Have you seen fabric colours change over time due to the prolonged exposure to the sun? The tone might be switching to a lighter shade or gloss. The factors that influence colour retention capability include exposure frequency, the location of the fabric structure, and the intensity of sunlight. However, what are the factors that affect the quality of PVC fabric?
The PVC formulation process uses multiple fillers that include calcium carbonate. When a manufacturer uses fewer filters, it lowers the abrasion–resistant properties of the fabric. Also, the liner is likely to break down faster and cause chalky residues on the material.
The majority of colour pigments is UV stable and requires additives to retain the colours when in use outdoors. UV additives and stabilisers protect the PVC coatings and colour pigments from degrading due to the sun’s UV rays.
The quantity and quality of colour pigments that go into the creation of fabric affect the stability of the material during exposure to UV rays. Some pigments reflect UV radiation, but others absorb the radiation instead. It is therefore essential that a manufacturer gets the right pigment combination to meet the fabric requirements.
These combine with resins to create a flexible structure that does not have chemical bonding characteristics. Over time, the plasticisers can move to the fabric surface and alter the level of gloss. Using quality plasticisers help with the stabilisation of your fabric and minimises the migration of the plasticisers to the surface.
Unless the fabric colour is white, it will change due to degradation after exposure to the sun. Nevertheless, when you source your fabric from a reliable supplier, you can communicate your colour retention expectations. The fabric structure supplier can then formulate fabric that will last for ages even in the face of sun exposure.