How to Choose a Fabric for Your Outdoor Banner

Outdoor banners can be helpful to many people, whether you're a business owner, a local sports team, or a passionate homeowner. When creating outdoor banners, three types of fabric work best: vinyl, mesh, and fabric. Each option comes with a list of pros and cons. Discover the benefits and setbacks of vinyl, mesh, and fabric materials to decide which is right for you.

How to Choose a Fabric for Your Outdoor Banner

Vinyl banners are the most durable and most commonly used option for outdoor banners. Typically, you'll choose to have your vinyl banner printed on 13 oz. or 18 oz. material. The heavier the vinyl, the more durable it is. For reference, 13 oz. vinyl is commonly used to print billboards. You should consider the budget-friendly vinyl option if you're looking to create an outdoor banner for: 

  • Special events
  • Long-term use (or reuse!) 
  • Single-use events  

Mesh banners are a long-lasting, high-quality cheaper alternative to vinyl signage. Unlike vinyl or fabric, the ink gets quickly absorbed into the mesh, which results in crisp lettering and imagery. Mesh banners are ideal for:  

  • Sporting events
  • Construction and building sites 
  • Festivals 

Fabric banners are easy to wash, lightweight, and durable. Unlike vinyl, there's no risk of glare when using fabric banners. Plus, they're more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Moreover, fabric banners allow the ink to bond permanently with the fibers, creating the most realistic print on your signage. Consider investing in a fabric banner for: 

  • Multiple uses or events that require travel 
  • Indoor events 

Note that fabric banners are not ideal for outdoor use, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. If you do use fabric banners outside and they become soiled, you can always throw them in the wash or have them professionally cleaned to restore their appearance. 

Factors That Affect the Cost of Outdoor Banners

The following factors will impact how much your outdoor banner costs regardless of the fabric you choose. 

  • Lead times. The amount of time you provide ahead of your order can impact the overall cost. For example, if you need a custom outdoor banner in a day, the price will be exponentially more than an order placed a few days or weeks in advance. 
  • Finishing. These details are added to custom vinyl banners and other outdoor signage before the order is fulfilled. Depending on the order, banners get pole pockets, grommets, or Velcro for easy installation. The type of finishing provided depends on the fabric you use for your banner. 
  • Ink. The ink used to print your custom outdoor banner will also impact the project's overall cost. Different types of ink are required depending on your fabric choice. For instance, fabric is a porous material that requires more ink, so the project's cost might be slightly higher than one that requires less ink. 
  • Size. The overall size of your order will also impact the cost. A large banner with a lot of verbiage will cost more than a smaller banner with simpler messaging because of all the factors mentioned above. 

Before you place an order for an outdoor banner, it is essential to determine what type of fabric you want to use. While each material has its advantages, knowing where you're going to use it will help you decide which option is right for you.