Fabric Forms uses a variety of fabric, the type of fabric sometimes is determined by the desired color but most often it is determined by application. All of the fabric we use are made to be used outdoors, some are flame retardant, which is required in most commercial applications and any installation that is indoors. All have warranties against excessive fading and rot ranging from 5 years to 10 years.
There are two classifications of fabrics
I usually separate fabrics into two classifications, woven synthetic and vinyl fabric. In the Cincinnati area vinyl fabric, which is broken down into either laminated or coated types, is generally used in commercial/industrial projects. Vinyl fabric is waterproof, flame retardant, easily cleaned, stable and accepts vinyl graphics. Woven synthetic fabric with brand names like Sunbrella, Recaril, dominate the residential awning market nation wide. These fabrics are solution dyed, meaning the yarn is dyed first then woven allowing for a wide variety of bright and long lasting solid and stripe patterns.
How long will the awning fabric last?
Typically fabric used in a residential application will last 8-12 years depending which direction the awnings face on the house, what kind of thread is used, if the fabric is reinforced at stress points and perhaps the most important issue, how much of the fabric blows in the wind. I have had Sunbrella fabric last more than 15 years in both commercial and residential applications. Fabric Forms uses both Sunbrella and Recacril on a regular basis. I sell them as equal, there are technical differences that I see when sewing or stretching the fabric, but the main determination in which brand I use usually comes down to color. Both brands have the same basic solid colors that vary in shade. I often
take samples of both to the job site, trying to match paint colors and the closet one wins. When customers are trying to make a color selection I generally provide both sample books. If a solid color is desired the two brands are equal, however if the customer wants stripes Sunbrella is the winner by a large margin.