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How to change the fabric of a folding arm? 

Need to change the fabric on a folding-arm awning that is starting to look damaged after years of loyal service? Professional awning manufacturers can help you with this. You will be able to make the most of a shaded terrace once again.

Why reline your awning folding arm?

This process consists of changing the awning fabric while keeping the original structure, including the frame, arms and cassette. It is a cost-effective way of replacing damaged fabric and modernising your awning at the same time.


When maintained properly, good-quality awning fabrics can last more than ten years, but the time will come when a replacement is needed. Has your awning fabric been torn in some places because of strong winds? Has it faded over time or been stained by leaves or pollution? Have you just moved in to a new home with an old folding-arm awning and want to breathe new life into your terrace? Or perhaps you just want to change the colour of your awning to create a different atmosphere?

You can choose from a host of elegant colours and designs, including traditional and modern stripes. We will help you to pick the right option for you among the many folding-arm awning fabrics available:


Can you reline your awning fabric yourself?

If you are handy and have the right equipment, you can change your awning fabric yourself, but you will need to take a lot of precautions. It is a very technical process, so you will have to be very careful. Two people will be needed to handle the awning, or even three if it is large.


The operation, which can take from 1.5 to 2 hours, will consist of :

Remove the old awning fabric

The process will be slightly different depending on the type of cassette that houses your awning fabric:

  • Full cassette (rounded or rectangle shape)
  • Semi-cassette
  • Monobloc

Take the exact measurements of the fabric

Measurements required:

  • Total width (overall): whole width of the unfurled fabric
  • Total length (overall): whole length of the unfurled fabric
  • Fabric attachment type at the top edge
  • Fabric attachment type at the bottom edge
  • Valance attachment type
  • Fixing accessories (if applicable)

Please note: There are three types of fabric attachment. For each type, check the diameter used:

  • Cord: a rubber cord inserted into the hem of the fabric
  • Tubing: a tube inserted into the hem of the fabric (generally for the bottom edge)
  • Raw finish: a simple hem with snaps or staples to attach it

Make sure your measurements are accurate; otherwise, your fabric will not fit the structure. Use a stiff tape measure and have someone else there to hold the tape against the fabric.

Order new fabric

Once you have taken the measurements, all you need to do is choose the new fabric, either by going to your nearest Dickson-approved awning manufacturer or by browsing their online catalogue. You can place an order in person or through their website.

Install the new fabric

Before installing the new fabric, we advise you to clean the existing frame thoroughly. Follow our cleaning tips in our article: How to clean your folding-arm awning.

If you do not feel confident carrying out any of these steps, get in touch with a Dickson-approved professional. They will be able to advise you or change the fabric for you. By getting a professional involved, you will ensure that your new awning fabric fits just right. You will end up with new awning fabric and a 10-year warranty.

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