Posted on: 19 February 2021Share
Whether you're buying PVC-coated fabric wholesale or obtaining finished products for retail sale, your customers will need to know how to care for and store the material. While this fabric is very tough and is meant for outdoor use, even in very hot weather, you have to be aware of its condition — and you have to be sure your customers don't accidentally pick up the wrong type of fabric if they plan to use it outdoors in the middle of summer.
Don't Substitute With Laminated Fabric
If you have retail customers looking for fabric for tarps for shade, they may accidentally wander over to the laminated fabric section of your store. Laminated and coated fabric are two different things. They look similar, but a coated fabric is much tougher in situations where the fabric will be exposed to high UV levels. If this fabric will be used outside in summer, especially in more southern areas, coated fabric is a necessity. Laminated fabric is still tough, but it doesn't have the UV resistance of coated fabric.
Never Store Outside, Despite Its Reputation
Despite coated fabric's reputation for standing up to harsh UV conditions, you don't want to store it outside. The hot sun and UV rays can make the coating crack eventually, so if you plan to store some fabric indefinitely, you need to store it indoors. Storing the fabric outside for a few days or a week or two isn't a problem, of course. It's just the long stretches of time with no specific use date that can lead to damage.
Inspect Exposed Surfaces Often
PVC-coated fabric isn't going to suddenly crack and fail a few weeks into summer. However, any coated fabric that you use outdoors should be inspected, especially sides that are exposed to direct sunlight. The fabric should last, and it should handle spring and summer rains well, too, but you want to inspect the surface just to be sure that everything appears to be OK. Summer sun in the Southeast and Southwest can be brutal, and with temperatures rising each year, you want to be sure the fabric stays in good shape, and that it gets repaired as soon as you spot an issue.
Brace Coated Fabric in Windy Areas
A coated fabric isn't as flexible as some other fabric types, so in windy areas, there's a risk of the fabric flying away or ripping. Brace the fabric in these areas, no matter what you use it for. Add vents if needed so that wind can blow through without taking the fabric with it. Coated fabric tends to be heavy, but strong winds can make short work of even heavy materials.
Contact a local PVC-coated fabric supplier to learn more.