Which material is best for your outdoor awning fabric?

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Several types of fibers are used to produce awning fabrics for outdoor use. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that there’s a big difference between resistant and non-resistant fibers. Here’s a brief overview of the fibers available on the market.

Acrylic fiber

Acrylic fiber

This is the best modern synthetic fiber for outdoor use. It has the same excellent heat insulation properties as fibers used in the garment industry. For awning fabrics, we therefore recommend solution-dyed acrylic fiber. The fiber is dyed all the way through during production unlike other fibers that are simply color dipped. Solution-dyed acrylic fiber guarantees bright and long-lasting colors. 

Leading manufacturers then add a special coating to make the fabric water-repellent so the water rolls off the fabric rather than soaking into it.

Cotton

Cotton

This 100% natural material was once the leading fiber for outdoor awnings. The colors are not UV-resistant, however, and the fiber soaks up water like a sponge and makes it more likely to rot. Thicker and heavier than acrylic fabric, cotton fiber awnings are bulkier for the same fabric surface. Most manufacturers now prefer more resistant synthetic materials that are better adapted to outdoor use. 

Polyester

Polyester

This synthetic fiber is recognized and valued for its tensile strength. It is more often used for clothing than outdoor fabrics. Sensitive to UV rays, when used outdoors as awnings, for example, cotton rapidly loses its initial resistance. It is therefore not recommended for long-term use. 

Polypropylene

Polypropylene

This synthetic fiber is attractively priced but deteriorates quickly under UV rays. The colors do not stand up well to ultraviolet rays and products tend to look very “plastic”. It is mainly used for interior floor coverings. 

Micro-perforated fabrics

Micro-perforated fabrics

These fabrics, like Dickson Sunworker, appeared on the market some fifteen years ago and meet new requirements for large windows, heat and light control, energy savings etc. Made from high-tenacity PVC-coated polyester fibers, these textiles are very easy to wash and resist well over time. They are resistant to mechanical wear like wind. 


Awnings equipped with micro-perforated fabrics control heat and light inside a room. You can look out but others cannot see in. These fabrics are mainly recommended for vertical blinds or veranda awnings.

Choosing the right fibers for better colorfastness ?

According to the European standard EN ISO 105 B04: European textile standard for measuring colorfastness to artificial weathering (UV radiation + bad weather).

After 0 hours: Original condition

After 1000 hours: 1 year of normal sunshine in the south of France

After 2000 hours: 2 years of normal sunshine in the south of France

After 4000 hours: 4 years of normal sunshine in the south of France

Solution-dyed acrylic:

La couleur de l'acrylique teint masse jusqu'à 4000 heures d'ensoleillement

Solution-dyed polyester (flame retardant)

La couleur du polyester teint masse jusqu'à 4000 heures d'ensoleillement

Yarn-dyed polyester (European):

La couleur du polyester teint fil européen jusqu'à 4000 heures d'ensoleillement

Polypropylene:

La couleur du polypropylène jusqu'à 4000 heures d'ensoleillement

Yarn-dyed polyester:

La couleur du polyester teint fil jusqu'à 4000 heures d'ensoleillement

DICKSON guarantees the rot-proof qualities and colorfastness of its solution-dyed acrylic fabrics for 10 years, and 5 years for its solution-dyed polyester fabrics.

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