The Makes of Fabric: Vinyl Construction

All of the marquees that come from Celina, across all canopy styles, are made from the same type of fabric. Vinyl is an interesting fabric comprised of multiple layers to lend it both flexibility and sturdiness as it is used. Supremely water proof, vinyl is the mainstay of Celina’s marquee production. The reason why we’ve invested so heavily in the use of vinyl for shelters is the topic for another blog; here we will be describing what makes up vinyl fabrics to give us the desired material.

Scrim

Half of basic vinyl construction, scrim refers to the woven threads that create the supporting structure throughout the fabric. Due to the flexible nature of PVC, having an internal scrim gives the plastics something to hold on to, preventing material migration and reducing stretch that can occur when installed or pulled. Scrim is normally made from polyester threads, and can be seen when the vinyl is looked at closely.

On the Outside

Vinyl’s outer layer is a chemical compound called Poly Vinyl Chloride, or PVC. While this plastic is used in many different applications, the style with added plasticizers is what Celina uses for daily fabrication. The added chemicals change the PVC from a rigid to a soft and flexible material. PVC is added to the scrim discussed previously in two different ways:

  1. Dipping
    This method has the scrim immersed in the liquid PVC, allowing it to fully coat the threads and fill in all of the gaps in between. This style of production gives you an even coating, but relies heavily on massive machinery.

  2. Bonding
    Easier with limited space or machinery capabilities, this process includes two separate sheets of PVC that are layered with the fabric scrim in between. All layers are then either heated and pressed or otherwise adhered to one another to create the vinyl fabric.

Layering

The two main types of vinyl that are used in standard and economy products are differentiated by a single piece of layering.

  • Light Weight Vinyl has the internal scrim layer, which is coated with PVC on each side to encase the support threads. This creates a flexible fabric that will allow for a small amount of light to pass through it, as there is only the thin layer coating the threads. This style of vinyl is used for ultra-light weight canopies where illumination may not only be passable but required. The only downside to the lighter vinyl is that it can be easily damage if not properly taken care of, and patching or repairing the fabric will leave noticeable dark spots on bright sunny days.

  • Standard Block Out Vinyl is made in a similar fashion to the light weight variety, with the addition of a block out layer on one side of the scrim. This layer not only adds further support to the scrim, but also keeps light from penetrating through the fabric when installed. This can be extra helpful for creating shade tents on hot days and to give the installer maximum control over how to illuminate the canopy interior. This is the type of vinyl that is used on the average marquee top, unless otherwise specified by the customer.

Knowing the ins and outs of vinyl construction helps in explaining the care and use of most vinyl fabric products. Be sure to check back next week for more information on how vinyl is used and the benefits therein. Want to know more? Give us a call at 44-115-794-0041 and talk with one of our Customer Account Managers today. You can also email us at [email protected].