Tarps Offer The
Perfect Combination Of
Water And Flame Resistance
Unlike the popular, economical blue
tarps designed for short term use, or heavy duty vinyl, canvas is made from 100%
cotton fibers. That makes it durable, easy to handle, and easy on the environment.
for water resistance, canvas is excellent for covering anything that needs protection
from sun and rain. And it readily accepts treatments to provide more protection
against oil penetration, mildew, and rot.
is a true multipurpose cover. As a woven fabric, it is both light and strong,
and provides a flow of air that polyethylene and vinyl do not. On the farm, large
canvas tarps with grommets are often used to cover stacks of hay and prevent water
In general, they are best used
to protect stationary items that benefit from breathable covering, such as machinery,
construction equipment, and tools. The air flow helps keep the items from the
damage of mildew, rust, and heat.
are a number of special treatments that make canvas a such versatile material
Cotton Canvas Fabric
Cotton cloth tarps are
naturally breathable, allowing heat and condensation to move freely through the
material. But the cotton material is more susceptible to mold and mildew when
left outdoors. So most cotton canvas on the market is treated to make them resistant
to water, rot, and mildew.
One of the
most important treatments is the application of chemicals to make the fabric fire
retardant. But keep in mind that not every canvas tarpaulin is so treated.
treatments are not the perfect solution for all situations. The paraffin coating
makes the canvas water resistant, not water proof. And it does wear off over time
and with multiple cleanings. The wax and chemicals can also leave stains on car
and boat exteriors, and indoor furniture.
a different story for drop cloth canvas, also called a painter's tarps. A good
drop cloth is made from a high-quality, soft natural cotton canvas, without the
damaging dyes or chemicals, and is great for covering floors and furniture.
painters tarp reduces cleanup effort, and keeps the work area looking good in
high-visibility locations. Tightly woven material prevents paint bleed-through
and adds extra strength so cloth can be washed.
The best canvas
tarps are made from 100-percent military cotton duck, which generally lasts longer
than polyethylene and polypropylene.
construction should include double stitching (some are triple stitched) at the
hem and seams, often with rope sewn into the hem for reinforcement. Tie-down brass
or aluminum grommets are rust-resistant, and are reinforced with a patch of extra
fabric for strength. Spacing ranges from 24 to 48 inches apart.
fabric weights range from 10 oz up to 15 oz(with treatment), and you'll find sizes
from 4 x 8 to 20 x 30 feet.
rain, and dirt, and cleaning, will, over time, reduce the effectiveness of the
protective treatments. However, with proper storage when not in use, and gentle
cleaning, you can extend the life of your canvas tarp significantly.
Recommended Online Sources
favoite online source, hands down, is Global
They have a huge selection of sizes, in 10oz and heavy duty 12oz fabric weights.
Sizes range from 3x4 all the way up to 40x40.
are also a great source for painter's canvas drop cloths. These are made
of soft 10oz cotton in sizes from 4x12 up to 20x20.
For More Information:
An overview of the main choices in protective tarp coverings: polyethylene, canvas,
Tarpaulins: An ideal emergency solution to rook leaks.
Tarps: The choice when you need airflow and modest shade, and where
water proofing is not required.