Not All Awnings Fabrics Are Made The Same. Find The Right One For You

When it comes to awning fabrics, you want only the best for your business. After all, your awning tells potential customers who you are and makes that all-important first impression on them. But awning fabrics come in a vast array of options, not all of them right for your business. What constitutes “best” depends on what you want your awning to do and how you want it to look.

Awning fabrics can be used to create:

  • Traditional style sloped or rounded awnings over windows and doorways.
  • Free-standing canopies that cover sidewalks and other walkways or create tents to use as separate outdoor rooms.
  • Tension structures that can cover very large expanses without a lot of support structure underneath.
  • Umbrellas.
  • Retractable awnings for seasonal use.
  • Indoor awnings that serve as focal points for merchandise displays, cashier or reception desks, etc.

Each of these applications requires a somewhat different set of physical and performance characteristics, in order for awning fabrics to remain at their best over time. Longevity is especially important, because awnings can be a significant investment for your business.


You’ll find awning fabrics with surface textures from sick and shiny to the look of cotton canvas or linen. Awning fabrics come in plain weave, fancier dobby and jacquard weaves, tweeds and a breathable open weave.

You’ll find an unbelievable selection of color and pattern options. Super-bright or quiet solids. Narrow, wide or varied stripes. And special options such as duplex (two-sided) fabrics that can be white or eggshell on the underside.

Some awning fabrics lend themselves beautifully to coordinating outdoor projects such as furniture cushions or indoor additions such as roller blinds.

Physical properties

All modern awning fabrics are stronger and more durable than their earlier counterparts. Weather-resistance is critical in and around New York City, because whether you’re at the beach or inland, you can count on harsh extremes and – at some point – weather that’s even worse than expected. Look for awning fabrics resistant to fading, cracking or crazing, stretching or other problems traditionally caused by exposure and the weight of snow. Learn more about the most weather resistant awning designs .

Specific engineered-in traits enable fabrics to meet certain performance requirements. They can be flame-retardant or fire-resistant, water-resistant or water-repellant. Weathertyte awning fabrics are 100% waterproof.

They can also be UV-resistant to protect people and products from sun damage and reduce solar heat. That improves indoor cooling, saving money and energy on air conditioning. Ferrari, Patio500® and Sunbrella View® awning fabrics are all exceptional when it comes to fending off unwanted heat and ultraviolet light from the sun.

Some fabrics are designed for certain functional purposes, for instance backlighting or including eradication – a process that removes your lettering or other graphics from the surface layer of awning fabrics, leaving a “reverse” white impression. Brite Awn® and Eradi-Lite® awning fabrics are both examples of good products to choose for backlighting.

Graphics acceptance

There are numerous ways you can add text or other graphics to awning fabrics, but not all fabrics work nicely with all methods. Which do you plan to use?

  • Older traditional techniques such as hand painting, silk screening and adhesive (pressure-sensitive) vinyl.
  • Sewn-in inset fabric.
  • Newer high-tech methods such as heat transfer or heat-sealed inset fabric.
  • Computerized digital printing that allows you to literally put any image anywhere on your awning, regardless of size or intricate detail.

When it comes to awning fabrics, there is one universal truth: insist on the best quality materials and workmanship you can get. Top-quality materials will come with longer warranties, and top-quality construction and installation ensure strength and durability as well as good looks. Nothing is best if it brings you expense and headaches down the road.

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