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What is better between PVC and canvas? Of course, there are positive and negative characteristics of both of these materials. Let’s compare some of the important features of Canvas and PVC to put this debate to rest.


Canvas vs PVC, Canvas vs PVC

PVC is a polyester-based fabric that can either be coated or laminated. This material is typically used for the following;

  • Tarpaulins
  • Vehicle covers (truck covers)
  • Furniture
  • Covers for machinery
  • Canopies


Canvas vs PVC, Canvas vs PVC

Canvas can either be cotton or a polyester-cotton blend (polycotton) which means it has synthetic mixed with organic fibres. Polycotton generally tends to be cheaper and is less likely to shrink.

It is typically used for the following;

  • Vehicle covers i.e. fitted covers
  • Tents
  • Furniture
  • And large lightweight shade umbrellas.

There’s also the matter of the elements – how do these two hold up you might ask? Well let’s have a look!

The Sun
Both Canvas and PVC are susceptible to UV radiation and that’s why they disintegrate over time. The more UV stabilisation, the longer they are likely to last, but then, of course, the price goes up.

Polyurethane (PU) coated canvas is wrapped with plastic. It can either be plain, satin or twill a weave. Its lightweight body makes it naturally more breathable than PVC and allows it to adjust to body temperature more quickly.

Canvas is water resistant but not waterproof. This means that quality canvas is able to resist the penetration of water to some degree under the conditions in which it is likely to be used. Whereas PVC is 100% waterproof.

Canvas shrinks because of the cotton while PVC doesn’t shrink because of the synthetic fibres.

Both PVC and Canvas are not naturally fire-resistant; however, they can be made fire retardant.

This means that they are able to slow down or stop the speed of fire. This is made possible because they are treated with a substance that lessens flammability known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). This does not make the material fireproof.

Fire retardant properties need to be added to the chemical finish making the price almost double the one without them. Both canvas and PVC don’t regularly come with Fire retardant. In Europe, the US and Australia Fire retardant is a requirement by law for certain uses.

Why do we choose PVC?
The primary reasons why we choose PVC over canvas are because of the following:

  1. Our covers are 100% waterproof. Nothing worse on a cold, wet, winter’s evening than a compromised cover that soaks (and potentially) drips water, which in turn will hold moisture both inside and out, causing the interior temperature to plummet rapidly. Glamping is meant to be a high-end camping experience and battling the cold/wet does not speak of glamping to us.
  2. PVC does not mold anywhere near as quick as canvas. Too often do we see various glamping tents covered in mold (which, yuck and by the way, potentially dangerous to your health). It gets to the point where various owners simply give up on battling the mold and end up purchasing either covers or new structures more regularly as a result. Using PVC can quite literally save you money in the long run on this point alone.
  3. Easier to clean/maintain.
  4. More options for colour choices. Our domes already stand out from the crowd but why not take it a step further with a selection of colours to choose from to create an even more unique experience for you/your clients.