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Vinyl vs. Fabric – Which Banner Material Is Better?

Posted on 23, March, 2020

Last Modified on 23, March, 2020

When you’re staging an exhibit at a trade show, outdoor fair, community event or any other gathering for promoting your business, banners have become staples for catching people’s attention. A large, bright-colored banner will let everyone know your organization’s vital information at a glance, including your business name, logo and contact information. Modern printing processes have lowered the manufacturing costs for both fabric and vinyl banners. It’s now possible to buy one of these banners for a relatively low cost, and with proper care it should last for years. The main buying decisions now entail picking the right colors, banner size and banner material. Vinyl and silk-screened fabrics are two of the most popular banner materials, and your best choice depends on your specific exhibit use.

The Banner Printing Process: Looking for Quality

With skilled printing professionals using good equipment, both fabric and vinyl banners can be printed with excellent quality. Once a digital image file is approved and sent to the processing software, the image to be printed on a vinyl banner gets transferred directly to a substrate layer designed to reduce the chances of ink smears. Fabric banners are still often rendered with traditional screen-printing processes. Some blotting or smears can still happen, though chances of them are small with careful attention to the whole process.

The main advantage of vinyl banners is their durability; this type of fabric can withstand harsh rain and wind without any damage. It can also be exposed to bright sunlight for hours without any fading. An optional double-stitch at the edges of a vinyl banner would prevent any fraying even in the most inclement weather. Another plus for Post-Up Stand’s vinyl banners is custom grommet placement so you can hang your new banner on any size backdrop you’ll be using for your exhibit.

Indoors or Outdoors?

Vinyl banners are definitely the best choice for outdoor display booths, due to their durability. Fabric banners can work, but you’ll need to consider factors such as fabric thickness as well as strength. Some fabric banners can become translucent in the harsh sunlight, making your logo and message more difficult for passers-by to read clearly. The top quality vinyl banners usually don’t come with this drawback. When selecting a printing company to make either type of banner for your next exhibit, take a look at past work samples as well as past customer testimonials. The more experienced the print professionals, the more banner customization options you’ll typically be able to select.

Storing, Transporting and Set Up

The longevity of your fabric or vinyl banner will depend on how you store and maintain it. Before storing a vinyl banner, use some mild detergent and water to clean off any dirt. Harsh cleaning products can fade a glossy vinyl banner’s surface over time. Also be sure to dry off the banner thoroughly before putting it away, since moisture can sometimes cause the material to crack. The best way to store and transport a vinyl banner is to roll it up with the image on the outside before placing it in a protective storage tube. Rolling up rather than folding a vinyl banner is recommended, since folding it can create unwanted creases.

Fabric banners can be washed easily with water before spreading them out flat to dry. Using soap or detergent is not advisable because these can lead to fading of the colors. Afterwards they can be folded and stored in a cool, dry place so as to avoid mildew from excess humidity. When setting up your display, both types of banners can be easily attached to your backdrop or table edge with the included metal grommets.

Vinyl and fabric banners have their own advantages and drawbacks, though both are cost-effective additions to your next trade show booth display. Getting your money’s worth depends on your exact purpose for your new banner, along with the quality of the printing process and the steps you take to store and maintain the banner.

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