The history of canopies goes back several hundred years to a time when they were used as shelter and decorative accents. Kings, monarchs, and emperors would be sheltered by fabrics supported by poles connected to buildings or use tent-like canopies that were set up in fields. More durable canopies, usually made of wood, would be extensions to buildings and firmly supported by poles. Read More…
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In many ways, canopies are built into human culture as a cross-cultural tool used by all civilizations. They have passed through the ages and are a part of modern decorations and designs. Architects add them to buildings for shade and protection, while social groups use them for elegant gatherings.
Canopies have become a very useful and practical tool that can be used for several types of environmental conditions. They offer protection and security for cars, boats, RVs, and supplies, as well as shade for comfort and relaxation.
What is a Canopy?
The definition of a canopy can be broken into two parts. The first is in regard to canopies as structural parts of a building, where they are defined as parts of a building intended to be used as shelter and to serve practical and aesthetic purposes.
Fabric canopies are made of various types of fabrics and are generally assembled by industrial or contract sewing companies using industrial sewing machines. They are more versatile than construction canopies and can be set up in nearly any location. The fabric for fabric canopies is some form of plastic, such as polyester, polyethylene, vinyl, or acrylic. Duck canvas is also used and was the material for the original canopies.
Types of Canopies
Aside from the materials from which they are made, canopies are also differentiated by how they are used. This aspect of canopies includes a very long list of sizes, designs, functions, and configurations that includes ones that protect against the effects of the environment to ones used for special gatherings and social occasions. Most people do not own a canopy, unless it is very small, but rent one. Canopies can be attached to homes with special features, such as motorized systems that extend the canopy over a porch or deck.
Shade canopies, or popup canopies, are a convenient and quick way to provide shelter. They are easy to assemble and can be taken anywhere. Shade canopies are used at trade fairs, outdoor markets, and the beach since they function much like an umbrella. The outstanding feature of shade canopies is their size, which makes them easy to carry and assemble.
Garden canopies are a variety of shade canopies. They have screen sides to keep out insects, making it possible to relax in a garden. Garden canopies can be used for outdoor meals for small groups. They are made of various types of fabrics, including vinyl and polyethylene. They are durable and strong and can keep out UV rays.
Event canopies are one of the easiest ways to provide a large open space for a special event such as a wedding or graduation. They are larger than normal canopies and capable of having lighting, large tables, speakers, and room for dancing. Unlike smaller canopies, event canopies require assembly time and special tools. Due to their size and the time of assembly, they are more expensive than smaller informal canopies.
Garage Carport Canopies
Garage carport canopies, or storage canopies, have a sturdy frame and can come with sides for full protection of stored items. They are made of heavier materials since they are capable of protecting boats, cars, and large items from the weather. Though they are larger than garden and shade canopies, garage carport canopies are not as large as event canopies but are stronger, more durable, and more resilient than all other forms of canopies.
Architectural canopies are the oldest form of canopy and have been used for centuries as shade from the sun, protection from the elements, and places to sit leisurely and enjoy the view. For many years, canopies represented a royal presence and sat above royalty as royalty sat on their thrones.
In the modern era, architectural canopies have taken on a less prestigious role as additions to buildings to provide protection from the sun’s rays or as an aesthetic accent to enhance the appearance of a building.
Architectural canopies come in several different forms and are made from a wide variety of materials, including aluminum, various plastics, steel, glass, and, in some cases, concrete. The designs and construction of architectural canopies are endless, with many of them being custom designed to fit the needs of a building or structure.
Materials Used to Make Canopies
Canopies come in any number of varieties depending on their use, location, and the types of materials used to construct them. Permanent canopies for buildings are normally custom designed to fit the lines and contours of a building, while fabric canopies can be generic or custom-made to fit the needs of a special occasion or the protection of a product.
The original canopies were made of woven fabrics that were stretched across a frame. Modern fabric canopies are made from some form of plastic, such as polyester, polyethylene, vinyl, or fiberglass fabric, with polyester being the most commonly used. Polyethylene is ideal for outdoor canopies since it is highly durable and can withstand harsh weather.
Permanent canopies for buildings are constantly developing and changing. They can include fabrics blended with metals as well as glass, concrete, and steel. The types of materials for architectural canopies vary widely and are normally chosen by their designer.