Water Resistant Fabrics: Why it’s Important

When it comes to industrial grade fabrics for shade and outdoor projects, not all of them are the same. Some are designed to withstand the elements and some are not as well equipped. Projects that are designed for environments where rain and moisture are prominent – like in Seattle or Portland – requires textiles that are water resistant.

But what does water resistant really mean? Surprisingly, water resistant fabrics are different than waterproof textiles. In fact, the two terms mean different things. Let’s break it down:

  • Waterproof: This means that water can’t penetrate the fabric. However, this means it is not breathable. Fabrics should have a level of breathability, especially in the boating industry. See below for more about this.
  • Water Resistant: A fabric that is water resistant means that it repels water from the surface of the textile. However, this doesn’t mean it’s completely waterproof; there’s a reason for this. In boating and marine industry fabric applications, water resistant fabrics are important because breathability in a fabric allows it to dry and keep mold and mildew from growing. When a fabric is not breathable that means moisture can get trapped. A waterproof fabric is not breathable the way a water-resistant fabric is. Water resistant fabrics are great for boat covers and other applications that require the textile to be breathable.

Now that you know the difference between water resistant and waterproof fabrics, here’s a quick list of why it’s important to have water resistance in your fabric projects:

  • Prevents Damage: Water can damage any fabric. Water resistance allows the fabric to repel moisture and keep the fabric from degrading. This is important for outdoor projects like awnings and tents.
  • Helps Prevent Mold & Mildew Growth: Moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Once your fabric starts growing these unsightly, damaging microbes, it’s hard to get the textile back to its former glory and you might be looking at replacement costs. In marine/boating fabrics, this is why water resistance is so important. Boats and other watercraft are exposed to water and moisture that can get trapped when covered or in storage and cause mold and mildew growth.
  • Breathability: This is an important aspect of water resistant fabrics. Breathability allows for a boat cover or other specialty textile to dry and help prevent damage to the fabric and growth of mold or mildew.

If you have questions about whether to use water resistant or waterproof fabrics for your next project, contact your local textile supplier or your manufacturer for more information. Or, let us know how we can help you by visiting us at www.vaughanbros.com or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.

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 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 produces 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 watersport 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.

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.