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Awnings are usually folding devices made of fabric, whose main purpose is to shade parts of buildings such as balconies or terraces. In addition, they are recognized as contributing to the reduction of energy consumption, as - if used in a proper way - they can reduce the need to use the air conditioner in summer. Extremely functional elements, awnings also respond to an aesthetic function: in fact, with the design of modern models, they can contribute to the characterization of the style of the building where they are installed. For the realization of awnings it is important that the fabric is resistant to atmospheric agents and to the action of UV rays, which have the power to fade the normal dyes used in textile technology. Among the materials, in addition to natural fibers such as cotton canvas, you can find products in polyester fibers, acrylics and composite materials, such as polyester fibers coated with PVC.
Awnings for outdoor living all year round
Awnings protect the house from the sun's rays and guarantee a certain level of privacy. The self-supporting awnings are independent from the building and this system offers numerous possibilities for shading. Motorised awnings work with the same mechanism as awnings with extendable arms, with one substantial difference: the roller on which the fabric is rolled is enclosed in an aluminium box. This type of tent is usually installed on open and covered terraces. Awnings with guide system (or attic awnings) are the ideal solution to protect even the largest surfaces: they can be equipped with both the classic side guides and the guides positioned above the fabric, to create the so-called "wave effect". Moreover, some models are designed to keep the fabric in traction, in any position, in spaces such as skylights, pergolas and verandas. As far as sliding awnings are concerned, the traditional opening and closing mechanism is the manual one, but more and more often awnings are equipped with automated or motorised devices, which can also be managed remotely by means of a remote control.
Main types of awnings for outdoor spaces
There are different types of awnings, suitable for shading larger or smaller areas, from the balcony to the garden. For example, the classic canopy tent is mainly used for balconies or to cover windows or stained-glass windows. The design of this product is characterized by a rounded shape and the cloth is sewn on a curved arched frame that moves with a rope recall. The protection provided is in the upper part and partially lateral. In the case of a drop awning, the awning descends vertically flush with the facade and offers front and side protection. This type of balcony can be divided into two sections: an upper section that falls vertically and a lower section that can protrude beyond the balcony to allow more light and air into the balcony itself. The arm awning can be fixed to the wall or ceiling. Shade sails, on the other hand, are ideal for the garden. To be functional, the sails must be kept taut: this is possible through the use of tie rods and eyelets that allow you to adjust the tension. If the space available is very large, the sails can be superimposed, creating plays of light and shadow.
The choice of materials: awnings for exteriors and balconies
The most commonly used material for awnings is fabric: awnings made of synthetic fibre and technical fabric are generally more suitable for outdoor use, as they are more resistant to atmospheric agents and the action of ultraviolet rays on colours. As far as the design of the structure is concerned, it is possible to range from metals to plastic: an aluminium awning guarantees resistance and solidity and for this reason it is considered suitable for furnishing a garden. Aluminium sail curtains are in fact one of the preferred solutions in the outdoor furnishing of large spaces. PVC awnings are also very resistant: this material, in fact, protects from water thanks to its impermeability, creating a shaded area that protects from both the sun and the rain.
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