How to Look for the Best Quality Awning Fabric in 2020

 

retractable awning - elite cassette

When choosing your new awning or replacing old, worn awning fabric, make sure you choose the best fabric for your needs. Your new fabric should complement the exterior of your home plus last through any weather—rain or shine!

Where do you start? The variety of fabric types, colors, and materials can be overwhelming without some help. When changing the look of your awning with new fabric, beware fabrics that won't withstand the elements. It's fun to replace worn awning fabric to revitalize your outdoor space, but you don't want to do it again a few months later. Keep reading for our guide to finding the best quality awning fabric to refresh your awning!

What is Awning Fabric?

Let's start with the basics of updating your awning. The frame of your awning for patio can't protect your outdoor space without a covering on it. Awnings fabrics provide shade and protection from different types of weather. 

Coverings are available in three main types of awning fabric:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic
  • Vinyl

The type of awning fabric that works best for your awning depends on your needs. The weather in your area can help you determine the right kind of material to cover your patio or business entrance. The cost and available colors or patterns can also be a factor for the fabric you choose.

Before you start thinking about colors or style, determine the best fabric type for your awning. 

What Does Your Awning Need to Do?

You installed a patio awning to enhance your outdoor experience. The right awning and cover should protect your patio from direct sunlight to provide shade. You might also want your awning to keep your patio and outdoor furniture dry when it rains. 

Choosing the right fabric helps you create the ideal conditions for relaxing on your patio or entertaining outdoors. You also want your awning to look beautiful for years to come. 

  • Colorfast fabric resists fading. Choose an acrylic fabric for bright or bold colors that won't fade or dull as quickly as other awning fabrics. Acrylic coverings create a rich cloth covering that fights the outdoor elements to hold the original color better for the lifetime of the awning cover. If you want your awning to be an eye-catching design feature, focus your search on woven acrylic covers.
  • Water-repellant fabrics keep you dry. Whether you want to enjoy your patio under a light rain, or you need your awning to protect patio furniture during a rain shower, the water-repellent fabric on a stationary awning is what you need. Sunbrella fabric awnings offer excellent water-resistant protection from your residential awning. 
  • Ventilation helps you breathe easier. To help create airflow underneath your awning, choose a woven fabric. Vinyl or plastic awning fabrics are not intended to create ventilation and will increase radiant heat. Weaved fabrics help create more ventilation through your awning. If rain isn't a concern for you, you'll generate shade plus better airflow with a mesh awning.  

Make a list of what you want to accomplish with your new awning. With today's awning fabrics and options, knowing how you want your awning to enhance your outdoor space and fit into the exterior of your home can lead you to the perfect fabric choice. 

awning fabric close up

How Long Will It Last? 

Longevity is critical when replacing your awning fabric. Depending on your type of awning and the material you choose, a new awning covering is an investment. Awning fabric costs will vary depending on color, size, and fabric. However, no matter what you choose, you want it to last for several years. 

Longest-Lasting

If staying power is your top priority, a Sunbrella fabric awning is your best choice. This fabric stays tight and withstands wind, rain, extreme sun, and other harsh weather conditions better than many other fabrics. Plus, your Sunbrella awning comes with limited 10-year warranty. 

If your backyard entertaining includes a fire pit or chiminea, a Sunbrella fabric awning offers some of the best protection against flames caused by ash or floating embers. Aside from entertaining with a warm fire, if your home is in an area that's prone to natural wildfires, your Sunbrella fabric awning is less likely to catch fire from the ash from a wildfire. Sunbrella even offers a limited color line of Fire Rated fabrics called Firesist ® . 

Shortest Durability

Natural fabrics look beautiful and help your home stay environmentally friendly. Wood or canvas fabrics make an attractive addition to a rustic or eco-friendly patio space. However, these fabrics are less likely to last and look like-new for your awning year after year.

Wood and other natural fabrics are more susceptible to damage and wear from rain, wind, and sun. If you want your awning investment to last longer than a few seasonal cycles, choose either vinyl or acrylic fabric. 

