We receive a lot of enquires from our customers asking about the different types of external awning blind fabrics, so we thought we would provide you with some details.
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 aware of the type of fabrics that are available.
There are 3 types of fabrics you can use for external awnings which are the standard canvas awning fabric, the mesh type fabric and the acrylic type fabric. Please find below information on the 3 different types of fabric.
Canvas Awning Fabric
These are your original fabrics that have been around for a long time. You may have noticed this fabric on older houses, as this is one of the original fabrics that has been around for many many years.
When it comes to canvas fabrics there are quite a number of brands available, however, there are few that have been tried, tested and are of the highest quality. Remember that these fabrics are going to be outside in the elements for a long time, so quality is really important!
The two best brands, when it comes to canvas awnings, are the two original canvas makers – Brella and Hunter Douglas. We choose to mainly supply the Brella canvas, but we do use Hunter Douglas on occasions also. Canvas fabrics are the best fabrics for heat protection, as they block out all of the sun that would normally hit the glass on your windows. They are also great when it comes to keeping your house cool. Nothing can do a better job than installing an external awning blind, as 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 the blind is that you put on the inside, as you are always going to have the glass on your window heating up which is going to transfer inside. So an external awning blind will always do a significantly better job at cooling your home than any blind you could put on the inside.
The original canvas fabrics always had the stripes and all the striped fabrics have a green backing. The reason for the green backing is that the fabric is dyed green and then pulled through a machine that has dye blocks sitting on top, as the fabric is pulled through the dye blocks the ink seeps through the wells onto the fabric which is why they don’t do the colours on both sides.
It’s only in the last 5 or 6 years that the trends have changed and the demand has increased for single coloured fabrics. As recently as 8 or 9 years ago, you couldn’t even find any single colour fabrics at all. As the single coloured fabrics are the same colour on both sides, this allows the dying to be completed in the one process. This is something to consider, as some people don’t like the idea of the green backing of the striped fabrics being visible from inside when the awnings are down.
Mesh or Screen Awning Fabric
The next fabric we have is the mesh or screen fabrics and we believe the 2 best known mesh fabric brands are Vistaweave and Imex. Once again both are high quality, however, we choose to run with the Imex brand.
The advantage of this type of fabric is that they are made of PVC and they will never rot or fade. The mesh fabric won’t reduce the heat as much as the canvas fabrics, as some of the outside light will pass through it but it will generally cut out about 80 to 85% of the heat when compared to a canvas fabric.
The biggest advantage of the mesh or screen awning fabric is that you can see out through it. This is ideal for areas when you want to maintain a view such as overlooking scenery, a pool area, or the back yard where you may want to keep an eye on children.
Acrylic Awning Fabric
Our last fabric is the acrylic fabrics. There are many brands but we choose to use the Docril range. Acrylic fabrics are mainly designed for use on folding arm awnings.
Folding arm awnings are awnings that project out horizontally without any supports and because it’s unsupported you need to keep the weight down. The acrylic awning fabric is the lightest available, that is suitable for an awning.
The acrylic awning fabric has no backing so it does let light through, however, you can’t see through it like you can with the mesh or screen fabric. In terms of keeping your house cool, it’s in between the canvas and the mesh fabrics.
The main advantage is that it comes in many colours and patterns.
So there you have it, the 3 different types of awning fabrics available. Here is a quick summary…
- Canvas Awning Fabric – If heat’s your main concern, you can’t go past the canvas.
- Mesh Awning Fabric – If you are happy to sacrifice a little bit of heat protection for a view, then the mesh is your answer.
- Acrylic Awning Fabric – If you want a fabric colour or design that you can’t find in the mesh or canvas, or you want some light to come into the home without being able to see through the awning blind… then acrylic is the one for you.
We hope this has provided you with an understanding of the different awning fabrics available and has helped you decide which one best suits your needs.
If you need any further assistance we are only a phone call away, alternatively feel free to complete one of our online contact forms and we will be more than happy to give you a call.
Next time we plan on covering the widths of the awning fabrics, the different types of joins used and how this impacts on your fabric selection. So stay tuned…