New patio furniture or a freshly-finished deck surface makes your patio look great for summer parties. But as the season wears on, you may decide that awning fabric replacement will help the overall design of your patio or deck area.
Patio awnings help cool the house during the summer and give great shade when the sun is hot while entertaining on the deck. But, summer weather and heavy thunderstorms can cause fabric to fade, rip, tear, or get weak spots.
There are two ways to approach awning fabric replacement – have a professional service handle the cutting, sewing, and replacement, or do it yourself. A professional upholstery service for outdoor furniture is a great choice for patio awnings but will probably be scheduled weeks or months ahead with many types of jobs. If you want a professional to handle this, then schedule it during the off-season if possible.
If you are the ambitious, do-it-yourself project person, then here are some tips for awning fabric replacement, whether it is for a standard or a retractable awning.
Choose The Right Fabric for Awnings
First, choose your desired awning fabric wisely. There are many options on the market, but simple canvas is not the best solution. Find fabric that is weather resistant and easy to clean without needing to be removed from the awning frame.
Sunbrella® Fabrics are made to withstand heat, sunlight, and rain. The fabric is breathable, allowing air to pass through, which helps keep things cool on the patio. They also build in UV stable pigments in the dyeing process, which protects you from damaging UV sun rays. Sunbrella® fabrics are also mold and mildew resistant and can easily be cleaned with a bleach solution without compromising the color.
Choose the awning fabric colors to complement your existing patio furniture. Sunbrella® offers a wide range of colors and patterns that will dress up an outdoor living space quickly.
How to Measure Replacement Fabric for a Patio Awning
For a stationary awning or canopy cover, measurements can often be taken from the old fabric while still on the frame. However, it may be easier to remove the awning. Disassembling is necessary for a retractable awning structure.
Measure the width of the current awning fabric. This is typically a slightly smaller measurement than what your frame width is.
Measure the projection of the awning when fully extended. Add about a foot to your measurement for fabric that remains on the roller tube.
Measure the height of the valance hanging down the front of the awning.
Transfer these measurements to a diagram on paper and remember to add 2-4 inches to each measurement for hemming.
Cutting, Sewing, and Replacing the Awning
Cutting marine-grade vinyl or outdoor fabric is easier when using a hot knife that helps seal the edge while cutting.
Sewing a long seam at the sewing machine is easier if you first adhere the seam with some basting tape. Use a thread that is also UV and mildew resistant and is suitable for heavy duty projects.
Sew all the seams together, being careful to keep them straight. Sew together the valance and additional trim you desire and attach to the front of the awning.
Finally, reassemble the awning in the reverse order that you dis-assembled it. A simple owner’s guide or manual should have been included when you bought the awning; and this may be helpful for reassembly.
Once it is all in place, enjoy your new awning, and keep it clean all summer for long-lasting beauty!
D&N Upholstery sells quality outdoor marine vinyl and Sunbrella® Fabrics that are suitable for outdoor furniture and patio awnings. Contact us today to see a selection. We can help you order the right supplies for the DIY awning fabric replacement project.