A Brief History of Fabric Awnings, Fabrics, Frames, Design and Function

  • Awnings as window and door coverings have been in existence for hundreds of years.

  • Prior to the 1950's, awning fabrics were made of treated cotton.

  • Treated cotton was subject to mildew, rot and fading but still held up well.

  • Historically, stationary awning frames were made of threaded water pipe and loosely covered with exterior grade fabrics.

  • Historically, retractable storefront awnings utilized gears and water pipe arms.

  • Awning design and shapes were limited almost entirely to straight shapes. If you wanted anything but straight shapes, you were required to contract with a steel fabrication company.

  • The number of awning fabric colors and patterns were limited based on relatively low sales demand.

  • In about 1975, the awning industry discovered that frames could be made by cutting bending and welding lengths of thin wall tubing.

  • New and exciting awning shapes were now easy to make.  Awning became more popular because of all the new and exciting awning shapes available.

  • Awning fabric sales sky-rocketed.

  • Awning manufacturers began to reinvest in this growth industry, and they became more sophisticated.

  • Fabric manufacturers began offering more colors and patterns to meet the demand  

  • Since 1975, awning popularity and sales have continued to grow.

  • Today, Awning manufacturers can make any shape you can design!