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Performance Fabric News & Insights | Commercial Awnings

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Indicators That Your Waterproof Canopy is Actually Waterproof

Posted by Mike Gatti on Nov 25, 2016 1:39:00 PM

In almost all cases, it’s extremely important for canopies to be waterproof. Even if your area doesn’t get a lot of rain, the canopy needs to protect people from rain and to not be affected by rain in other negative ways when it does occur. If you were under the impression you had bought a waterproof canopy but it’s now starting to leak or show signs of water damage, you may have bought a canopy that was simply water resistant or made waterproof in a short-term way.

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Shade Sail Structures and Point Attachments

Posted by Craig Zola on May 3, 2016 10:30:53 AM

When you hear the term “shade sail” you probably think of things like boats and marine products. But in actuality, a shade sail is far from that; it’s a shade structure that is not only innovative and aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and versatile.

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Awning Fabrics Comparison: What’s the Right Material for You?

Posted by Craig Zola on May 14, 2014 10:59:00 AM

Awnings are an important energy and money saving structure that most homes should have. Awnings save energy and can reduce temperatures by 8-15 degrees. Awnings can also reduce air conditioning costs up to 25 percent! And most importantly, awnings protect your family and your home from sun damage and ultra violet rays.

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Awning Project Spotlight - Natura

Posted by Craig Zola on Oct 31, 2013 8:49:00 AM

The October Project Spotlight is located at the Orange County Convention Center. This is the location of the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013.

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The Best Fabric for a Waterproof Patio Cover

Posted by Craig Zola on Jul 9, 2013 1:00:00 PM

Choosing fabric for waterproof patio covers is a task that cannot be undertaken lightly. In commercial applications, your patio cover may be the first thing that your customers see as they enter your premises. If you're in the hospitality sector, you understand the advantage of using waterproof fabric for your entrance awnings, as this creates a warm and welcoming area for guests as they cross your threshold. In addition, as outdoor dining has become more popular, eateries offer their clientele the option to gather on patios.

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Choosing the Right Awning Style

Posted by Craig Zola on May 30, 2013 1:37:00 PM

Choosing exactly the right material and framing style for your awning requires a handful of information.

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3 ways to maximize awning energy savings

Posted by Craig Zola on Apr 11, 2013 9:59:00 PM

You have always wanted to enjoy the outdoors without having to be scorched in the hot sun especially during warm summers. To begin thinking about awnings, it is necessary for you to understand which house direction has shade and how the trees help in creating shades. This is important because you can then determine where you want to place awnings. Awnings can be very helpful in saving you air conditioning energy costs from the sun’s rays heating up the inside of a home. Awning energy savings can be influenced by the type of fabric that is chosen.

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Choosing the right commercial awning fabrics for durability

Posted by Craig Zola on Sep 28, 2012 9:01:00 AM

Thanks to the drive of ingenuity coupled with technological breakthroughs in synthetic fabrics there have been new breakthroughs in the topcoatings that protect those fabrics —an evolution that has continued with a steady acceleration.

During the 1970's and 1980s, it was common to respond to questions on awning fabric performance with a disclaimer. Warranties,  colorfastness, tensile strengths, ultraviolet stability were all new concepts then. 

Herculite®, Inc. has been a leading innovator of commercial awning fabrics, specializing in high performance laminated & coated fabrics for more than 60 years.

A founder within the synthetic fabrics industry, Herculite® helped pioneer  uses of laminated fabrics in many industries which lead to the development of many of the commercial awning fabrics we have available today.
Today's Commercial Awning Fabrics

Materials advances have been driven partly by improved synthetic yarns as the basis — the scrim, or substrate — for many laminated fabrics, giving them increased strength and flexibility.

Coated fabrics created from polyester fibers have improved blends between cotton and polyester. This allows mills to produce a clean, strong and smooth product that is unparalleled in durability.

Woven polyester fibers have evolved, utilizing substrates with anti-wicking properties. Yarns treated by using the spinning process help resist capillary-like moisture absorption. This helps keep dirt and moisture out to help resist mildew. 
Chemicals for fire resistance, pigments and ultraviolet stabilization pigments have improved. Air-jet looms create woven fabrics like acrylic consistently, without as many anomalies. Styles have been updated with weave patterns.  Performance improvements extend original life expectancies.

Fabric Selection for Durability

Fabric choices for awnings or canopies depend on what it will be used for and where:
  • commercial or residential
  • frontlit or illuminated (backlit)
  • interior or exterior
Fabrics designed to be used in illuminated awnings or canopies will be very different from other awning fabrics. Translucent and even-weighted fabrics are created for illuminated awnings like vinyl-coated or vinyl-laminated polyesters, specifically designed to increase light-translucency.

Graphics also are an option. Heat-transfer film, eradication, silkscreening, heat-sealed inset fabric, sewn-in inset fabric, even pressure-sensitive vinyl,  and hand painting are all avaiable for decorating awning fabrics. Fabric compatibility needs close scrutiny if you want to use a specific graphic application method. 
Handling will also vary among fabrics. Look at which fabrics can be heat sealed or sewn-- what are the shrinkage and stretch factors.  Make sure spec sheets, technical manuals and cleaning agents are all available. 

Today, Herculite® fabric company provides a vast array of brands, products, marketing, design, manufacturing, consulting and technical expertise. They provide the information required for choosing the right commercial awning fabrics for durability.

According to the Awning Division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), there are seven primary fabrics for awnings and canopies:

•vinyl-laminated polyester
•vinyl-coated polyester
•acrylic-coated polyester
•vinyl-coated polyester/cotton
•solution-dyed acrylic
•painted polyester/cotton
•solution-dyed modacrylic 
Awning fabrics typically weigh from 9 to 17 ounces per square yard. Ranges vary according to fabric type. All seven types have good abrasion resistance and last between five to eight years.

Laminates, topcoatings and coatings are commonly used for equipping fabrics with protective qualities. These liquids are cured and applied to woven scrim, the fabric base. Coatings are in liquid form, chemical compounds are added to provide pigment. They are flame retardant, UV, water and mildew resistance.

Laminates offer the advantage of providing two or more materials within one. Technically formed when reinforcing scrim, or base fabric, it is calendared between two layers of thermoplastic film. 

Finally, they are manufactured by applying heat and pressure, as well as an inclusion of an adhesive layer between film and scrim layers creating an uncommon durability.

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