Some Awning Terminology to Learn Before Shopping

Before you start shopping for awnings for your home or business, you might first note some terms and phrases you will encounter while online or at the showroom. Learning these phrases will ensure you understand your choices for awning materials and styles, and are sure to easily find an option that works for your needs.


The word acrylic refers to a type of synthetic polymer fibre. This fibre is very durable and water resistant, so it's often used for coats, patio furniture upholstery, and the like.

Acrylic awnings can offer more protection from rainfall than other fabrics, and may be less prone to tearing in high winds. However, acrylic can have an artificial look and feel that you might not want for an awning, so consider purchasing this fabric only if you can see it in a showroom first!

Breaking strength

Also called tensile strength, the breaking strength of a material refers to how much pressure or force is needed to cause it to tear. For awnings that will be installed in areas known for high winds, strong rain, heavy snow, and very inclement weather, be sure you opt for a material with a high breaking strength.

Coated fabric

Awning fabric is sometimes dipped, sprayed, or otherwise treated with a special coating that is meant to protect the piece from stains, or that will allow rainwater to run off the awning rather than being absorbed by fabric fibres. Although this coating can mean less risk of damage to the awning and less rainwater that seeps through the fabric, coated fabrics can also have an artificial look and feeling that you might not want for your awning.

Cut-out lettering

Cut-out lettering doesn't mean that your awning will have actual holes in it! When an awning has cut-out lettering, the areas that are cut away are replaced with backing made from a different type of fabric, usually in a contrasting colour and texture. You can then have a name, logo, address, or other such lettering on your awning that is very visible, without worrying about compromising the protection offered by that canopy.

Dimensional stability

Fabrics that easily shrink, curl, warp, or otherwise become misshapen don't have a strong dimensional stability. When choosing awnings for a home or business, consider standard weather conditions that will affect the awning. Invest in canopies that have a stronger dimensional stability if they will be exposed to high winds, heavy snow and rain, and the like.