully a long-long time, so quality is really important.
The two best brand when it comes to canvas are the two original makers of canvas which are Brella and HunterDouglas also known as HD. We choose to mainly supply the Brella canvas but we do use the HunterDouglas as well. When it comes to the canvas fabric these are the best fabric for heat protection because they block out all the sun that would normally hit the glass on your windows. And when it comes to keeping your house cool, nothing can do a better job than putting on an external awning blind because it stops the sun from hitting your window and in turn, the hot glass from heating the air inside your home. So it doesn’t matter how good of a blind you put on the inside, you are always going to have the glass on your window heating up which is going to transfer the heat inside. So an external awning blind will always do a significantly better job at cooling your home than any other blind you put on the inside.
Now with the canvas fabrics the original ones always had the stripes, and as you can see all the striped fabrics have a green backing. That’s because the fabric is dyed green and then pulled through a machine that has dye blocks sitting on top. And as the fabric is pulled through the dye blocks, the ink seeps through the wells on the fabric as it’s being pulled through which is why they don’t do the colours on both sides, not that you’d want the stripes facing inside anyway, might be a little bit much.
Now it’s only in the last five to six years that the trends have changed and demand has increased the need for plain coloured fabrics. Eight or nine years ago you really couldn’t even find any plain fabrics at all. The plain fabrics – because they’re just one colour – both sides are dyed in one process. Now this is a thing to consider. As some people don’t like the idea of the green backing on the striped fabrics being visible from the inside when the awning are down, so there you have your canvas fabrics.
Mesh or Screen type
The next fabric we have is the Mesh or Screen fabrics and I believe the best two known mesh fabric brands are VistaWeave and Imex. Once again, both are high quality and we choose to run with the Imex. The advantage of these fabrics is that they’re made of PVC and they will never rot or fade. The mesh fabric won’t reduce the heat as much as the canvas as sunlight does pass through it. It generally cuts out about 80 – 85% of the heat when compared to a canvas fabric, but the advantage is you can see out through this fabric. So this is ideal for areas where you want to maintain a view such as an overlooking scenery, a pool area, or a backyard where you may have kids running around and want to keep an eye on or something similar to that.
Or last fabric is the Acrylic fabrics. Once again there are many brands but we choose to use the DocroRange. Acrylic fabrics are mainly designed for use on folding arm awnings. Now folding arm awning are awnings that project out horizontally without any supports. And because it’s unsupported you need to keep the fabric weight down. And the acrylic fabric is the lightest fabric available for an awning. With an acrylic you have no backing so it does let light through, however, you can’t see through it like you can with the mesh fabrics. In terms of keeping your house cool, it’s in between the canvas and the mesh fabrics. The other advantage is that it comes in many colours and patterns. So that’s the different types of fabrics.
So in summary, if heat is your main concern you can’t go past the canvas. If you’re happy to sacrifice a little bit of heat protection for a view then the mesh is your answer. And if you want a fabric, colour or design that you can’t find in the mesh or canvas, or you want some light come through into the home without being able to see through the awning blind then acrylic is the one for you. Now you know about all the types of external awning blind fabrics. Next time I’ll be talking about the width of the fabrics, the different types of joints used, and how these impacts on your fabric selection. So till next time.