Performance Fabric News & Insights | Commercial Awnings
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.
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.
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.
The October Project Spotlight is located at the Orange County Convention Center. This is the location of the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013.
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.
Choosing exactly the right material and framing style for your awning requires a handful of information.
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.
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
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:
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.