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Old 25-01-2013, 23:38   #31
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Geonbai! Kanpai!
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Old 26-01-2013, 09:44   #32
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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Other than that salesman promise the moon and leave it to others to deliver, are you saying you also do sails?


All I can say is some customers are full of it. Maybe you, as vendor, are not in the position to say that in hopes of not scaring away potential customers so let me say it for you; any customer who makes such demands are full of it.
I neither work on sails nor sell them, these are just observations from someone who used to work in a sail loft (doing canvas work).
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Old 26-01-2013, 20:52   #33
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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I'd like the answer to an essay question: compare and contrast the following fabrics:
Stamoid; WeatherMax; and acrylic canvasses...

Thanks,

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, lying Kangaroo Bay, TAS
I just published the blog post answering this question, you can find it here:

Sunbrella vs. Stamoid vs. WeatherMAX vs. Coastguard vs. Recacril — W Marine Canvas - Annapolis, MD
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Old 26-01-2013, 23:11   #34
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Ooookay, Alan Woodyard,

Thanks for getting us this far. You've stated a few things that puzzle me, like are the only two differences between the Sunbrella manufacturers two grades of acrylic canvas color availability and weight? If so, why is the lighter cloth not recommended for dodgers? It'd be appreciated if you could explain this.

How come you didn't say anything about downsides, like listing costs per sq. yd? or being prone to mildew like white sunbrella? or fade in Stamoid or WeatherMax or Sunbrella? or chafe resistance? Especially those of us who make our own sailcovers, weather cloths, and so forth, would like to have a clue about the potential negatives, (and, I'd suspect that people who might hire your company might feel the same) and was hoping that you might provide that level of input, that was the purpose behind the compare and contrast question.

On your blog, you ask for feedback about out experiences with various fabrics. I'll tell you about our experiences with fabrics after you've finished answering the question, please. ;-)

Thanks,

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, lying Sandy Bay



It was great to list the weights per sq. yd. Now all I have to do is get out my calculator to switch to metrics! 'Cause, Down Under, that's how it is.
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Old 27-01-2013, 06:06   #35
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Should I
1 make a roller genoa sock out of e.g. Weathermax80, or

2 just glue on a UV strip -in which case, which fabric???!!!

3 is there a UV spray I can use to UV proof my strip?!

thnx J
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:09   #36
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Thanks for getting us this far. You've stated a few things that puzzle me, like are the only two differences between the Sunbrella manufacturers two grades of acrylic canvas color availability and weight? If so, why is the lighter cloth not recommended for dodgers? It'd be appreciated if you could explain this.

How come you didn't say anything about downsides, like listing costs per sq. yd? or being prone to mildew like white sunbrella? or fade in Stamoid or WeatherMax or Sunbrella? or chafe resistance? Especially those of us who make our own sailcovers, weather cloths, and so forth, would like to have a clue about the potential negatives, (and, I'd suspect that people who might hire your company might feel the same) and was hoping that you might provide that level of input, that was the purpose behind the compare and contrast question.

On your blog, you ask for feedback about out experiences with various fabrics. I'll tell you about our experiences with fabrics after you've finished answering the question, please. ;-)

Thanks,

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, lying Sandy Bay



It was great to list the weights per sq. yd. Now all I have to do is get out my calculator to switch to metrics! 'Cause, Down Under, that's how it is.
Ann and Shanaly,

I think that I have covered most of your questions in my new blog post. Below is a copy of most of the text. Also, I added the metric fabric weights to my old post earlier today. Feel free to fire away with more

Old Post
Follow-Up Post

Follow-Up Post Quote:
"Why didn't I recommend Coastguard for use in the fabrication of a dodger?

The reason that I didn't recommend Coastguard for use in the fabrication of a dodger is purely due to the fact that I haven't used Coastguard for this specific application and I wouldn't recommend trying to save the difference in price between Sunbrella and Coastguard only to potentially risk the integrity of the top of a dodger which is so crucial to the aesthetics and the longevity of the project. This is not to say that Coastguard would not be suitable for use in the fabrication of a dodger, only that I don't have first-hand experience with this usage. Also, I have contacted Glen Raven in order to find out exactly what other differences there are between Sunbrella and Coastguard.

Why didn't I say anything about downsides?

