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The Wide World of Tenting Fabric Weights

The Wide World of Tenting Fabric Weights

To the untrained eye, all tents appear to be made out of the same thing. Tent tops, sidewalls, banners … it’s all vinyl; how different can it all be?

While not mentioned very often, Celina uses three main types or weights of vinyl, with each having a specific use depending on the desired outcome. Whether you’re dealing solely with our party tent product lines or the various industrial applications we delve into, it’s never too hard to find one of the following on the production floor.

14 Ounce Vinyl

The lightest fabric that we work with for party tent applications, 14 ounce vinyl lets us create very economically priced items. Most of this weight vinyl is created by layering polyvinyl chloride (PVC) on both sides of a scrim*. Due to the lightness of the fabric, 14 ounce allows light to be seen on the opposite side of the fabric, making the interior of the tent lighter on sunnier days. This style of vinyl is the primary type used on our Economy Sidewalls and Presto Series tents, but can be used to make other tent tops by request.

16 Ounce Vinyl

The golden standard for tent tops, walls, and bags, 16 ounce vinyl is a better quality fabric than 14 ounce because of the added material that creates the coating. 16 ounce that Celina uses is also imbued with an additional layer next to the scrim, called the blockout layer. This, with strengthening the fabric, also prevents light from passing through the material. The overall feel as you increase the material weight is a thicker, heavier fabric – this withstands heavier wear better and is the best choice for common white tents.

DuraPrint, the fabric we use for all of our printed tent tops and sidewalls, is also a 16 ounce vinyl. It’s been specially treated in order to accept printing inks easily and maintain a vibrant print while still having the strength of vinyl with the same weight.

18 Ounce Vinyl

Not used very much for tent tops or walls, this fabric is much more popular in the industrial end of production. Additional weight and layering makes 18 ounce vinyl a much stronger and much heavier fabric for projects where there is a high level of wear or stress placed on the final product. This style of fabric isn’t used much for fabric tents because of the added weight – hoisting pole tents would be much harder and more time consuming with very little in the way of added benefit.

*Scrim, for the uninitiated, is the woven thread that forms a base for many vinyl fabrics. The scrim can differ in thread thickness, material, and density of weave. This provides a strong base for the fabric, minimizing material stretching and increasing overall fabric strength.

The Choice

So you’re looking at our website, sifting through tent styles, and you think to yourself: I’m only seeing one option here! This is true; due to the popularity of 16 ounce vinyl, this is the tent top material that is standard on all Celina Tents and Sidewalls. This doesn’t mean that it’s your only option, however; with a quick call to one of our sales associates, any tent top can be requested in 14 ounce fabric in a wide variety of colors.

Call us today – 419-586-3610 – to talk to us about tent top fabrics, color availability, or any question you may have on tent production. We’re waiting to hear from you!