Part one of this series studied advancements in coatings that allow for textiles to be used outdoors. Due to this evolution, more fabric-based applications are found outside. Below are products currently available for exterior applications.
Agfa Graphics offers its Duratex Polyfab coated textile. It is a 100 percent knitted high-quality polyester-coated fabric that is direct print friendly and compatible with UV-curable, latex, solvent, and eco-solvent inks. The fabric is crease-free, water resistant, flexible, and lightweight. The material can be cold cut, allowing it to stretch over frame structures and display frame systems making it ideal for outdoor signage, pop-up displays, inflatables, tents, umbrellas, and table skirts. It is available in either 59- or 118-inch widths.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. introduces its new Decoprint Tent fabric. This 100 percent high tenacity woven polyester features a specially engineered waterproof coating, is fire retardant, features a UV stabilizer, and is durable against abrasive weather. There is a barrier coating on one side, leaving an uncoated polyester side that is compatible with dye-sublimation (dye-sub) transfers. Tent weighs 4.8 ounces per square yard, costs approximately 55 to 60 cents per square foot, and is available in 55-yard rolls at a maximum width of 76 inches. Outdoor applications for this textile include pop-up event tents, temporary awnings, and outdoor banners.
Two outdoor-coated textiles created by DHJ International are Decoprint Tent for tent structures and Decoprint Crystal; another high tenacity coated polyester fabric. Each is fire retardant, water resistant, and strong against harsh weather conditions. This lightweight, versatile fabric—ideal for outdoor banners, tents, and backlit—is available at a maximum 122-inch width.
Deko-Tex Lotos 7058FLBN from Pacific Coast Fabrics is made from 100 percent recycled polyester and features an FLBN aqueous coating, Lotos Finish, which makes the fabric both fire and water repellent. The water repellency is activated by heat setting after printing. Durable in extreme weather and compatible with dye-sub, direct print, UV-curable, and latex ink. Applications include outdoor banners, pop-up displays, table cloths, tents, and outdoor artist canvas. Deko-Tex Lotos is 6.4 ounces per square yard and available in approximately 100 yard roles and 60 or 72 inches wide. Additional widths are available for special order at a 2,200-yard minimum.
Qué Media Inc.’s AQ Blockout Fabric is a soft, flexible, eco-friendly blockout fabric with a center weave of blockout yarn that allows the media to block out all visible light. The durable, water resistant textile is compatible with pigmented, latex, and UV inks as well as dye-sub. This textile features a matte finish that is printable on both sides. Its Stay Flat weave and coating make it resistant to weather and heat induced fabric curling. Available in a range of rolls from 36 to 106 inches, special order lengths from 60 to 100 feet are available.
Verseidag seemee US Inc. provides a variety of outdoor-friendly coated textiles. Its Insight fabric comes in Light 8.5 ounces and Heavy ten ounces. Compatible with grand and large printers as well as UV-curable and solvent inks, this 100 percent polyester fabric features a double-sided acrylic coating and is ideal for outdoor banners, displays, and theatrical staging. Both Insight Light and Heavy come in rolls of 164 feet and three width choices, 63, 126, and 196 inches.
Also from Verseidag seemee, Radiant is 100 percent polyester and utilizes a high tenacity yarn for added strength. It works with solvent, UV-curable, and latex inks and is available in 61- or 122-inch widths at 56 cents per square foot. 3P Ocean Flag is a 100 percent polyester with a holed weave that increases air permeability and works well for outdoor flag applications. It is 25 cents per square foot and available in 60-, 98-, and 126-inch widths. The eco-friendly and fire retardant 3P Value Display FR is a six ounce recyclable fabric that is compatible with direct or transfer dye-sub, latex, and UV ink. It is priced at 43 cents per square foot and is available in 60-, 98-, and 126-inch widths as well.
These fabrics are just a sampling of what the future of coated outdoor textiles looks like.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Coated Creativity.