Durable And Attractive

You'll find plenty of design options and the right amount of durability with an acrylic fabric awning. Acrylic is more durable for your awning than a canvas cover. Plus, while not waterproof, acrylic does repel water. Water-repellent fabrics resist mold and mildew—two problems that can decrease the lifespan of your fabric awning. 

White awning over white and brown sofa with desk

What Else Should You Consider?

Your awning is a structural addition to your home or business. Making the right choices about your awning materials can either add value to your home—or make it an eyesore. You've probably seen awnings that are a distracting color or have tears and damage. Poorly-covered awnings can result in damage to your home and reduce your home's value. 

However, a quality awning and the right fabric provide plenty of benefits for you and your home. 

Energy Savings

A well-constructed awning over a patio, deck, or front door adds character to your home. Plus, the right awning materials can help you reduce energy costs by regulating the temperature in your home or business. Awnings provide shade and weather protection to your exterior spaces while also protecting the interior of your home from direct sun or extreme weather. 

An acrylic fabric awning is excellent for protecting your home and helping to reduce energy bills. 

Permanent or Retractable

A permanent awning needs a fabric cover that can withstand any weather. A retractable awning cover must have the flexibility to fold without damage to the fabric. 

Depending on your needs, a permanent awning is a benefit to your home. However, if you enjoy the flexibility of adjusting the level of shade and coverage provided by your awning, a retractable awning is an excellent choice. Be sure your fabric can withstand the retraction and extension of your awning by avoiding vinyl or polyester awning fabrics.. 

Colors

You’ll want the color of your awning to be an asset to the exterior of your home. Today's acrylic fabrics offer a variety of styles, from solids to stripes and textures. Design your perfect shade to blend with your design or contrast as a focal point for your backyard entertainment space. Most customers begin the fabric selection process seeking to match their walls, after seeing photos & samples, most customers choose a contrasting color. Keep in mind you will see your awning from the inside of your home looking outwards the vast majority of the time.

Blue striped retractable awning on town house by beach

Care and Maintenance

You can increase the life of your fabric awning by taking good care of it. It's easy to forget critical care and maintenance for your awning when it does its job well. However, as soon as you notice mildew or a tear in the seam, you'll wish you had done a few things to help extend the life of your awning. 

When you replace your awning, make sure your professional installers walk you through proper care for the fabric and frame. 

  • Cleaning the fabric. Rain doesn't clean your awning! Without a good cleaning, rain and humidity can encourage mold and mildew growth. Plus, if your fabric awning can also collect dirt and debris that can cause holes in the fabric. Once to twice a year, clean your awning with a cleaner that's appropriate for your fabric awning. If you notice debris on your covering, be sure you remove it right away. 
  • Watching for rust. Depending on your type of frame, rust can collect on the metal parts of your awning. Rust can eat away at the fabric that connects your awning cover to the frame. At first sight of rust, clean it with a fabric-safe cleanser to prevent rust from damaging your fabric. 
  • Repairing wear and tear. A tear or small hole doesn't mean you need to replace the full awning. Currently the awning industry doesn’t have on on-site repair product for excessive wear or holes in an outside fabric. Fabric tape is available, but our in-factory testing has determined the awning fabric tape doesn’t last more than a few days before falling off & becoming useless. Watch for small holes or tears in your fabric. When you first notice a hole, repair it to prevent it from growing into a larger hole. Some companies suggest  dabbing or smudging a little clear silicone over the hole to keep it from growing larger. The fabric warranty for your fabric will not cover holes caused by outside sources, such as rubbing from tree branches, animals picking at thread or items being dropped on the fabric. 

When choosing your new fabric awning, be sure you research the pros and cons of each fabric to make sure it meets your needs. Your professional installers are also an excellent source to help you make the right fabric decision for your awning replacement. 

Let Us Help You Choose the Perfect Awning Fabric! 

Your choice of awning fabric is an important decision! From colors to the type of fabric, it can be overwhelming to know what works best for your awning. 

The Accent Awning team has replaced thousands of awnings since 1979. Our experts can help you choose the awning fabric that best fits your needs and lasts for many years. Contact us for a quote to replace your fabric awning! You can also stop by our showroom to take a look at your next new awning.