I did not say anything about downsides of these fabric choices because when treated well these fabrics really are great options for their recommended applications. No matter which fabric one chooses for a project there are steps that should be taken to increase the longevity of the canvas installation. So instead of "downsides" I would say that the compromise of a fabric choice just means that one must be careful to protect the weaknesses of the fabric: Sunbrella, Coastguard, and Recacril need to be reinforced and protected in potential chafe ares, WeatherMAX is more chafe-resistant but also needs to be similarly reinforced, Stamoid is more resistant to chafe but needs to be well-vented in applications where "breathing" is important. Finally, for those planning do-it-yourself projects just a word of warning about Stamoid; due to the nature of Stamoid as a vinyl-coated fabric it is a bit less forgiving to the novice sewer since the needle punctures of a removed (misplaced) seam do not blend in as easily as they would in a woven fabric.

What about white Sunbrella being prone to mildew?

I don't know of white Sunbrella being prone to mildew anymore than any other color of material. White Sunbrella, like other white fabrics, is more prone to show dirt and mildew than darker fabrics of the same type of course. Mildew cannot grow on Sunbrella fabric itself but dirt on the fabric makes it possible for mildew to grow. Regular cleaning and maintenance of acrylic fabrics will prevent the accumulation of dirt and mildew. Click the image to the right to download the Sunbrella care and cleaning instructions directly from the manufacturer.

Why didn't I mention the fading of any of the fabrics?

All of these fabrics maintain their color exceptionally well, there are a few ways in which fabrics can be rated as to their colorfastness when exposed to sun-light. Unfortunately there are different tests/ratings that manufacturers employ as a method to demonstrate UV colorfastness. Stamoid rates a "greater than or equal to" 7 out of 8 for light colorfastness. WeatherMAX and Recacril rate 1500+ which means (according to the information that I found) that after 1500 hours of exposure to expedited aging the fabrics retained over 98% of their original color. Sunbrella and Coastguard rate a 99% in light colorfastness which may mean that they are rated using the same test as WeatherMAX and Recacril but I have been unable to find out whether this is true. No matter how one rates or tests these fabrics for colorfastness they all fall within a very narrow margin, close enough in my opinion to make colorfastness a non-issue in the choice between these fabrics.

What about price-per-yard of these fabric choices?

As I am not a distributor of these fabrics in a retail capacity I will leave price research up to you as the reader. Prices vary depending on location, availability, and other factors such as shipping and sales tax. For those wishing to purchase these fabrics for do-it-yourself boat projects I recommend doing a bit of price research as retail prices may vary widely.

What about chafe resistance?

The only fabric in this comparison for which I was able to find an abrasion-resistance rating is Recacril which came in at 40,000 rubs. Although the actual ratings may vary a bit I would group Recacril together with Coastguard and Sunbrella as similarly abrasion-resistant fabrics since they are all similar weight woven acrylic fabrics. The next step up in abrasion-resistance is WeatherMAX and Stamoid is the most abrasion-resistant fabric in the bunch. If I am able to find additional information in the form of testing results for the abrasion-resistance of these fabrics I will edit this post.

Should I make a roller-furling genoa sock out of WeatherMAX 80 or just glue on a UV strip (and if so which fabric)?

WeatherMAX 80 would make a great choice for a roller-furling genoa sock if this is the route one chooses for UV protection of the headsail. The main factors to consider when choosing between a sock or a UV leech cover on your sail is whether you will use the sock each and every time that the sail is furled? And is the weight of several yards of fabric along the leech of your sail going to affect your sailing enough to be of concern? Also, I would not recommend just gluing a UV cover on the leech of a sail. 3M Fabric Spray Glue can be used to install the leech cover but it needs to be sewn to the sail before the sail is used.

Adding weight to the leech and foot of your genoa or jib in the form of Sunbrella or WeatherMAX fabric will increase the minimum amount of wind needed to fill your sail. This means that if you normally can sail in 10 knots of breeze it might take 12 or 13 knots of breeze to achieve the same results. The trade-off is that with a leech cover the sail remains protected every time the sail is furled properly assuming the cover is in good condition.

If you choose to protect your furling headsail with a WeatherMAX sock then diligence is the key, the sock should be in place whenever the sail is furled (within reason). This option allows one to protect one's headsail without modification of the sail itself. The choice of a sock is one that is usually reserved for cruiser-racers and smaller cruising sailboats with sails of a size that would be most effected by the weight of a UV leech cover. Also, if a newly purchased yacht has a suit of sails that may need replaced in the next year or two then a sock might be a better investment than a leech cover to maximize the life of the old sail since it won't be thrown out with the retired sail.

Is there a UV spray I can use to UV proof my UV strip?

