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Understanding the History of Awnings – Everything You Need to Know!

by Aishwarya Gaikwad
Understanding the History of Awnings – Everything You Need to Know!

Awnings offer many benefits and use to both residential as well as commercial spaces. In addition to providing protection against weather conditions like rain, snow, UV rays, winds and enhancing the look of your property, they have also proven to be economical at lowering your energy costs. With all these benefits, where did these shelter and shade-providing products originate? What is their history? To find out more, continue reading below.

Where did it have its origin?

The awnings that we know date today back to ancient times when handwoven mats were used to provide shade in homes and market areas. They originated in Syria and Egypt. While the Romans have come up with a retractable awning type known as velarium that was hung in the Colosseum.

Awnings into the 19thCentury

Awnings were used in American stores. During the 1800s, the most popular fabric used for awnings was cotton. Awnings became much more common with the advent of industrialization, as iron plumbing pipes became popular and affordable. Moreover, it was easy to bend and shape into various shapes easily.

A form of retractable awnings came into use in the late 19th century. At first, the awnings that were created could be rolled up using hand rafters. Later on, a rope and pulley system was used to extend and retract the awning. Retractable awnings gained popularity only because of their flexibility, ease of use, and customized coverage.

The early operable awnings were not free from drawbacks. They remained exposed when they were retracted; this is why they were prone to damage and deterioration. And the fabric that was retracted usually blocked the window and doors.

To better the operable awnings, a new type of roller awnings was produced that consisted of a metal or wood cylinder that housed the canvas when it was retracted. So the canvas was properly retracted and stored inside.

During this period, there was an increase in the variety of colors, designs, and shapes of the awnings. Some of the materials were made in a solid color, while others were made in hues of greens and tans. Moreover, stripes also appeared on the awnings, and these made the awnings enhance the look of the building. This visual appeal of awnings further encouraged the use of awnings in both commercials as well as residential settings.

Awnings into the 20thCentury

As the 19th century focused more on movements of the awnings, the 20th century focused on the awning materials. The cotton duck materials used for awnings had many drawbacks, such as fading and stretching over time, prone to mildew and flames. This is why, after WW2, vinyl materials gained popularity. Vinyl material is a durable and water-resistant material that also withstands fading.  After the 1960s, newer fabrics and materials for awning came, including acrylic and polyester.

During the early 20th century development of awnings revolved around improving the functioning and operation of the awnings. During this era, customized awnings were built that had a wide range of styles. During this time, lateral arms, fixed arms, and scissor arms were created that were used to operate the awnings. They became famous for their flexibility, compact appearance, and durability. Customers sought after these characteristics.

The Awnings in today’s time

Today awnings are used for more than their functionality and operation. They are also used for enhancing the area and creating a better ambiance. Toledo awning is used in commercial spaces as well as residential spaces. There is a wide range of materials for awnings that you can choose from, and frames made of steel, stainless steel, and aluminum provide the better and stronger structure of the awnings used today. In addition to that, many varieties of awnings have come into being, and they are all used in one form or another to provide protection and shelter.

Throughout the years, there have been much advancement in how awnings work, look and perform; awnings available today provide immense benefits than before. Here are the top three reasons why awnings are a trend in 2021.

Much better coverage

When the sun is shining brightly outside, it is difficult to spend time in your garden, patios, or outdoor spaces. Awnings are a great solution to this problem. They provide shade over a large area for patios and decks, making them usable.

They protect your furniture and those sitting underneath them from the effects of direct sunlight.  Moreover, light-colored awnings reduce the number of UV rays and heat of the sun, which naturally cools down the temperature of your house. This makes your house more comfortable, cool and reduces your energy costs.

Much better performance

Thanks to the advancements in technology, the performance, durability, and outlook of awnings have greatly improved over the years. In the old days, awnings were made out of canvas or metal and were not that durable, which is why homeowners and business owners had to change them every six years. But the awnings available today are made out of much more durable and strong fabric.

The fabric is water-resistant, waterproof, resistant to fading, and resistant to the growth of mold and mildew. In addition to the fabric, the framework is also much stronger and robust, which makes it long-lasting. Features like powder-coated frames make the awning rust and scratch-free.

Much more affordable and stylish

When it comes to cooling your home naturally, awnings are an affordable option. They also help to reduce energy costs, which makes them an economic investment. The awnings available today in the market are stylish, attractive, and available in a wide variety of designs. They can be customized according to your likes and needs. You have the option of choosing from a wide spectrum of colors, styles, patterns, designs, and shapes.

Final Thoughts!

Awnings have been a part of homes since ancient times. They have been used to provide shade and protection from different elements. The use of operable awnings traces back to the 19th century. Since then, there have been drastic developments in the awning industry; as a result of these developments, the awnings available today are more strong, stylish, durable, and attractive. Awnings are in trend. If you are looking for a way to cover your outdoor sitting area and keep it cool during the summers or protect your sitting area against other elements, then an awning is the perfect solution to your problem.

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