Pergolas are structures that can either be attached to an existing building or freestanding. While pergolas can have roofs open to the elements, a variety of coverings are often used to make the space more weatherproof and functional. Of these coverings, fabrics are a versatile covering and may be canvas, vinyl, lace, sheer. An endless color spectrum makes the suitable to individual tastes. It is relatively easy to install a fabric pergola covering.
When choosing a pergola fabric, it helps to use a heavyweight material that will withstand strong winds and loads due to snow, while still having the flexibility to move with the breeze. Many types of pergola fabric are treated to resist ultraviolet light from the sun’s rays, which can cause colors to fade and material to wear out, in addition to damaging furniture within the pergola. Ultraviolet protection will also keep the shaded area cooler. Another important element of a permanent pergola fabric cover is water resistance. Heavy canvas and sail material are fabrics that meet these criteria.
The aesthetic appeal of pergola fabric coverings lends flexibility in decorating. Besides the availability of colors, prints, and style of fabric, there are also transparency variations, too. Pergola fabric can be sheer which allows diffused light to shine through and provides some privacy. Lace-textured fabrics let in mottled light and give a romantic look for entertaining or special events.
Fabrics can be installed in different ways, too, creating effects within the space. A fitted pergola cover is a clean, uniform look and may come with detachable sides, creating a weatherproof room. When draped flat over the roof of a pergola, fabric allows breezes to flow through and keeps the view unobstructed from inside the pergola. Sheers or laces hung from the inside of a pergola create a softer impression and can be tied back to allow openness or hang straight for privacy.
Compared to other covering materials, like fiberglass, plastic, or even metal, a fabric pergola cover can be quite durable in the elements, while still being relatively easy to remove and change as the seasons or occasions demand. A more permanent heavy-duty pergola fabric, like a sail, may be pricier than a sheer version, but will likely be less expensive than metal or fiberglass. Pergola kits sometimes come with a fitted fabric cover included, which is not as easy to swap out but might be more durable.