WeatherMAX, Sunbrella, Coastguard, and Recacril all offer around 99% UV protection. The only product that I would recommend using to treat these fabrics is 303 Fabric Guard. Fabric Guard is effective in renewing both water- and UV-resistance to Sunbrella fabrics. I would recommend re-treatment after 5 years or so and a serious inspection as to the remain effectiveness of the UV cover should be undertaken around the 7- or 8-year mark."
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Old 28-01-2013, 11:21   #37
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Alan

I have a dodger that needs replacing, would I be able to use it as templates for a new one? If no, why not?

Thanks
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:45   #38
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Hi, Alan,

Thank you very much for the expanded explanations about the cloths. I feel quite surprised to hear what you said about the white sunbrella. In our use, it is used for two bits: a small under-way cockpit awning, and for the usually undersides of our cockpit cushions, the white side being towards the sun when we're in tropical places where the burgundy color is too hot to walk on barefooted. I've been using the plan for years, and always had trouble with the mildew. Your explanation makes sense to me, I am not able to keep the fabrics salt free, and I'm sure that hygroscoping of the salt makes them damp, so anything could grow in the dirt that is a fact of life.

Also, interested you use clear vinyl for chafe protections on the inside of boombags and whatnot. I've had good results from using sticky-back sail repair cloth for that purpose, too. For chafe protection on the outside of the boom bag, where it has contact with the runners, I hand sewed on 2-1/2" (approx) wide black webbing, which has held up well, too. The boom bag is almost 10 yrs old now, and noticeably faded: it was made from German acrylic fabric the sailmaker imported for the purpose, not "Sunbrella".

I made a Stamoid hatch dodger about 5 yrs. ago. It is in an application where breathability is not a factor. It, too, is slightly faded, but not offensively so, it is a light grey color. So far, it is in excellent condition, flexible, easy to clean. And you're right, you really do not want to make a mistake sewing it!

About the same time, I replaced our old cockpit awning (which had been MarineTex) with one I fabricated from WeatherMAX. It is slightly faded, still waterproof, and folds up smaller and is lighter weight than than the MarineTex. I found it quite easy to work with, the underside has one seam finished like spinnaker seams, not hot-knifed, but the second row of zig-zagging "finishes" it so it doesn't ravel on the unfinished edge.

My burgundy weather cloths are Sunbrella, and when it comes time to replace them, I'll have to decide which fabric to use. The burgundy color seems more prone to fading than some others. What is your experience of color-difference in fading?

In case you're curious, my machine is a Pfaff 130 my mother bought when I was 10; sad to say, it's beginning to get tired, after 63 yrs. of service!

Again, thanks very much for all the help--we really appreciate it. :-)

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, Hobart TAS
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Old 28-01-2013, 22:01   #39
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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Also, interested you use clear vinyl for chafe protections on the inside of boombags and whatnot. I've had good results from using sticky-back sail repair cloth for that purpose, too. For chafe protection on the outside of the boom bag, where it has contact with the runners, I hand sewed on 2-1/2" (approx) wide black webbing, which has held up well, too. The boom bag is almost 10 yrs old now, and noticeably faded: it was made from German acrylic fabric the sailmaker imported for the purpose, not "Sunbrella".

About the same time, I replaced our old cockpit awning (which had been MarineTex) with one I fabricated from WeatherMAX. It is slightly faded, still waterproof, and folds up smaller and is lighter weight than than the MarineTex. I found it quite easy to work with, the underside has one seam finished like spinnaker seams, not hot-knifed, but the second row of zig-zagging "finishes" it so it doesn't ravel on the unfinished edge.

My burgundy weather cloths are Sunbrella, and when it comes time to replace them, I'll have to decide which fabric to use. The burgundy color seems more prone to fading than some others. What is your experience of color-difference in fading?

In case you're curious, my machine is a Pfaff 130 my mother bought when I was 10; sad to say, it's beginning to get tired, after 63 yrs. of service!

Again, thanks very much for all the help--we really appreciate it. :-)

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, Hobart TAS

Thanks Ann,

About using clear vinyl for reinforcement I avoid that for most projects, especially ones that are tensioned on a frame. Since the vinyl shrinks differently than the acrylic or polyester cover cloth it can create wrinkles or bunching over-time. Of course that is a non-issue on something like a sail-cover.

By boom bag do you mean a mainsail cover? I am guessing that this is just a different local terminology, when we say a boom bag we're usually talking about travel gear for a racing boat. As you mentioned webbing can make great chafe gear although my favorite chafe protection is Top Gun acrylic-coated polyester for new canvas products.

