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Vinyl Laminated Tarp

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Guidelines For Polyethylene And Vinyl Laminated Tarps

Polyethylene and vinyl laminated tarps are among the most useful of all 'tools', having a useful purpose at home, on the farm, on a camping trip, or in the industrial yard. Because they are so adaptable, many types of fabric and materials are used.


Tarpaulins are also found in different colors, strengths, and construction styles, and shapes.

Dimesions and characteristics of the base materials are important factors to consider when selecting a tarpaulin or cover. Careful consideration of the variety of materials and features is important to achieving protection from heavy rains, strong winds, harsh sunlight and other environmental elements.

Fabric Strength

Suggestions for fabric type are sometimes misleading. In addition to the specific type of fabric, the quality of the tarp depends on many characteristics. Adequate amounts of ultraviolet inhibitors, coating thickness, fabric weight, stitching, and hem reinforcement all contribute to fabric performance.

According to many suppliers, the most durable tarpaulin fabrics are:

    1) woven polyethylene tarps with light colored, double coated polyethylene laminate, usually referred to as poly tarps and

    2) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) scrims with double-coated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film laminate, usually referred to as vinyl tarps.

Even though the top performers include polyethylene, it is not always the case that polyethylene is the material of choice for every purpose. Some polyethylene tarps show much less durability and strength than other types of material.

Not only are there differences in the quality of different poly and vinyl tarpaulins, but suitability often plays a more important role in the selection or the the tarpaulin. Take a look at canvas tarps, or laminated mesh tarps for other options.

Fabric Suitability

For extreme climatic conditions, different combinations of tarpaulin components are recommended. For example, in areas and situations where high winds are common, a heavier fabric such as canvas or vinyl, would be beneficial.

When rainfall is expected, pay close attention to waterproofing and consider purchasing tarps with double coatings of laminates. To prevent premature tarp failure when long exposure to the sun is expected, high levels of UV-light stabilizers are recommended.

Tarp Materials: Definitions and Descriptions

  • Yarn Denier: Yarn denier defines the thread size in synthetic polyethylene tarp fabric. The larger the denier, the higher the weight per unit of length. Larger yarns typically produce stronger tarps.
  • Yarn Count / Mesh Weave : The count or number defines the yarn size in cotton fabric. Unlike with denier, the smaller number refers to a larger yarn.
  • Mil Count: A mil equals 1/1000 of an inch, and refers to fabric thickness.
  • Weight: An ounce is the weight of the material per square yard.


    Polyethylene Tarps

    For More Information:

    Poly Tarps: For more information on types of poly tarps, and some recommended suppliers.

    Tarp Uses: A view on how tarps can protect the environment.

    Polyethylene Tarp Shelter: A better choice for backpackers and light-weight campers.

    Tarp Straps: Sources for a variety of tarp straps.


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