Quality not Quantity: Not All Specialty Fabrics are the Same

When it comes to specialty fabrics, it’s important to know that not all textiles are created equally. In fact, specialty fabrics are created for a variety of industries and not everyone uses the same process, materials, or customer service when it comes to supplying textiles.

Using a quality textile that’s produced with care may cost just a little extra, but that fabric will last and save you in the long run; you won’t have to replace it so often. For example in an awning fabric, you want to be sure the textile you use in your project is designed to withstand the elements, is UV ray resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and waterproof.  If you choose a fabric that is mass produced and doesn’t have the aforementioned qualities, your project’s textile may not last as long.

Remember, fabrics in the marine, upholstery, outdoor, and auto industries are designed with unique properties that make them last within their respective environments. For example, in the marine industry, boats use specialty fabrics for shade covers, boat covers, and upholstery.

Marine fabrics are typically designed to withstand the sun, rain, ocean or fresh water spray, and the wear and tear of water sport activities. Some marine fabrics are UV ray resistant and waterproof but may lack that mildew and mold resistance which is important for boats. That’s why finding a supplier with knowledge of your industry’s needs is essential. After all, you don’t want your project to fall apart or your customer to be upset.

Another important aspect of a quality fabric is the customer service that it is backed by. Some fabrics suppliers may not have the knowledge you need to support your project’s specifications, or they may not be fast in responding to your queries. Whatever the case, it’s important to know that your textile supplier is efficient, responsive, knowledgeable, and willing to help.

Now that you know a little more about specialty fabrics and why using quality textiles matters, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Solar Heat Gain: What is it?

It’s summer. It’s sunny. It’s hot. Well, at least, it’s supposed to be… But even when it’s not sweltering outside, that doesn’t mean your home or office building isn’t absorbing the sun’s heat. Simply put, solar heat gain is how much heat is absorbed by your structure from the sun’s light.

Basically, the hotter the day, the more heat your building will absorb. The heat is transferred into your building through windows, doors, and cracks. Scientifically, and according to the US Department of Energy:

“Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC)is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window, door, or skylight — either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, and subsequently released as heat inside a home.”

So, what this means for homeowners and businesses is that during the summer, it’s important to have the right curtain fabrics, awnings fabrics, and other shade structures covering your windows and doorways to help reduce solar heat gain. For example, using a textile specifically designed to withstand the sun – like our Brun Tuff Vinyl – helps reduce solar heat gain.

Particularly for businesses, solar heat gain can increase energy bills and strain the load on the air conditioning unit. Restaurants and hotels with large and numerous windows and doorways are even more susceptible to solar heat gain than just a regular home; the more windows and doors, the more sunlight gets through. That’s why it’s important to use shade structures, drop screens, curtains, and other shade products.

Specialty fabrics, including our Sunforger Canvas, are specially developed to be resistant to uv rays, mold and mildew, and more. Specialty textiles are created to withstand the harsh elements, including the constant onslaught of the sun’s summer rays.

Now that you know a little more about solar heat gain and why it’s important to use shade structures and the right fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Webbing Fabric Options: A Rundown

First, before we get into the types of webbing fabric options available, let’s understand what exactly this textile is.

Webbing fabric is a tightly woven textile that comes in a flat strip or tube of varying widths and fibers. You might see webbing fabrics in things like carrying straps, belts, and harnesses. Webbing fabric is a versatile product that comes in a variety of options for multiple uses. Webbing fabric options include:

  • Cotton: This is a natural fiber that you might see used in collars and leashes. The fabric isn’t as strong as other textiles and may fade, tear, or fray faster. However, it’s a nice fabric you can use for simple applications.
  • Polypropylene: This is great for outdoor use because it is UV ray resistant and water repellent. This textile is also mildew resistant and has a low stretch. Typically, this fabric is used in bags, the food service industry, hospitals, camping products, and sports equipment. It’s also a great choice for marine and other water related uses.
  • Nylon: This is a very strong fabric and has a high tear strength. This is a great option for things like straps, sail corners, and ring installations. This is also great for canvas edges.
  • Acrylic: This is also a synthetic material, like polypropylene, and is a durable fabric that’s excellent for outdoor use. This is great for boat applications and can withstand the rigors of the outdoors.
  • Rubber: This is great for use in upholstery projects. You might see this in restaurant seating or even in furniture in the form of straps or in the seats or backs of the item. This textile is great because of its elasticity and its inherent strength; that’s why it’s great for use in furniture.