About your weather cloths, I have always heard the opposite about burgundy. I was under the impression that the yarns used in burgundy Sunbrella were actually "over-dyed" (if that's possible) and tend to be more colorfast due to the extra pigmentation used. If you have had a different experience with that you might want to try something like Cadet Grey or Toast, both of which don't tend to look as aged when they inevitably begin to fade.

Cool machine! I would imagine that Pfaff has been "tired" more than once in its life and has been rejuvenated? I know it's a cliche but it's true that they really "don't make them like that anymore", I'm sure that there is someone or some shop that can help you keep that machine chugging right along. Sloan Machinery and Keystone Sewing are a couple of the places that I know of here in the States but I'm sure that there are similar operations Down Under. Most of the shops here that sell industrial machines also carry parts for the classics like your Pfaff or have the capability to machine new parts for those machines.
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Old 28-01-2013, 22:17   #40
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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Alan

I have a dodger that needs replacing, would I be able to use it as templates for a new one? If no, why not?

Thanks
SVTatia,

Thanks for the question. Unfortunately the answer would be "probably not". I'm sure that a finished product based on the template of your old dodger would "fit" in the sense that it would zip to the frame in the same way and the overall appearance might even be decent at first glance (and I am positive that if you deem it necessary you can find a shop that will do it). The trouble with this whole idea is that over the years that your dodger has been on your boat it has come to fit the frame like skin and this means that there are areas that have stretched out and there may be other areas that have shrunk due to UV exposure.

Another issue comes from the tensioning of the fabric in the process of creating the dodger from the template. The material that I use to pattern a dodger doesn't allow for mis-interpretation of "flat" or "tight" like the the skin of an old dodger does.

As I mentioned first, the dodger built from your old dodger template would probably be a decent fit at first glance but after the first few rain showers or a few wet sailing days you would most likely begin to notice certain spots sagging a bit or even puddling and this would just be the beginning of a downhill slide.

Basically if someone uses an old dodger as a template they are leaving the fit and quality of the finished product up to chance, especially if they do not have access to the boat for the purpose of fitting. I don't like to leave the quality of my finished products to chance which is why I would have to say "No" to this sort of request.

That being said, sail-covers, storage bags, wheel covers, and even some binnacle/instrument covers are much more forgiving and therefore may be able to be copied from the old canvas (as long as it's not too shredded!)
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Old 28-01-2013, 22:55   #41
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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By boom bag do you mean a mainsail cover? I am guessing that this is just a different local terminology, when we say a boom bag we're usually talking about travel gear for a racing boat. As you mentioned webbing can make great chafe gear although my favorite chafe protection is Top Gun acrylic-coated polyester for new canvas products.
Yes, Alan, I did mean a mainsail cover. It has a cowl that covers the forward part of the sail when in harbor mode, but is removed for sailing. The cowl is quite noticeably brighter than the part which is continuously exposed. In addition, the acrylic has stretched a bit, and where it used to flap, it tore off, and I repaired the aft end of it.

How does polyester get acrylic coated?

If I and my Pfaff were in the US, I'd try to get it serviced again. The last outfit I hired in Oz went out of business shortly after, and I don't think my old machine was a high priority for them, anyhow. They told me that if I had been a local, they would not have worked on it for me, because it's 110 v. not what is legally mandated here. Australia has a smaller population than the US and availability of "stuff" for people with no fixed address is more limited than for one at one's US address, in our experience. Nonetheless, thank you very much for the links. It'd be lovely if it could be completely refurbished.

Ann Cate, us asv Insatiable II, lying Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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Old 29-01-2013, 06:47   #42
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

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Yes, Alan, I did mean a mainsail cover. It has a cowl that covers the forward part of the sail when in harbor mode, but is removed for sailing. The cowl is quite noticeably brighter than the part which is continuously exposed. In addition, the acrylic has stretched a bit, and where it used to flap, it tore off, and I repaired the aft end of it.

How does polyester get acrylic coated?

If I and my Pfaff were in the US, I'd try to get it serviced again. The last outfit I hired in Oz went out of business shortly after, and I don't think my old machine was a high priority for them, anyhow. They told me that if I had been a local, they would not have worked on it for me, because it's 110 v. not what is legally mandated here. Australia has a smaller population than the US and availability of "stuff" for people with no fixed address is more limited than for one at one's US address, in our experience. Nonetheless, thank you very much for the links. It'd be lovely if it could be completely refurbished.

