Tarpaulins or Banners?

Heavy duty 18oz Banner

Wanting printed tarpaulins instead of banners has been very popular lately, so we at eSigns wanted to help clarify the difference between a tarpaulin banner and traditional vinyl banner products.

The Origin and Etymology of Tarpaulin

Tarpaulin was the name given to the canvas or cloth coated in tar by sailors in order to provide a weatherproof barrier or covering for objects on ships to keep them dry during their sea journey. In fact, the word comes from Tar and Palling (an older word for canvas), finally changed to tarpaulin in the mid-1800s and eventually shortened to the more common word we know today as a tarp. Now that we know that tarpaulin is actually the name for a heavy-duty waterproof material meant for the outdoors, we can now start to see why this name is used by printers to precede banners in order to better describe a banner that is meant for outdoor use. It appears that printers in the United Kingdom were the first to use the word tarpaulin in the description of a printed outdoor banner. However, starting around the middle of 2017, the phrase tarpaulin banner has become a very popular way to describe outdoor banners in the United States also.

The Better Banner Material to Use Outdoors

Obviously, we would never want to attempt to print a sign on any kind of banner covered in tar. The process would be too messy and, most likely, clog up a printer pretty fast. With that said and all joking aside, the best material one can use for printing waterproof and weatherproof outdoor banners is PVC vinyl. Tarpaulin vinyl banners are durable and intended for heavy-duty use in outdoor environments. The weight of our vinyl banner materials starts at 13 oz. and goes up to 18 oz. for our heavy-duty banners. All our vinyl banners are resistant to tears and abrasions. Both the material and the inks are waterproof. Durable vinyl is the perfect medium for the application of inks used in the sign-making industry. This process creates a waterproof and weatherproof sign that lasts for long periods of time.

To sum up our short investigation of tarpaulin banners in the printing industry, we have come to the conclusion that this is simply another way to introduce and communicate the incredible durability and use of what we call a vinyl banner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all modern tarpaulins made out of vinyl banners?
No. Tarpaulins can be made out of polyethylene, canvas, vinyl, and silnylon. Vinyl is just one of the most popular and cost-effective materials that’s commonly used for tarpaulins.

Can I use tarpaulin banners outdoors?
Yes, you can. Tarpaulin banners are durable, weatherproof, and resistant to fading from UV exposure.

How long do your tarpaulin banners last?
Our tarpaulin vinyl banners can last up to five years with proper care and maintenance.

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