As you can see, there are a variety of webbing fabric options. Finding the right one for your project means looking at what each option offers and then consulting your fabric supplier. Keep in mind, not all webbing fabrics are universal and some are appropriate for upholstery and others are not. Remember, your textile supplier can offer you a detailed look at each type of webbing fabric available and can help you narrow down your choices until you find the right one.

Now that you know a little more about webbing fabric and your options, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

UV Ray Resistance: Why it’s Important in Awning Fabrics

What are UV rays? Why should you care? Why is it important for things like awnings? The answers are simple.

UV rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation which are emitted by the sun. These rays are harmful and can cause things like color degradation in fabrics, deterioration in textiles, and sunburns. UV rays are not visible to the human eye.

When it comes to awnings and the fabrics that make up these shade structures, it’s important that it be UV ray resistant. Fabrics, like skin, are subject to damage from the sun. Awnings are outside, 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. This means awnings are exposed to the sun and UV rays consistently, constantly, daily. The textile that makes up an awning is a specialty fabric and is designed to withstand the elements.

For example, our TOP NOTCH awning fabric is UV ray resistance and colorfast, breathable, reversible, water repellent, and fade resistant. These qualities are excellent for awning use and for other outdoor applications like trailer covers and marine tops.

Our line of RECACRIL fabrics are especially developed for awning and tent applications. UV ray resistance is just one of the many features of this line of awning and tent fabric; it has high tensile strength, high tear strength, and is water and dirt repellent.

Using awning fabrics with UV ray resistance is important because without it your textile is subject to:

  • Fading: UV rays and sunlight can fade the color of your fabric if it is not protected. This means the color of your awning will diminish and you will need to replace the fabric sooner rather than later.
  • Damage: UV rays and sunlight can damage a fabric and cause its fibers to degrade with time.
  • Sunlight Incursion: Most importantly, UV ray resistance means that the damaging effects of this radiation are not allowed through the fabric of the awning. This means you and your loved ones are protected from the sun’s harmful rays and ultimately from sunburns.

Remember, using UV ray resistant awning fabric is important, but it’s not the only thing you should be looking for in an awning textile. Keep in mind you want to find fabrics that are designed for the outdoors and include UV ray resistance, water repellency, and more. Consult your manufacturer or supplier for more information about awning textiles.

Now that you know a little more about UV ray resistance and awning fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Grommets; What are they & Why do they Matter?

Grommet, it sounds like a name for a fictional character in a book. In reality, a grommet is a ring or eyelet made of metal, plastic, or other materials. Grommets are essential to various fabric projects including things like banner signs, tarps, flags, and tents.

Grommets are small and often an underappreciated part of most projects. These eyelets are used to help provide a hole in a banner sign, display card, or other textiles. The hole is meant for looping, hanging, tethering, or tying together the fabric.

So why do grommets matter in a project involving fabric? Why not just punch a hole through your tent or banner and hang it without a grommet? The answers are multifaceted.

A grommet provides a fabric project with a reinforced metal or plastic hole that you can loop a cord or string through without worrying about rips or tears in the textile. A grommet also keeps your fabric project looking professional. Grommets come in various types, sizes, and colors to match your textile. Here’s a quick list of some of the grommet types:

  • Self-Piercing: These are the simplest of grommets requiring no pre-punched hole. These are designed to cut their own hole. With a single action, you can set the grommet with its matching washer and be done.
  • Plain: These grommets are made of various metals and include plain washers. These require a hole cutter to set the grommet in the fabric.
  • Spur: These are heavy-duty grommets with “teeth” that help penetrate fabric. The teeth lock with the other half of the grommet making it difficult to pull out. These are great for use in tarps and flags.
  • Kits: These include everything you need to set a grommet including: a hole cutter, wood block for cutting, a setter, and plain grommets and washers.

As you can see, there are several types of grommets. Using the right one for your project is important and requires that you do some research. Not all grommets are the same and some are designed for use in projects like tarps and flags, while others are designed for use in banner signs and tents. One way to ensure you are using the right grommet for your textile is to consult your supplier and ask the right questions.

Now that you know a little more about grommets and why they are necessary, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Fasteners: What You Need to Know

When it comes to designing shade structures, furniture, cars, and well, a whole bunch of other large projects, they all have one thing in common: fasteners. But what are these tiny objects?

According to www.dictionary.com a fastener is:

“Any of various devices, as a snap or hook and eye, for holding together two objects or parts sometimes required to be separate, as two edges or flaps of a piece of clothing.”

