How To Choose An Awning Fabric?

As we approach sunnier times, the luxury of relaxing outdoors draws nearer. Sitting on the patio with a drink in hand or a good book is a simple pleasure, and what better way to complement your patio than a beautiful awning? In this article, the team at Allegro Blinds are going to compare the various awning fabrics available to help you make the right choice. 

The Awning 


Canvas is the most widely-used material for awnings, particularly in commercial settings like restaurant terraces and beer gardens. Benefits of canvas include:

  • It’s cheaper to get
  • There’s a huge range of colours and patterns available to ensure your tastes are catered for. 

Some caveats to using canvas for your awning:

  • It isn’t the strongest material, especially when stretched as it would be on an awning
  • Dirt and grime can become embedded in the fabric
  • Canvas doesn’t have the same longevity as other materials; five years is the usual lifespan

Architectural Fabrics

The term ‘architectural fabrics’ refers to structural fabrics that are used to create tensile surfaces like roofs and, of course, awnings. PVC nylon, PVC polyester and silicone glass are good examples of this.  

Benefits of architectural fabrics include:

  • They are heavily coated, which makes them easy to clean
  • A huge range of colours 
  • They can last for over 20 years
  • They’re suitable for year-round use

Some potential issues with architectural fabric awnings are:

  • The materials can be more expensive 



Polycarbonate awnings are made of thermoplastic polymers, often taking a translucent form. Other examples of polycarbonates include plastic glasses lenses and things like CDs and DVDs.

  • Cheaper to install than most other materials
  • Good insulative properties
  • If you are considering a polycarbonate awning, some potential hindrances include:
  • Shapes are limited; only flat or slightly curved shapes are can be used
  • Due to restrictions on the size of polycarbonate sheets, more complex support structures are required


The benefits of glass awnings include:

  • Elegant look, works brilliantly on modern and older structures alike
  • Highest light transmission of all potential awning materials

Drawbacks of glass awnings:

  • Only flat or gentle curves are suitable for the material
  • Requires complex support structures
  • The glass will magnify any sunlight, increasing the heat below
  • It is fragile – accidental impacts could damage or break the glass


Awning frame materials


One of the main benefits of steel is its strength. Not only does the strength lend itself to better durability, it also means that fewer support beams or ‘legs’ are required to keep the awning secure. Something to bear in mind is that problems may arise if your steel awning frame isn’t properly coated. 


Aluminium is the lightest of the awning frame materials, so it is easier to install. It also has low maintenance requirements. Aluminium frames are better for smaller canopies and awnings, but it does lack the strength of steel, so more of it needs to be used in order to achieve similar strength levels. 


Wood is popular for people who want a natural look for their awning frame. Using wood for your awning frame requires a few more considerations than other materials, though; it is weaker than metal, and as such thicker beams would be required. Wood also requires considerable treatment in order to protect it from the elements and rot.


Allegro Blinds are proud providers of beautiful awnings and canopies for customers throughout St Albans, Watford, Dunstable and the surrounding areas.  To find out more, or to arrange for a free home visit and survey from one of our professional team members, please get in touch with us today.