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Retractable-Awning-headerImageAwnings are a great way to create a comfortable outdoor living space in the summer. Over the last few years, retractable awnings have become an increasingly popular way to shade and protect a deck or patio area. Depending on the quality of retractable awning, the awning fabric may start to fade or look a little shabby. Luckily, replacing awning fabric is fairly easy and a great project you can do yourself!

We’ve put together an instructional video that walks you step-by-step through the process of replacing the fabric panel in a retractable awning. You will learn how to remove the old fabric panel, take measurements, and sew and install a new fabric panel.

For the awning in this video, we used a sleek and sophisticated Sunbrella Awning stripe, Westfield Mushroom. We stock a wide selection of Sunbrella Marine and Awning Fabrics, so you can select the fabric that will best suit your application.

 

How to Replace Retractable Awning Fabric in 8 Steps:

  1. Remove old fabric.
  2. Measure and cut new fabric (we recommend Sunbrella).
  3. Sew panels together.
  4. Hem all awning edges.
  5. Measure and cut a valance.
  6. Add a cording sleeve.
  7. Attach binding to valance.
  8. Re-install the awning fabric.

It’s as simple as that…and all the materials can be found at www.sailrite.com.

Do you have a retractable awning or do you have another way to stay shaded?

2013_March_7

Customer Photo by Chris S.

Outdoor fabric is a broad, diverse category full of everything from Allsport Vinyl to Sunbrella Marine Grade to Waverly Sun N Shade. Not every outdoor fabric is suitable for every outdoor application, so how do you know which fabric will work best for your project?

Take a look at our new Outdoor Fabric Selection Guide. In this guide, we have ranked all of Sailrite’s outdoor fabrics by six key criteria: breathability, water resistance, abrasion resistance, UV resistance, colorfastness, and clean-ability. Let’s take a closer look at those six features.

6 Factors to Consider When Selecting an Outdoor Fabric

Breathability: The level of breathability is determined by how easily air can pass through a fabric. Breathability is important to consider for any outdoor project but is especially key for two applications: covers and seating. In airtight enclosures and covers, a non-breathable fabric could lead to mold and mildew. For seating, a breathable cushion will be more comfortable (less sticky!) especially during hot summer months.

Water Resistance: Water resistance measures how much water will bead and roll off the fabric surface. Often, water resistance and breathability are trade-offs. Typically fabrics that don’t breath well are more water resistant and those that do not breathe at all are considered waterproof (generally vinyl-coated or laminated fabrics). Water resistance is more important for applications like awnings, covers, and speedboat interiors than it is for patio furniture, where cushions can be brought in and out of the rain.

Abrasion Resistance: Abrasion resistance describes how well a fabric will hold up to abrasion under tension. Abrasion-resistant outdoor fabrics for marine and outdoor cover applications are usually heavy, stiff, and often coated with vinyl or other resins. For abrasion resistance with a softer look and hand, go with an outdoor upholstery fabric.

2013_March_9

Customer Photo by Rudy and Cheryl G.

UV Resistance: UV resistance is perhaps the most important factor in an outdoor fabric and the simplest.  The higher the UV resistance the longer the fabric will last when exposed to sunlight. The importance of UV resistance increases for applications that will see more sunlight as opposed to applications that would stay in the shade the majority of the time.

Colorfastness: The more colorfast a fabric, the less likely the pattern or color will fade or bleed. A fabric’s colorfastness is determined by how well it holds color over years of exposure to sun, rain, and snow. Colorfastness is more of an aesthetic factor but is important to consider if using vibrant colors for awnings, covers, and cushions.

Clean-ability: While clean-ability might seem less important for outdoor fabrics as opposed to indoor, cleaning your outdoor fabrics is crucial to their longevity. Clean-ability stands for how well a fabric releases dirt from the weave. Mold and mildew can grow on dirt that is trapped in the fabric weave. In general, fabrics with a single-side coating do not release dirt well. To combat this, inspect those fabrics frequently and clean them often.

Selecting the right fabric for your outdoor project can be a balance of weighing the pros and cons of each choice. This Outdoor Fabric Selection Guide aims to make the process easier with its quick 5-star ratings system. If you’re still unsure, there’s also a cheat sheet of Sailrite fabric recommendations based on application.

2013_March_8

Customer Photo by Charles L.

You can browse our full selection of outdoor fabrics at www.sailrite.com.

What outdoor projects are you taking on this spring?

It’s starting to feel like fall here in Indiana, and we’re trying to squeeze in some last minute outdoor projects before it turns cold. Eric has been hard at work replacing the awnings on his home and shares the process in a helpful how-to video.