So, what does this really mean? A fastener basically holds stuff together. In fact, fasteners come in a variety of types and are used in things including but not limited to fabric projects like:

  • Car upholstery
  • Marine upholstery
  • Awnings
  • Patio Covers
  • Tarps

Fasteners come in a range of styles including our:

An example of how a fastener works can be seen in our Stay-Put Shock Cord Loop system. This fastener provides stability and security with the adjustability of a bungee cord. Using the Stay-Put Shock Cord Loop, you can hold together fabrics in a project that requires flexibility; like a boat cover or tarp. Using these loops, you can bring together two sides of fabric and “fasten” them in place. But, let’s say the cover or tarp needs to be adjusted to a different size, you can easily use the flexibility of the bungee cord loop. This not only saves you time and money, it also provides a level of ease your customers will appreciate.

In furniture and other upholstery, fasteners are useful in keeping the fabric tight on the frame. For example, our caps are excellent for upholstery projects. These small snap caps/buttons can provide a nice aesthetic to any upholstery project. Think of a line of these shiny caps studded on the side of a piece of furniture.

Truly, fasteners like our caps, studs, and snads are great for a variety of projects and come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Fasteners are used in a bunch of things that we typically take for granted. Things like containers, seat belts, clothes, and more.

Remember, using the right fastener for your project is important and finding the right supplier for your project is just a click away.

Now that you know a little more about fasteners, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Fire Retardant Fabrics: How do they Work?

Fire Retardant Fabrics: How do they Work?

What is a fire-retardant fabric? How do they even work? Well, for starters, fabrics that can withstand the burning flames of a fire are developed with special coatings and fibers designed to take the heat.

You might be wondering, where would you want to use fire retardant fabric? Well here’s a quick list of things you might see these textiles:

  • Hospital Curtains
  • Tents
  • Awnings
  • Canopies
  • Bags
  • Spa Covers
  • And more…

In fact, there are two types of fire retardant textiles:

  • Inherent: these are fabrics that are naturally resistant to flames. Like vinyl, some fabrics resist fire just by their basic make-up. This means these textiles are not treated with chemicals or other additives to make them fire retardant.
  • Treated: textiles that are not inherently flame retardant must be chemically treated. This means over time, the fire-retardant quality of the fabric can be worn out.

Fabrics like our Top Gun fire retardant textile are great for tents, awnings, canopies and other industrial applications. Keep in mind, treated fire retardant textiles are not all the same. Some are treated with coatings that don’t last as long as others. Or only the top of the fabric is treated.

So how do these textiles work? Doesn’t everything burn at some point? For starters, fire retardant fabrics are designed to keep the textile from burning right away. At some point, some fabrics will burn even if they have been treated or are inherently fire retardant. This isn’t a failure on the fabric’s part, but a matter of chemistry. If you throw a fabric in a burning fire for long enough, eventually the coating or the fibers will get worn off or hot enough to catch fire. But, you would have to leave those fabrics in the fire for a long time.

Fire retardant fabrics are meant to help keep fires at bay and give you time to put out the flames. That’s why these specialty fabrics are used in hospitals, cars, tents, awnings, and industrial textiles. Now that you know a little more about fire retardant fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Taking Care of your Vinyl: Tips and Advice

Taking Care of your Vinyl: Tips and Advice

 When it comes to your vinyl upholstery fabric project, you want to know how to take care of the textile and what you should or shouldn’t do. Often, we think that just wiping down the surface of our vinyl upholstery is enough, but it’s not. Let’s take a quick look at how to take care of your vinyl.

Vinyl is a type of plastic textile which is great because it’s easy to clean. But, you have to know how to take care of the fabric without accelerating the natural aging and deterioration process. So, what does this mean? It means you should use the right sprays, sponges, and cleaners to keep the vinyl looking new and shiny. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to take care of your car’s vinyl:

  • Use cleaners that are specially made for vinyl upholstery.
  • Use vinyl protectant
  • Use soft sponges and brushes to clean your vinyl.
  • Don’t use abrasive materials, you can scratch or tear the fabric.
  • Make sure the vinyl fabric used in your project is also designed to block UV rays; this helps prolong the life of the textile.

Keep in mind that taking vinyl fabrics includes doing your research. That means you need to know what kind of vinyl you’re using. Not all vinyl fabrics are created equally. Some have protectant coatings, some are designed to withstand the cold or block out UV rays. The environment you live in – your weather patterns – will help dictate the kind of vinyl you use for your upholstery project. This also means, you will have different ways of taking care of your fabric. The best way to ensure you are using the best techniques to take care of your vinyl upholstery is to check with your supplier or manufacturer. Ask them for a manual on how to care for your vinyl fabric.

