Awning Fabrics: What Are the Best Materials for Your Outdoor Spaces

outdoor awning fabric

Outdoor awnings are a beautiful, functional choice for all of your outdoor spaces. They provide valuable shade and a cool area for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Awning fabrics also protect you from the intensity of the sun and inclement weather.

Choosing the right outdoor awning fabric can be difficult. In addition to considering colors, patterns, and textures, you have to consider the practical qualities such as durability, resistance to mold and mildew, and ease of maintenance.

Quality Outdoor Awning Fabrics


Initially, the canvas was the base material for all awnings. Canvas has excellent durability and thickness. However, resisting water and stains requires additional treatments for optimal protection.

Duck cloth is a similar fabric to canvas. Also called a cotton duck, it has a tighter weave that softens its texture.

Manufacturers still produce canvas and duck cloth. However, you will rarely find these fabrics today in the awning industry. These fabrics are susceptible to rot, mold, mildew, and fading.

Coating-Based Fabrics

Early coating-based fabrics consisted of cotton canvas. This canvas had an acrylic or vinyl coating to improve water and weather resistance. Both approaches had drawbacks, with acrylic-painted canvas prone to shrinkage and vinyl-coated canvas tending to fade and run.

Acrylic-coated polyester, sometimes called acrylic polyester, is a durable option with high water resistance. It is a common awning fabric, though the coating can fade with extended exposure to UV rays. Polyester also comes in a limited selection of colors.

Vinyl Fabrics

Laminated or coated vinyl fabric is another common material used for outdoor awnings. Vinyl fabrics are strong, durable, and easy to maintain. Their coating makes the awning waterproof.

However, vinyl fabrics are not as flexible as other types of awning fabrics. Vinyl fabrics are also more susceptible to tears, making them less ideal for retractable awnings in windy areas.

Solution-Dyed Acrylic

Arguably the best awning fabric developed to date is solution-dyed acrylic. This fabric consists of fibers dyed with acrylic pigments and woven together. This type of outdoor awning fabric is highly resistant to fading.

Furthermore, the protective finish of solution-dyed acrylic is much softer to the touch than other coating-cased awning fabrics. This acrylic material is so soft that more manufacturers use it for indoor furniture.

Lastly, solution-dyed acrylic is highly water-resistant, and its protective finish is easy to clean and keeps free of mold and mildew. Solution-dyed acrylic also dries quickly, making it naturally resistant to shrinkage. It is also highly resistant to tears, though it will wear in areas that experience regular abrasion or rubbing.

Choosing the Best Awning Fabric for You

choosing the best awning fabric

Selecting quality awning fabrics can be difficult. You want to choose durable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing materials. Though all the fabrics described above work well, solution-dyed acrylic has become the go-to outdoor awning fabric.

Solution-dyed acrylic awning fabrics feature bright colors that resist fading from sun exposure, durability, flexibility, resistance to mold and mildew, and easy maintenance. They are the ideal choice for your outdoor stationary or retractable awnings.

Superior Sun Solutions offers a wide range of custom awning styles and designs to suit your needs. Our team will walk you through all the options, from size and composition to choosing the right awning fabrics. With expert design and professional installation, we’re ready to help you upgrade your Arizona home.

For more information about Superior Sun Solutions’ high-quality custom retractable awnings, reach out to our friendly Superior Sun Solutions team. Contact us online today for a free estimate or call us at (480) 947-3070.


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