It appears that "the most common way to dye woven material is vat
dyeing, where the fabric is simply immersed in a vat of dye. This is
quick, cheap and efficient." This is cited at
seems to me the only way you will be able to acheive a soft uniform
color. It is offered as a description of Bradcot's awnings. You
might also contact them to see if they know of a working solution for
BD2 1 QN
Tel: 01274 306811
Fax: 01274 390951
In the US, call SunSetter Retractable Awnings toll-free at
800-876-2340 and inquire if they know a dyeing process you could
Are your awnings able to be taken apart, removed from their frames?
If so, a large vat or bathtub dye process would be the best way.
Total immersion and soaking the awning for a time in the dye would
produce the best infusion of color. If not, you may want to consider
having an airbrush artist uniformly spray the awnings for you with the
color of your choice. Although it could be costly, a professional
airbrusher would be able to acheive the uniformity of color.
If your awnings are vinyl instead of woven, take a look at the
troubleshooting guide for vinyl awnings is offered at
Regarding painting woven canvas, I found a tip at
http://sewing.about.com/library/blsuzie.htm that reads "If using
outdoor canvas and painting it, you don't need to prime it with Gesso.
If using duck cloth and painting it, you do need to prime it with
Gesso and let it dry about 24 hours. Use acrylic paints. No need to
mix them with a textile medium because you are using the Gesso...You
may spray on a polyurethane sealer or was the flag with Bowler's Wax
(available at any hardware store) in order to preserve it."
This was from instructions on how to make an outdoor flag but the
painting tips are great and you may want to just paint the awnings if
dyeing proves too difficult or unmanagable.
An article at http://www.diynet.com/DIY/print/article/0,2058,252,00.html
references "Deka Acrylic Sign Enamel Paints (for indoor and outdoor
use)" in talking about painting canvas outdoor chairs. The article
also states "Acrylic Sign Enamel is a durable, fade-resistant
indoor/outdoor paint that allows you to paint color next to color
without the worry of their bleeding together."
For questioning Deka if their paint would work for cloth awnings,
DEKA / Decart Inc.
PO Box 309 St. Address: 419 Harrel St.
Morrisville, VT 05661-0309
Toll-Free: 800-232-3352 - list
You may also want to consider bleaching the fabric before dyeing.
Also, please see the Duro Industries site at
for another avenue of inquiry for dyes.
I did find information on painting canvas tents. At
was a lengthy message dealing with that. It reads in part:
"If it is a natural vegetable fiber such as cotton or linen the most
common method I have seen used successfuly after construction is the
use of fabric paint....Most of them are water-based; can be mixed and
blended; and are heat-set after drying....Two other considerations are
how light-fast the paint is and how water-proof it really is (or how
thorough the heat setting is)....another consideration is
breathability. Most, if not all of these fabric paints, are a liquid
plastic. When applied to a tent they create a pretty effective water
and air seal....one method is the use of exterior latex house paint
and a roller..."
I suggest you read the entire post. It is the second from the top and
offered by Ivar Hakonarson who gives the email address of
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org - you may want to send a query to him to see what
he might recommend for painting outdoor awnings. Some types of awning
fabric is similar to heavy tent fabric.
Basic vat dyeing is covered at
http://www.rughookingonline.com/hooked/WG12.txt under the message
heading "koolaid methods" about 2/3 of the way down the page. It
speaks of using Koolaid as a dye but the method of vat dyeing is
Vat dyeing seems to be the best followed by actual painting of the
fabric. Marine paint would also be an option among the outdoor paint
Should you require clarification of any of the links or information I
have provided, please request it and I will be happy to respond.
dyeing my awnings
"dyed my awnings"
"dye my awnings"
dye for outdoor fabric
painting an awning
"outdoor canvas" painting
"outdoor paint" for fabric
"painting a tent" canvas