Remember, your vinyl project is an investment and every little detail counts, including how you care for it. Using liquid cleaners, like our fabric/vinyl cleaner is a simple way of ensuring your project will stay looking good.

Now that you know a little more about how to take care of your vinyl fabric, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.




Vinyl Auto Upholstery Fabric: What You Need to Know

Vinyl Auto Upholstery Fabric: What You Need to Know

 Cars are made up of a variety of parts, fabrics, and metals. The interior of your car is really a landscape of textiles. In fact, vinyl is a commonly used fabric in auto upholstery and it’s not just the shiny stuff; it’s a versatile material.

Vinyl – which is one of the most produced man-made synthetic fabrics in the world – is actually a type of plastic. Vinyl is used in everything from gloves to clothing, to car coverings and upholstery. This versatile textile is often used in auto upholstery because of its strength, resistance to moisture and humidity, and color variety.

Auto vinyl upholstery like our Arctic line is a tough seating vinyl that is meant for cold weather. This is what makes vinyl such a great fabric to use: it can withstand the cold, heat, and basically weather that would make other textiles crack.

In fact, auto vinyl is meant to be durable and easy to clean. Vinyl can also be combined with other textiles like polyester to create an even stronger fabric. In cars, vinyl is great for upholstery, especially in restoration projects.

Remember, you want auto upholstery vinyl like our Patriot fabric because of the flexibility in colors, its strength because of its polyester backing, and because we offer PERMABLOK, a topcoat proven to protect vinyl from germs, abrasion, and stains.

Vinyl upholstery for cars should be:

  • Strong
  • Offer a Variety of Colors
  • Withstand the Elements
  • Easy to Clean
  • Protected with a Top Coat that Prevents Stains, Germs, Cracking, Abrasion, and Fading

When using vinyl for an auto upholstery project, keep in mind that vinyl is an excellent choice because it offers so much in terms of cost and flexibility. There are a variety of other textiles you can use for your auto project including but not limited to:

  • Leather
  • Tweed
  • Cotton
  • Acrylic
  • Polyester

So why choose vinyl? Since it was first invented in 1920, vinyl textiles have come a long way. These fabrics can now mimic the look and feel of other natural fabrics like leather or cotton. Vinyl is also a low-cost textile which means you can stay in budget and still have a great-looking fabric for your auto upholstery project.

Now that you know a little more about vinyl auto upholstery fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

Specialty Fabrics in Cars: What you Need to Know

Did you know that your car is made with a variety of specialty fabrics? In fact, vehicles are made up of more than just metal. The interior of your car is a swath of textiles that vary from vinyl, polyester, nylon, acrylic, and leather, to name just a few. The upholstery that makes up the seats of your vehicle are designed specifically for cars.

But what does this all mean anyway? Why should you care? The bottom line is that the longevity of your car’s interior is dependent on the quality of the fabrics they are made from. This means that your car seats and dashboard should be made from specialty textiles designed to withstand sunlight and the constant wear and tear of use by the driver. Fabrics like our Softouch or Upholstery Vinyl are created to do exactly that.

Our Auto Upholstery Textiles feature a variety of types, colors, and sizes for multiple weather settings and environments. Here’s a quick list of some of the things our auto fabrics offer:

  • Cold Weather: Our tough Arctic seating vinyl is designed for the cold weather and features a minus 30-degree cold crack resistance as well as flame resistance. This fabric can be used for motorcycles, snowmobiles, or machinery seats.
  • Auto Covers: Our Softouch fabric is great for covering your car or other auto product. This textile features a non-abrasive surface and a three-year warranty. Our Evolution fabric is also excellent for car covers because it blocks out 99 percent of UV ray light and helps keep your car protected.
  • Seating/Interior: Our Nuance seating vinyl is great for not just car seats but for the interior of a vehicle as well. This product is made of 100 percent polyester and is designed specifically for the automotive industry.

Remember, your auto project requires fabric that is made to last and using textiles that are developed specifically for the automotive industry is one way to ensure that it will. Keep in mind, the fabric you see in a vehicle is not just in the seats or the dashboard, it includes, but is not limited to things like:

  • Seat belts
  • Floor mats
  • Door panels
  • Floor carpet
  • Convertible tops
  • Steering wheel cover
  • Ceiling, Moon, or Sun Roof

As you can see, the interior of a car is made up of multiple fabric parts. This is why it’s important to find the right textile for your next auto project. After all, you don’t want your car’s fabric cracking, fading, or tearing after just a short period of time.

Now that you know a little more about automobile fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.