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Old 01-24-2020, 10:43 AM   #1
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Fabric for hatch covers etc

Does anyone have an opinion about using cotton duck canvas instead of an indoor/outdoor fabric like Sunbrella? Duck was the staple before the invention of the sunbrellas. It would save me a lot of money. The two cons that I can think of are shrinkage and mildew. I have about 120 feet of rail cover to make and shrinkage wouldn't be a big problem. It would be with hatch covers.
All opinions eagerly invited
Oliver
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:56 AM   #2
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I love duck canvas. Itís got a great feel. It has been used for hundreds of years. Itís less expensive. You can get it in just about any weight you want and the heavier weights are impressive. Itís just pleasing to work with.

The advantages end there. Modern fabrics are better in almost every other way.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:41 PM   #3
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Cotton just doesnt have the life of good synthetics IMO.
There are many alternates less expensive than Sunbrella and just as good... again IMO
Take a look at RockfordSupply.com as they frequently have 2nds and closeouts at very good prices vs Sunbrella. No interest other than they are my go to for most top / cover / mesh fabrics and havent been disappointed.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:49 PM   #4
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I do a lot of canvas work. I would not invest my time in any materials that do not last a really long time. There is a reason that cotton duck isnít used much anymore. I will pay the difference for Sunbrella and Tenara thread and do it one time and be done with it.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omoore View Post
Does anyone have an opinion about using cotton duck canvas instead of an indoor/outdoor fabric like Sunbrella? Duck was the staple before the invention of the sunbrellas. It would save me a lot of money. The two cons that I can think of are shrinkage and mildew. I have about 120 feet of rail cover to make and shrinkage wouldn't be a big problem. It would be with hatch covers.

Hi Oliver - this one is a no-brainer. Sunbrella isn't terribly expensive but is a much, much higher quality fabric that will withstand 15-years of direct sunlight. Labor to fabricate is the same as are the various fasteners, trim, chafe guards, etc. so the extra money for the fabric is negligible in the long run. This isn't even a close call for exterior fabric.


As Commodave states, use high quality UV-protected thread - Sunbrella typically outlasts regular thread by 2x-3x at least. Having stuff re-stiched is a pain, and it never looks as good as new.



I had caprail covers on my WIllard 36 for years. I hated them - PITA to take on/off, and the snaps rattled in a breeze. I'm in the process of having my caprails encapsulated in fiberglass and painted in AlexSeal as part of a larger paint job. Unless I drop a toothpick on deck, not a stitch of exterior wood left!
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