Choosing the right awning material can be a tough feat for many homeowners.

For this reason, we decided to create this short guide to the different options to consider when it comes to awnings. That way, you can be sure that you’ll be making a fantastic decision.

7 Awning Material Options for Your Outdoor Awnings

Just picture yourself this:

It’s a hot summer evening. You’re at the deck preparing some drinks to cool yourself off. However, the sun is too unbearable to endure, no matter if you’re inside or outside your home. That’s where you have the idea of getting yourself an awning for your house.

Whether it’s a retractable awning or a fixed one, there’s no denying it: awnings are the real game-changers. They grant your home extra protection against all sorts of external elements. Not only that, but they can also lower your energy bills as well.

And although there are many awning types out there to choose from, you should also consider its material and fabrics. After all, everybody wants to choose an awning that’ll suit their needs.

If you don’t know what material is best for you, this guide will clarify your doubts. So, if your home is near the beach, then you must install an awning that’s resistant to salt abrasion. Now let’s see what the best awning fabrics and materials are.

These are the top awning material and fabric choices you should keep in mind:

  • Acrylic and acrylic-coated outdoor fabrics
  • Vinyl coated and laminated awnings
  • Polyester synthetic fiber fabric
  • Cotton canvas awning material
  • Steel and aluminum metal awnings
  • Opaque and translucent fiberglass awnings
  • Wood and natural fiber canvas awnings

Acrylic and Acrylic-Coated Outdoor Fabrics

Acrylic Coated Outdoor Awning Fabric

One of the best fabrics for outdoor awnings is acrylic. First of all, a piece of acrylic fabric offers aesthetic softness and elegance. Besides, it’s an excellent performer. This fabric is usually heavy and can be translucent.

This awning fabric works perfectly in places with high humidity since it’s water-resistant. In other words, you won’t need to worry about any mildew problems.

But what about the sun’s UV rays? Well, this material offers excellent resistance to UV rays as well. Thus, you can have peace of mind since your loved ones and property will get the protection they deserve.

Moreover, acrylic awnings don’t allow hot air and moisture to escape, keeping your loved ones comfy and happy.

Besides looking great and doing its job above average, an acrylic canvas is exceptionally durable. Most of the acrylic fabrics come with a 5 to 10-year warranty. So, you’ll get protection against the sun and rain for a long time.

One thing we should tell you is that acrylic fabrics tend to expand and shrink in hot and cold weather, respectively.

Vinyl-Coated and Laminated Awnings

Vinyl-Coated and Laminated Awnings

Nowadays, you can choose from different fabrics and awning materials. Some of the best options are vinyl fabrics.

There are two types of vinyl fabrics for outdoor awnings: laminated and coated.

Laminated Vinyl Fabric

Let’s start talking about laminated vinyl fabrics. This type is the standard awning fabric. Some of the best characteristics of vinyl laminated materials are their strength, waterproofing, wrinkle resistance, and durability.

Other benefits of vinyl laminated fabrics are that they are resistant to UV light, high humidity, and mildew/mold growth.

You can find this type of fabric in solid colors, stripes, and even custom designs.

Vinyl-Coated Fabric

Vinyl-coated awnings have a thinner protective layer, which means that they’re less waterproof. We don’t advise to install an awning with this type of fabric in humid climates.

One of the best things about vinyl-coated awnings is that they’re stain resistant. This characteristic comes in handy during the spring and fall when awnings get a lot of humidity plus fallen leaves and debris.

This type of fabric offers greater transparency, which is perfect for having illuminated spaces.

Generally speaking, vinyl fabrics are easy to maintain, and they tend to be long-lasting.

Unfortunately, this fabric comes in a limited range of colors and styles compared to laminated vinyl fabrics and acrylic fabrics. Not only that, but they are not breathable as well. Thus, they don’t let the hot and humid air trapped inside escape.

Also, vinyl fabrics aren’t as flexible as other awning fabrics. Thus, we don’t recommend installing them in windy areas.

Polyester Synthetic Fiber Fabric

Polyester Synthetic Fiber Fabric

When it comes to awning fabrics, polyester fabrics stand out. This fabric is a superb material option for your home awning.

First of all, these awnings are waterproof and grant protection from the harmful effects of UV lights.

Also, one of the most practical benefits of polyester awning fabrics is that they come in many colors and designs. They are available in stripes, solid colors, and even custom patterns. So, you’ll always find options to fit your home style.

Polyester fabrics are durable, quick-drying, and wrinkle resistant.

Some other polyester fabrics are laminated with vinyl. These fabrics are highly translucent, so they are ideal for backlighting.

Additionally, just like vinyl awnings, polyester fabrics are resistant to mildew. Thus, this type of material is ideal for highly humid regions.

Last but not least, polyester fabrics can last from 5 to 10 years.

Most of the different fabrics and materials for outdoor awnings do an excellent job keeping your electric bills low. Thus, in the long run, they create excellent savings.

Cotton Canvas Awning Material

Cotton Canvas Awning Material

We then have cotton awnings. Being before among the most common options out there, this type of awning tends to be affordable and easy to take care of. In fact, cotton awnings are among the few fabrics out there in which you can actually toss into your washing machine!

Sadly, they tend to soak up a lot of water, making it more susceptible to rot. Not only that, but they also can’t withstand sun rays quite as well as synthetic materials. That’s why it’s best to opt for a coated option when going for a cotton awning.

Steel and Aluminum Metal Awnings

Steel and Aluminum Metal

If you’re looking for a durable option that won’t rot, then you definitely need to go for metal awnings. 

Both steel and aluminum awnings come in a wide variety of styles and colors. You can opt for the traditional striped option, a w-panel flat cover, or you can even go for standing seam style as well. You can repaint them as well if you wish them always to match your home!

Also, metal awnings grant your windows and doors a longer lifespan since they protect them from direct sunlight and other weather elements, such as heavy rains and hail.

Although these awnings don’t tend to rot, you’ll want to take care of them to prevent any rusting. Moreover, keep in mind that metal tends to be a heat magnet on some occasions.

Opaque and Translucent Fiberglass Awnings

Translucent Fiberglass Awning

When it comes to lightweight awning materials, fiberglass awnings are your best shot. Coming in both translucent and opaque presentations, these awnings don’t require constant repainting. 

Moreover, translucent fiberglass allows some of the light filters to grant you a lit deck and avoid any dark outdoor areas. 

However, one of its cons is that fiberglass tends to become brittle after some time, making it vulnerable to cracks and chips.

Wood and Natural Fiber Canvas Awnings

Wood and Natural Fiber Canvas Awnings

Lastly, we have wood canvas awnings. This awning style was among the first ones to exist. They are really affordable and sturdy, yet they require some constant maintenance and even periodic replacement every 5 to 7 years.

Additionally, wood awnings can sometimes pose a fire hazard if they’re not treated. 

As you can see, there are many awning material options out there in the market. By knowing the pros and cons of each, you can now make a decision on which one to opt for! Remember to count on a professional awning company to install and take care of your awnings!