Different Types of Tarpaulin – Understanding the material and its application

The word “tarpaulin” comes from the two words- tar (black coating substance) and pall (fabric). Tarpaulin dates back to the 17th century when sailors used a tarred canvas/pall to cover objects on ships from sun damage and rain. With time tarpaulin has become the most commonly used material to provide protection against harsh weather conditions, dirt, and debris.



Today, the markets are flooded with various kinds of tarpaulin fabrics. Hence it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the different types of tarpaulin fabrics for appropriate application of the same.

Tarpaulin fabrics are differentiated by the materials and techniques used to manufacture them. Based on the material used, tarpaulins can be categorized as –Canvas, Plastic and polyvinyl.

 Canvas tarps are usually made out of 100% Cotton Single Duck fabric and are mainly used in transportation and industrial applications. Canvas tarps are made from natural cotton fiber and are eco-friendly. But they do not offer complete protection against water and are more prone to tear & puncture damage compared to other types.

Canvas tarpaulins are not 100% waterproof by nature and are more prone to rotting and damage by the sun. With the rise of 100% waterproof synthetic tarpaulin fabrics like polyethylene and polyvinyl tarps, cotton tarps are now dying a slow death.

 Polyethylene tarpaulin is the most widely used variant due to its high durability and 100% waterproofing qualities. As the name suggests, these tarps are made of Polyethylene – a plastic polymer of ethylene. They are highly tensile, flexible & lightweight by nature. Few brands like Silpaulin Star, Silpaulin (from Supreme Industries Ltd – No 1 plastics manufacturer in India) make eco-friendly poly tarps from 100% virgin polymers.

Poly Tarps are not only versatile in terms of usage but are also quite budget friendly. Poly tarps are extensively used in agricultural, industrial as well as consumer sectors to manufacture various products such as – vehicle covers, relief shelters, greenhouse & polyhouse films, garden beds, construction covers, pond liners, fish farming tanks and many more.

Polyvinyl tarpaulins are made of nylon and polyester fabric with a coating of polyvinyl chloride – hence the name. They are commonly called PVC tarps and are extremely durable, 100% water-resistant and have high tensile strength. PVC tarps provide the most versatile protective solution and are used for heavy-duty industrial as well as commercial applications.

PVC tarps are widely used to make ground covers, awning fabrics, pandal/shamiana covers, exhibition hanger panels etc. They are also used by construction & industrial workers to protect equipment & machinery. Due to their outstanding features, PVC tarps are also used by defense organizations such as the Indian Army to cover ammunitions and artilleries.

Mohan Tarp is the market leader for plastic tarpaulin in the Eastern Indian region, Nepal and Bhutan. We are proud to be associated with Supreme Industries Ltd – the No1 plastics manufacturer in India for more than 30 years. We are the sole distributors of Silpaulin & Silpaulin Star in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa as well as Nepal & Bhutan.  We also import PVC tarpaulin from the leading global technical textile manufacturers and suppliers throughout the Indian sub-continent.

For more details visit our YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcK7-z2snIkHFIgbkHKsF-A

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