What’s The Difference Between Fabric Banners vs. Vinyl Banners?

by | Mar 6, 2020 | Printing Questions | 0 comments

When you are looking for custom banners, you have the option of different materials. One common question many people have is whether to get tension fabric or vinyl banners. Both materials provide great functionality, but they do have their differences. It is, therefore, essential for you to arm yourself with…

When you are looking for custom banners, you have the option of different materials. One common question many people have is whether to get tension fabric or vinyl banners. Both materials provide great functionality, but they do have their differences. It is, therefore, essential for you to arm yourself with the necessary knowledge when you are shopping for the right material. Let’s delve into the topic in a little more detail below.

Understanding Tension Fabric

You will find a lot of advertising material utilizing the use of tension fabric. Tension fabric refers to any fabric cover that you stretch over a rigid frame, such as those you will find in a pop-up banner. The materials are durable and incorporate the use of different components.

Polyester tension fabric is one such example. Banner printing is easier because it holds color very well. It is also able to withstand the elements, and can keep color even if you expose it to sunlight. You must, however, ensure that you use cold water when washing it to maintain the color longer. Polyester is also excellent because it is lightweight and very durable. Other materials you can use include satin, nylon, synthetic fibers, and Celtic cloth.

Tension fabrics banners printing give you excellent graphics and color; you can wash them in the machine using cold water, and are easy to transport because they are very light.

 

Vinyl banners

Vinyl is a popular medium for printing banners. It comes in different weights, and the type of banner will determine the weight you choose. You may, for example, find that vinyl banners are generally heavier, thus making them suitable for outdoor use. You get the assurance that the weather will not damage them or impact them negatively. The quality of images is sharper, but you should watch out for glare when taking pictures.

 

Comparison between Vinyl and Tension Fabric

 

    • Overall cost

The overall cost is a huge determinant of the type of material you choose. Smaller businesses may, for example, go for low-cost options because they do not have huge budgetary allocations for branding activities. Other factors that may impact on the overall cost of a banner include the size, cost of banner printing, and the finishing. There is no real price difference between the two materials, and largely depend on your preference.

 

    • Durability

You need long-term usage for whatever banner you opt for. Look at it as a long-term investment so that you do not have to keep on replacing your branding. Vinyl banners will give you more durability, especially if you use them outdoors. They are also excellent as custom backdrops. Retractable banners made from vinyl are portable and easy to store. Once you finish using them, simply roll them back in their case and store safely.

You will get a lot of durability with fabric banners if you plan to use them indoors, and if you take good care of them when transporting them.

 

    • Transportation

You will need a lightweight material if you will be using the banners at different locations. A significant part of marketing requires that you have branding, which you can move or transport easily. Fabric banners are much lighter and, therefore, more portable. You can fold them easily, and they do not take up too much storage space. If, for example, you have a fabric pop-up banner, you can quickly move it by leaving the fabric on the frame.

Vinyl banners, on the other hand, may crack if you do not fold or roll them properly. You may also have size limitations, and may have to factor in a storage box. It, therefore, makes it harder for you to move around with a vinyl banner.

 

    • Maintenance

How you maintain your banners will depend on how you use them. Maintaining vinyl banners is easier because all you need is a wet piece of cloth to wipe it down. Once you place it in storage, it can stay there for a long time without impacting on the overall look and design.

Fabric banners require that you take a little bit more care of them. They can stain and will show dirt easily. You will need to dry clean, or, and wash them to maintain cleanliness.

 

    • Overall Appearance

The translucency and surface texture will determine what a banner looks like in the end. You can, for example, achieve a matt look on either vinyl or fabric. However, the surface on cloth will give you a much better appearance. If you want a smoother appearance, be careful about where you will use the banner. You may, for example, find that a retractable banner for media purposes may have glare when you use flash photography. In such a case, you are better off using fabric to avoid the glare.

 

Translucency refers to the ability of the material to let light through. If you have a strong light source from the back and it passes through the fabric banner, it may distort some of the images. However, it is a better option if you do not have too much concern about lighting.

 

VinylTension fabric
PricingMany factors will determine pricingMany factors will determine pricing
The overall appearance of the bannerYou will get sharper more vibrant images with vinyl bannersYou get softer images with tension fabric
DurabilityBest for outdoor useBest for indoor use
PortabilityMay be a bit bulky and harder to move from place to placeEasier to transport from location to location because you can fold it up or leave it on the frame
MaintenanceEasier to maintain, all you need is a wet piece of clothMay stain and you will need to dry clean it. You must also be careful about wrinkling the fabric. Take care so that the detergents do not make the ink run
Usagesuitable for long-term outdoor usageThey are more ideal for indoor usage, so you can consider them for short-term outdoor applications
Photography ApplicationsThe high gloss surface will catch and reflect light which can distort picturesThey absorb light and are therefore excellent for Media banners
Set upSetting up a vinyl banner is easierFabric banners are more difficult to set up, and you have to deal with mounting them. You may need special equipment such as rods
ReusabilityDo not offer much reusabilityOffer fantastic reusability

 

Final Thoughts

We have highlighted the main differences between tension fabric and vinyl banners to help you choose the best for you.