Almost 50 years ago, Sunbrella fabrics launched a new line of fabrics that focused on boats. Marine fabrics – for sails, awnings, and tarps, even ropes and coils – have a hard, demanding life. Unrelenting sun, acidic salt water, and cycling humidity and dryness create a brutal environment. For a long time, cotton-based fabrics like oiled canvas were about the only option available, but natural fibers become brittle in sunlight and salt and are prone to mold and rot.
Sunbrella began manufacturing marine textiles in 1961 to offer an alternative to cotton. Solution-dyed acrylics are manmade fibers that offer an innate resistance to mold, mildew, and rot that cotton lacks, while simultaneously having better performance in both sun and salt water. Sunbrella's solution-dyed acrylic also offers an aesthetic feature that other manmade materials don't: Sunbrella fabrics are soft, breathably woven, and gently textured – just like cotton. For nearly 50 years, Sunbrella has been the number one choice for boating fabrics.
Sunbrella fabric performance is proven in high-stress boating application. It's style and beauty is proven in how many different designers use Sunbrella fabrics. Sunbrella fabrics are used in outdoor furniture, pillows, and awnings and are now extending into interior furniture. Its strength, UV resistance, fade-proof color, and versatility make it a smart choice. Sunbrella's emphasis on tactile senses – softness, texture, color – give their fabrics a comfortable, every-day beauty.
Sunbrella's solution dyed acrylics are long-lived, with a lifespan as long as 20 years (anywhere from two to ten times longer than other fabrics). Sunbrella backs this up with the longest warranty in the industry – 10 years against basic wear.
FINDING YOUR FABRIC
RetractableAwnings.com offers 156 different Sunbrella fabrics in 20 different styles, with another 29 fabrics in the Sunbrella Exclusive line, in 20 different styles. With so many options, RetractableAwnings.com is committed to helping you find the perfect style for you and your home or office. We offer a number of tools to guide your choices:
- Our exclusive 3D-rendering tool uses pictures of your home, your exact location, and allows you to picture any awning frame or fabric in any size at your location.
- Our intuitive fabric selector helps you filter fabrics by color and style.
- We always supply free samples of any retractable awning fabric, valance fabric, or trim, so you can see and touch your options before you make up your mind.
- from eric
Retractable awnings are inherently energy-efficient. Simply – and effectively – blocking sunlight reduces heat gain and UV damage. Sunbrella and industry studies show that using retractable awnings reduces cooling usage:
- Reduces peak cooling energy (i.e., afternoon air conditioning use) as much as 40%
- Reduces total cooling energy consumption anywhere from 10% to 60%
Green is a philosophy. It's not only about saving the environment; green is about using resources effectively. Sunbrella's green approach first emphasizes this kind of stewardship through recycling:
- All waste from both offices and industrial sites Sunbrella facilities is recycled.
- Acrylic waste and byproducts from Sunbrella fabric manufacturing is re-purposed into other Sunbrella fabrics as novelty yarn or is used as a component in other manufacturing products, such as felt, padding, and insulation.
- Old Sunbrella products can be returned to Sunbrella to be recycled into other products, as part of their Recycle My Sunbrella program.
Sunbrella also takes care to ensure that both their manufacturing processes and final products are safe. Sunbrella uses an unconventional dyeing process that avoids some of the pitfalls of traditional dyeing methods:
- Safer effluents in the coloring stage
- Reduced water consumption
- Reduced energy consumption
Sunbrella has even gone through the effort of obtaining a certification from Greenguard® Institute's Children and Schools that their interior fabrics have low air emissions.
- Coming from Eric
- Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation
- GREENGUARD® Institute's Children and Schools standard
Sunbrella partnered with 3M to create an entirely new system of awning printing. Built on the experience of both sign-makers and awning fabric manufacturing, Sunbrella Graphics System (SGS) uses a specially-designed machine and an innovative ink film to adhere the graphics to the fabric. Through a combination of heat and vacuum sealing, the graphic film has an unusually strong bond to the fabric, which means that the graphics last much longer and have a crisp appearance.
The SGS machine has a flexible graphics interface so the machine can cleanly print any logo, image, text, or shape on the retractable awning fabric.
This service is available through RetractableAwnings.com.