The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Awning Fabrics

Posted By: admin on 5 Aug, 2019

Awnings have many benefits beyond just looking bright and beautiful. They protect you and your home from weather, provide shade, and increase your home’s energy efficiency. There are various designs, from simple outdoor canopies to modern motorized retractable awnings. They also come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. For example, conventional awnings are often made with wood, metal or cotton canvas, while modern ones are made with materials that are more durable and require less maintenance. However, to make the best choice, knowing the pros and cons of each material is helpful.

Different Types of Awning Fabrics

Different types of awning fabrics

With so many different choices, picking the right awning fabric can be difficult. There are so many factors to consider, like weather, style and budget, that you need to put some thought take into what constitutes your perfect awning fabric.

This is not because one material is better than the other, but different fabrics are necessary for different conditions. For example, the tropics, with its harsh winds and rains, is more suited to a sturdy material, while a place with lots of sun needs something more fade resistant.

Let’s look at the advantage and disadvantage of each of these materials to find the one best suited to you.

In general, there are three main types of fabric used for awnings: canvas, cotton and polyester.

Pro Tip:

Always use lighter fabrics for the window and heavier materials for the doorway.

1.  Canvas

A classic option for awning fabric, canvas is exceptionally strong. Made from hemp, it has been used to make everything from sails to sailor bags to tents.


Canvas is a great fabric choice for awnings thanks to its durability and flexibility. It is also a rather inexpensive material that can withstand snow and rain and not get bogged down in the middle.


  • When installed properly, canvas is a great choice for garden awnings and canopies since it creates a casual but stylish look. However, the material can sag if not stretched properly.
  • Compared to the rest of your polished household, canvas awnings may appear a bit rough and out of place.

2.  Cotton

Cotton is another strong fabric. For a long time, this environmentally-friendly fabric has been the most popular choice for awnings and remains a classic due to its feel.


  • Cotton is naturally water resistant, making it perfect for chilly climates.
  • It is resistant to mould and mildew and is suitable for high-moisture areas.
  • Cotton never loses its shape thanks to its self-contouring properties. Manufacturers usually provide a standard warranty from 3 to 5 years on cotton awnings.
  • It is machine washable.


  • Cotton is more expensive than canvas.
  • It is not flame resistant and is less durable than polyester or canvas.
  • Cotton does not hold up as well as synthetic materials. In fact, you will need to seal it with a waterproofing chemical to make it last longer.

3.  Polyester

Polyester is a tough, breathable polymer used in the manufacture of many products, including clothing, containers, and, you guessed it, awnings. Polyester-based fabrics are translucent by nature, depending on their colours. For instance, lighter-coloured fabrics are more translucent than darker-coloured ones.


  • As a synthetic, polyester is designed to withstand almost any weather condition.
  • It dries quickly.
  • It is resistant to wrinkles and retains creases in both wet and dry conditions.
  • It is resistant to high humidity, mildew and harmful UV rays.
  • Polyester-based fabrics are available in many customized patterns, including solids and stripes.
  • The standard warranty provided by manufacturers ranges from 5 to 10 years.


  • Polyester is not a soft material. If touch is important to you, this material is not suitable.
  • It is susceptible to fading. As a result, some awnings may start to have a different shade than others, based on the amount of sun exposure they get.

Here is a list of polyester-based fabrics for you to choose from.

 I.        Acrylic-Coated Polyester

Awnings made with acrylic fabrics are more durable than conventional cotton-blended canvas ones. Perfect for producing an appealing design element, this fabric repels water but is not waterproof. However, they are suited to humid areas and resist mildew and wear-and-tear from exposure to UV rays.

Additional Information:

Other than polyester-coated acrylic, there are 100% acrylic and cotton-polyester blends coated with acrylic as well. All these types of acrylic fibres are heavy, transparent, and perfect for resisting high humidity, mildew and UV rays.

II.        Vinyl-Laminated Polyester

Fabrics made of vinyl and polyester compounds tend to be very durable since these polymer-composite blends are water resistant, fire resistant, and crease resistant. Light and flexible, this material is perfect for both residential and commercial awnings due to its versatility and flexibility.

III.        PVC-Coated Woven Polyester

PVC-coated woven polyester is highly durable and low maintenance. It is most popular for boats and recreational vehicles since it is highly waterproof and available in various colours.

IV.        Vinyl-Coated Polyester

If you prefer a material that is lightweight and breathable, this mesh-like material should be considered. However, it offers more variety in design than functionality.

Special Mentions

Apart from the above-mentioned fabrics, there are two other materials available for your patio’s canopy.

1.  Metal


Metal awnings, made of steel and aluminum, have a low-maintenance surface you can paint in any colour to match your home’s exterior.


  • Steel awnings need to be painted at regular intervals to avoid rust.
  • Aluminum awnings are more prone to dent.
  • Despite being low maintenance, these fabric alternatives require careful cleaning.
  • Metal awnings cannot be rolled up, but some types are available with hinges for folding up or down.

2.  Fibreglass


A lighter alternative to metal awnings, this material is less expensive.


Fibreglass requires more maintenance and more frequent replacement compared to other modern awning materials.

Choosing the right fabric ensures that your beautiful awnings last a long time and function the way they were supposed to. Whichever material you may choose for your garden awnings and canopies, make sure that the material does not easily fade, leak or stretch.

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