Fabric vs. Vinyl Banner (PVC) – Which is Better?

Last Updated on January 11, 2023

Fabric vs. Vinyl Banner: Advertising banner made of fabric or Vinyl – which is better? It is somewhat problematic to give a reliable answer to this question. Much depends on the real needs of the customer.

But we are ready to talk about the advantages of both options. Then you will be able to determine which one suits whom best. Read on to discover the differences between fabric and vinyl banners and which will work best for you.

First, Let’s Understand What a Banner is

A banner is a promotional product. It is a canvas of reinforced synthetic textiles with an image applied by large-format printing. They place canvases on the streets, on facades of buildings, and inside commercial, public premises.

Their purpose is similar to a flyer – informing about a product, service, promotional offer, direct appeal, and attracting an audience. Materials for banners are selected based on the size of the product, the specifics of use, and the period of placement.

What Materials Are Banner Fabrics Made From?

The main materials are Vinyl and opaque polypropylene. The latter can be thin, rigid, or elastic materials (it is used for interior design). 

The classic banner fabric is a blended composition based on Vinyl reinforced with polyester and polyester meshes. The plasticizing fillers give clothes elasticity. They are also made from vinyl polymers. The weight of such a product depends on the density of the reinforcing inserts – the range is 280-550g / square meter.

Business Advertising With Banners

These promotional tools allow businesses to:

  • Appeal to a wide audience: the announcement will inform about the opening of a store/branch, the brand’s entry into the market, and a large-scale promotion.
  • It is inexpensive to conduct a long-term PR campaign on a busy street: to place a banner for up to six months, the material with a density of 440 g/m² is sufficient, and for six months in winter, 510 g/m² material is required. The average market cost of laminated fabrics is 1.5-3.5 US dollars per 1 m². Molded textiles are more expensive but more flexible in use: they cost 3-5 US dollars per 1 m².
  • Close a showcase under repair and temporarily replace signs on the facades – For short-term or interior placement, a material with a density of 240-440 g/m² is suitable.

What is Vinyl? 

The abbreviation stands for polyvinyl chloride (Vinyl) . Vinyl fabric is an artificial material with a mixed composition, also known as awning, banner fabric, or film.


The basis of Vinyl is weaving polymer threads: polyester, lavsan, or nylon. This network is covered with a layer of polyvinyl chloride. Sometimes the material is additionally varnished.

Vinyl Banners

Vinyl banners generally consist of two layers: a PVC sheet with an adhesive back layer containing an opaque layer capable of providing extra protection against UV rays , environment, and water damage. Vinyl is much more rigid than fabrics, so it requires less reinforcement when mounting, but that can make handling more challenging, considering how heavy it can be before installation/mounting on poles or walls/fences, etc. 

Vinyl Banners
Vinyl Banners

Additionally, PVC banners have good outdoor durability and are great at fighting against harsh weather, such as strong winds and rain, since they don’t move about like fabric does when hit with gale-force winds during storms.

However, this toughness comes at a cost since the printed images are usually less vibrant when compared to those printed onto cloth materials like polyester using quality dye sublimation techniques.

Advantage of a Banner Made of Vinyl 

  • Elasticity: This is a key parameter of materials for banner advertising – it is higher for cast products than for laminated ones. Manufacturers improve these characteristics by softening the compositions with additives and changing the type of weaving.
  • Breaking strength: For laminated fabric, the indicator reaches 1,000 N / 5 cm, cast (for awnings, pavilions, and inflatable structures) – 2,300 N / 5 cm.
  • Low elongation: The fabric is warp resistant.
  • Tear strength (destruction along the fibers): It is high for dense weaving and the inclusion of additional threads in the warp.
  • Temperature stability: Provides surface susceptibility to paint.

Transferring Images to Vinyl Banners

Many users prefer the production of advertising banners from Vinyl, explaining their decision by the density and wear resistance of the material. Such structures are well suited for outdoor installation and are almost not affected by external factors.

There are two types of vinyl fabrics: laminated and molded. According to the chosen material, the made banners are called. Direct printing methods with solvent inks, gluing, and silk-screen printing is used for drawing images.

Both types of Vinyl banners have their advantages and disadvantages. We will talk about them a little lower, comparing them with the characteristics of fabric advertising banners.

Fabric Banners

Fabric banners have been rapidly gaining popularity over the past few years. They can be successfully used for both outdoor and indoor advertising design.

Fabric banners are typically made from polyester or nylon with a permanent type of digital printing. The material is stable, won’t fracture, and can be stretched easily without damage to the banner itself. Fabrics also offer improved opacity, color vibrancy, and resolution due to the material characteristics.

Fabric Banners
Fabric Banners


Fabric banners do not need extra protection since they don’t shrink or tear as much as Vinyl when exposed to outdoor elements. However, the fabric does show creases after being rolled or stored away too long, so it should be taken care of carefully if you plan on storing them for any length of time.

The choice of fabrics in this version is much wider. Here you can choose the material that meets the specific operating conditions.

Images are applied using sublimation printing. From this, it follows that the drawings are bright, convey small details, and are almost indelible.

However, fabric banners could be better in windy locations because they tend to flap around in the wind more than heavier materials like Vinyl.

The Advantages of Banners Made of Fabric 

The major advantage of banners on fabrics is their versatility. They can be used not only as an advertising tool. For example, they can serve as decorative elements, an elegant tool for zoning rooms in a store.

Which is Better: Fabric or Vinyl Banners?

Fabric vs. Vinyl Banner:

Returning to the original question: Fabric vs. Vinyl Banner which is better? It’s still up to you. We are sure that fabric advertising banners are the best. The list of their advantages is much longer compared to Vinyl. They need to be improved in width and light transmission, but these issues are solvable. Another significant advantage of fabric banners is a wider choice of fabrics. 


You can make your banner out of a wide variety of materials. Fabric and Vinyl are two of the most widespread options. But between them, which is preferable?

It comes down to personal preference – if you have no problem installing heavier materials, then Vinyl would be suitable. But if your priority is color Vibrancy and an easy installation/storage process, then fabric-based materials would be preferable, as customization works well with these types of fabrics too!

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