Why choose a fabric canopy

Current choices in materials and technological developments in synthetic fabrics and associated topcoatings has allowed a rapid growth in the fabric canopy market. There are some key advantages and benefits in using a fabric canopy. Our blog explores these and links some relevant projects to illustrate them.

Technological development of materials

Rapid technological development in materials has vastly improved material performance. This has improved strength and flexibility and also improved life expectancy of the material. A well maintained fabric canopy can last for years. Our tensile fabric canopies have a live expectancy of 10 to 30+ years.

You can see in the materials section of our website that we offer a huge range of material choice. Each material will have specific benefits which gives flexibility to meet the requirements of any brief.

Shelter and shade solutions with a fabric canopy

We have a range of re-engineered and ready to install Signature Structures. These are customisable to your requirements and can meet any application. Our key markets are event and exhibition halls, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and bars, leisure centres, retail spaces, schools and universities and theme parks.

If your requirement cannot be met from one of our Signature Structures then no problem. We can design and build a Bespoke Structure to your specification and build something unique that will answer your brief.

Fabric canopy examples

Our website is packed with fabric canopy projects we have successfully delivered. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the different solutions that we can deliver.

Stanstead Airport

An £80m terminal redevelopment programme for Stanstead airport included a brief to develop a covering for some outdoor spaces. We were asked to design, engineer and install a series of tensile canopies for the airport’s meet & greet valet parking service.

The finished structure covered over 600sqm of car parking space, providing welcoming and practical shelter for customers dropping off their vehicles at the premium parking area.

The finished fabric canopy comprises a low-impact barrel canopy of white PVC fabric on a striking steel framework. The framework is galvanised and powder coated to meet the 25+ year life-expectancy specification.


University of Middlesex

Over £9 million was invested in refurbishing the UK’s number 1 cruise port, enabling the terminal to

As part of a remit to improve social spaces at Middlesex University, we were selected to supply tensile fabric structures as a shade and shelter canopy solution for the Hendon Campus in North West London.

The area where the fabric canopy is located is a fire escape route and assembly point, so we recommended an inherently flame-retardant woven glass fabric. Environmentally friendly and highly-translucent, the fabric suits the overall simplistic design.


Next Head Office

After commissioning a nursery for their staff, Next asked us to design a solution for the open air courtyard that the facility wraps around.

We selected a specialist fabric that is semi-translucent with a light transmission of 35%. On its upper surface a heat protective coating gives the fabric a beautiful pearlescent finish, which also helps prevent dirt from settling. This fabric solution comes with a standard 15 year standard warranty.


Chester Racecourse

As the oldest racecourse still in operation in the world, Chester Racecourse has a great history. Established in 1539, it’s an award winning racecourse and we were delighted to work with such a prestigious venue.

Our brief was to design, engineer and install two new entrance canopies ahead of the Boodles May Festival.


Chandlery Square

This is a really interesting hotel. The architect’s nautical theme for a “Shipping Container Hotel”, with views across the Bristol Channel to the Severn Bridge, included the creation of a pub and a 120-seat restaurant as well as the 45-room hotel.

This new bar and restaurant is made from 28 recycled shipping containers. In line with the industrial boatyard theme, the fabric canopy we designed was also a quirky design. We patterned one 25m long fabric canopy to sit half way up the 10m high masts, with aesthetic ‘rigging’ in the form of stainless steel cables running between them.


About Fabric Architecture

We are a dedicated and creative team of in-house experts. We have been delivering tensile fabric structures for 40 years. We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with architects, contractors and decision-makers based on honesty and experience.

​We focus on excellence – creating tensile fabric structures that are innovative and of superior quality, and that benefit from the latest technologies and manufacturing techniques.

​Working with Fabric Architecture

We transform original concepts into buildable, sustainable and memorable tensile fabric solutions. Supporting our clients through this creation journey, we use our significant knowledge of tensile fabrics and the engineering behind them to realise the full potential of every design.

Get in contact today if you want to find out more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and Instagram


A bespoke hyper system for elegant open-air dining preserving views of the course and allowing customers continued enjoyment of the races.

A 240sqm wave-shaped fabric ceiling was designed to create a smooth and undulating surface with atmospheric up-lighters.