Home awnings are a unique and functional way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Using this step-by-step instructional video, you can affordably build gorgeous awnings that will fit perfectly on your home. Eric constructs his awnings using aluminum tubing, nylon fittings, and Sunbrella Awning Fabric in the eye-catching stripe Rumba Cactus.

This thorough how-to video walks you through the entire awning building process including: determining the frame size, constructing the frame, sewing the fabric, and installing the awning. Plus, at the end of the video there is a complete list of all the materials needed to complete your awning project.

 

Feel inspired? Check out our wide array of Sunbrella Awning Fabrics and awning hardware so you can start planning your home awning project.

Have you heard the buzz about Sunbrella fabric? Ever innovating and ever-growing, Sunbrella has been around for 51 years, and now with hundreds of indoor and outdoor fabrics, they are becoming more popular than ever. What is Sunbrella fabric, you ask? Well, simply put, Sunbrella Fabrics by Glen Raven are 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabrics that are water, fade, mold, mildew, and stain resistant. However, this description only scratches the surface of all that Sunbrella is. Perhaps the best way to explain what Sunbrella fabric is, is to show you what Sunbrella fabric does.

Here are some examples of what you can find Sunbrella doing around the world.

Sunbrella promotes:

Awnings give a storefront a unique and eye-catching look, and in the 1960’s Sunbrella revolutionized the awning industry by using acrylic fibers as an alternative to the traditional cotton. From art galleries, to restaurants, to auto repair shops, commercial awnings made from Sunbrella fabrics are popping up everywhere. Sunbrella awning fabrics are made from a solution dyed acrylic that is UV, water, and mildew resistant. They are fade-proof, stain-resistant, and long-lasting. Sunbrella even has a line of fabric designed especially for commercial and home awnings featuring a selection of striking stripes.

And the innovations just keep coming. In 2011, Sunbrella debuted the Clarity collection. Clarity is a self-cleaning fabric designed especially for hard to clean awnings. The fabric uses UV light to decompose organic material that lands on it and is extra water-resistant to wash away all of the residue.

Sunbrella protects:

Like a trusty guard dog, Sunbrella fabrics can protect your investments. Sunbrella’s Marine Grade Fabrics are widely considered the standard cloth for boating covers. Offering fantastic fade-resistant color options, superior water and mildew resistance, and a long life span, a boat cover made from Sunbrella will keep your vessel safe and dry for years.

When you’re ready to take your boat out for a spin, keep you and your family shaded and protected from UV rays with a Sunbrella bimini or dodger. Also great for residential awnings, Sunbrella fabrics offer up to 98% UV protection to keep your patio cool and safe. Always worried about your boat seat cushions fading? A Sunbrella seat cushion will keep its vibrant color even on a sun-soaked boat. As the number one marine fabric in the world, Sunbrella will enhance and shelter your watercraft.

Mainsail Cover - Bruce Powell

Sunbrella comforts:

Do you dream of furniture that is both elegant and durable; that looks stunning but is strong enough to not wither under the mess of kids and pets? Sunbrella fabrics are making your furniture dreams a reality. Sunbrella’s upholstery line is dyed and waterproofed just like their outdoor material but is made with a soft hand to comfort you at home. These worry-free fabrics can withstand a lot of wear and tear and most messes can be cleaned with mild soap and water. The furniture lines offer a wide array of colors and patterns including several theme-inspired collections such as stripes, yachting, and jacquards. Sunbrella Furniture Fabrics strive to make your life more comfortable and carefree.

Sunbrella-furniture-fabric-sofa

Sunbrella recycles:

When the word “recycling” comes to mind, one often thinks of paper, cardboard, and plastics. But did you know that fabrics can be recycled too? Sunbrella accepts used material, and from their recycling facility in South Carolina, they give old fabrics new life as felt, insulation, padding and new fabric. In fact, Sunbrella’s Renaissance line of upholstery fabric is dedicated to recycled product. Their debut fabric of the line, Heritage, is a 50/50 blend of recycled and new Sunbrella fibers. Heritage comes in 12 colors and features a vintage look while retaining the longevity of traditional Sunbrella.

With all of the things Sunbrella can do, why not try them out for your next project? Sailrite is a proud distributer of Sunbrella fabrics since 2003. We have hundreds of indoor and outdoor fabrics in stock, ready to ship out to you. For more in-depth descriptions of Sunbrella or to purchase fabric by the yard visit www.sailrite.com.

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