Which are the Most Common Tarp Materials?

A 24 mil tarp, or tarpaulin, is easy to set, versatile, and has a long lifespan depending on the material used. There are different types of tarps in the market today which address various situations. These include mesh, automatic, and traditional tarps loaded on flatbeds, construction sites, and campgrounds. 

However, you can easily differentiate tarps, as they have different wave patterns and features. Traditional tarps are mainly used using nylon, canvas, and polyester. On the other hand, tarps made using polyethylene are more robust, durable, and waterproof than other materials. 

Tarps have existed for a long time and have undergone massive improvement to facilitate their use as a heavy canvas. The most common tarp materials include the following;


Sinylon is a blend of nylon and silicon and is considered more of a fabric than a material. Sinlylon is a coated nylon tarp with an even silicone liquid on both sides. This material is mainly used to make ultralight tents, backpacks, and tarps. 

On the other hand, higher sinylon grades are used to make parachutes. This material is highly wind resistant but still not the best tarp material. 


Vinyl tarps resemble PVC in that they are both fire-resistant. However, this does not mean they do not burn; they only do when excess heat is applied. There must be a consistent heat supply for this tarp to melt, which is problematic unless in extreme conditions. 

JEGS W6045 Moving Blanket 80 in. x 72 in. Non-Woven Polyester Outer ...

For this feature, you should be surprised after seeing PVC and vinyl being classified as fire-resistant tarps. Vinyl production is cheap, meaning homeowners can find cheap vinyl tarp variants with research. 


Canvas tarps are made using polyester or cotton, which create an excellent tarp after combining. Polyester canvas resembles polyethylene in that it does not hold odours. On the other hand, cotton tarps are more susceptible to odours and UV damage with time. Polyester tarps hold in the damage at a slower rate. 

The prominent resemblance between both materials is they have a strong tear resistance. It is hard to tear any of these materials, meaning they will withstand adverse weather conditions. Both canvas types can be treated often using a water-resistant coating, mainly applied after around three or five years. 


Poly tarps are common mainly due to their affordability and lightweight. These tarps are also available in numerous colours and are ideal for temporary use because they have a shorter lifespan than most designs. 

People looking for a short-term solution should opt for poly tarps because they are the best cost-effective solution. These tarps are also a hundred per cent waterproof and used in various industries like agriculture, gardening, and construction. 

However, this item’s longevity significantly depends on where it is being used. For instance, tarps put in warm conditions have a shorter lifespan than others. 


Undoubtedly, mesh tarps are among the most common in today’s market. These tarps are ideal for enclosing windscreens and screen privacy. They are mainly used in industries like agriculture, construction, and trucking. 

The main highlight of these tarps is they are UV resistant and withhold tear and wear. Mesh tarps are available in different options with sun protection ranging from fifty to ninety per cent shade. 

Traditional Print Pant Set Pink | Brocade fabric, Fabric, African

It is also possible to customize mesh tarps to any shape or size, and they are available in different suits to suit user needs. 

Top Factors to Consider when Buying a Tarp 

As stated above, tarps are available in different types, which complicates the buying process. Their primary function is to provide cover, but they are versatile, meaning they have many other uses. It would help if you considered various characteristics like flexibility, water-resistance, among others, to make a more informed decision. 

Below we discuss the main factors to consider before buying a tarp. 


Strength is one of the most important things to consider before buying a tarp, as it determines whether it will withstand adverse weather conditions. Strength is measured by the tarp’s ability to hold together when subjected to extreme force. 

The used material plays a significant role in the item’s strength, even though you must spend more. 

Corrosion Resistance 

Degradation occurs due to greases, oils, and mildew, among others. Buying a tarp with an enhanced resistance coating is advisable if you will use it in such conditions. 

Abrasive Resistance 

Abrasive resistance is the ability of a tarp to stay put after reaching sharp edges. Vinyl and canvas tarps are more abrasive resistant than others.

Final Thoughts 

Tarps are essential items with tons of uses. They are readily available and occur in different types. The above article has discussed the most common tarp materials, and you can reach out for more information.