Ann Cate, us asv Insatiable II, lying Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

I finally noticed the picture that you have on here and now I see what you're talking about with the boom bag. Is it a sort of lazy-jack pack as well (or "stack pack")? It looks interesting.

As to how polyester fabric gets an acrylic coating you would have to ask Marchem CFI, the manufacturers of Top Gun, because all they disclose in general is that they use a "proprietary process to coat both the top and bottom".

That's too bad about the availability of things in Australia. When I was out cruising I always found that the smaller population areas seemed to always have great repair shops for almost everything since it wasn't as easy to get something new (the example of Cuba's fleet of 1950's American cars lasting far beyond when those cars became few and far between here in the States comes to mind). Also, other than having to make sure that duties and customs were taken care of properly getting things shipped in on order never seemed to be much of a problem, although allowances have to be made in the amount of time in which one might normally expect a package to arrive.

Well, hopefully there's some life left in the machine. Is it the machine itself which seems tired or could it possibly be an issue with the motor or belt-drive system?
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Old 29-01-2013, 13:32   #43
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Good day, Alan,
"Is it a sort of lazy-jack pack as well (or "stack pack")? It looks interesting." Alan, we've been gone from the States so long, I don't know what it'd be called there. But yes, it does incorporate lazy jacks, and they are left up all the time. The area of the mains'l is approximately 600 sq. ft., it has a lot of roach. This set-up makes it quite tidy reefing, no bunt bulging outside the sail ties to try to see under. It's a big sucker to keep under control, and this "system" does its best. Not ideal, 'cause we have to come up to about 35 degrees off the wind to reef it. Life's full of compromises, eh

"availability of things in Australia...." In all fairness, it must be said that you can get almost anything here if you have a street address, and time to wait for it. Regular mail takes about 2 weeks from Chicago to Hobart. As flights leave every day to Australia, you wouldn't expect it to take that long, but that's what the woman at General Delivery at the General Post Office in Hobart said to me yesterday. So, if we stayed somewhere long enough and if we had a street address near enough by, we could probably get something out of the States.

What's wrong with the machine is that no matter what I do to try to adjust it, and more-mechanically-adept-than-me Jim has also tried, there's something wrong with the tension adjustment that never used to be there. The result is that the thread doesn't hook in the middle of the fabric, but on or near the bottom. As far as I can tell, it's on its 3rd motor now, and belts are available, too. I can get it so it works, just not as well as it used to, and if all seams are hidden, and I hem it so the good side is the viewable one, the product looks okay. Not great, but I am an amateur.

Again, thanks for the help, and the concern, and I quite understand that companies do not want to reveal proprietary processes just to satisfy casual curiosity. No worries there.

We're about to haul out to do a bottom job on the boat, and I may be off the net for a few days.

Thanks again,

Ann
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:40   #44
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

I'm just now looking into fabrics, mainly Sunbrella, for redoing hatch, tiller, mainsail covers and redoing the cushions down below.

I'd like to know more about the different types/weight of fabrics and the best use for them. I've seen 9oz and 12.5oz and others that are lighter. I thought this might be good for deciding which type/size/weight of fabric to use for certain fabrics.
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Old 06-03-2013, 15:44   #45
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Re: Frequently Asked Canvas Questions

Rhapsody-NS27, Sunbrella marine acrylic would be a good fabric choice for the applications that you listed but make sure that you are buying Sunbrella brand Sunbrella, made by Glen Rave. If it is 54" wide then it is not Sunbrella marine fabric, it may be Sunbrella upholstery fabric but there's a good chance that it is neither unless you are getting it from a reputable source. Also, Sunbrella marine fabric weighs in a 9.25 oz. (sometimes listed incorrectly as 9.5 oz.) per square yard. Unless someone is providing you with an oz. per linear yard weight then a 12.5 oz. fabric is not Sunbrella. If they are saying that the 12.5 oz. is per linear yard then the fabric might be Sunbrella but it's hard to say, normally fabrics are spec'd in oz/sq. yd. or g/sq. m.

In general be careful, if the deal that you find on "Sunbrella" seems too good to be true then it probably is. I'm not saying that Sunbrella is the only choice but I am saying that if you choose to use Sunbrella just make sure that you're getting the real thing.

Edit: As an anecdote to go along with this: Just a few days ago I was on a boat that I will be doing some canvas on and the owner pulled out his cushion covers that were in pretty bad shape for only being two years old. He said that the shop that made them said that the fabric was Sunbrella, it wasn't. So even when you're buying products from a local shop it's good to be careful about what products they are using.
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