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Church Banners: Vinyl Vs. Fabric

By Vince Williams

Banners for your church can come in many different textiles, printing styles and quality. It is important to understand the different advantages to each substrate so that you will make sure to get the right banner for your needs.

Vinyl Banners
Vinyl is a durable substrate perfect for use both in and outdoors. Vinyl comes in many weights and in a few varieties. Like any textile vinyl offers both advantages and disadvantages that should be weighed for your particular usage. Here is a breakdown of different vinyl options and their pros and cons.

Scrim Vinyl – Scrim vinyl layers fibers both vertically and horizontally to create a vinyl with maximum strength and durability. It is generally very water-resistant and due to its dense fibers blocks out unwanted light. Scrim vinyl comes in many weights, but a standard thickness should be somewhere between 13-15 oz. for outdoor use. It is the preferred choice for almost all outdoor situations and is an inexpensive option for indoor projects as well.
Pros: Inexpensive, durable, blocks light, water-resistant, designed for outdoors Cons: Can have a tendency to curl

Flat vinyl – Flat vinyl does not offer the additional strength of the cross-run fibers available in scrim. It does however, allow for a look that is traditionally better for viewing closeup. Flat vinyl is preferred in some indoor environments for its ability to lay-down better than scrim and has less of a tendency towards “vinyl curl”.
Pros: Fairly inexpensive, durable, good for indoors, reduced curling, dense color saturation Cons: lack of scrim makes it a bad choice for large banners mounted with grommets

Blackout Vinyl– Blackout vinyl has a center layer of black vinyl placed between 2 other layers of vinyl. This black layer removes any light that may have passed through or any “bleed” from the other side of the banner. Blackout vinyl is traditionally used for 2-sided banners.
Pros: Perfect for 2-sided banners, designed for outdoors, durable, blocks light, water-resistant Cons: more expensive than standard vinyl

Mesh Vinyl – Mesh vinyl is similar to traditional scrim vinyl in its ability to handle outdoor environments. The advantage to mesh is its ability to allow for a minimum “wind load”. The mesh vinyl’s small holes allow wind to pass through without putting additional strain on the banner. Unfortunately these holes also allow light to pass through the banner, making mesh less than ideal for environments where back lighting will be an issue.
Pros: Rated for high wind environments, durable, designed for outdoors Cons: Holes allow light to pass through

Fabric Banners
Fabrics banners add a sense of elegance to any sanctuary or church building. Fabrics are perfect for many indoor settings, but their higher cost and varied qualities can cause a lot of confusion when evaluating a purchase. Here are some key points to keep in mind with your fabric church banners.

  • Fabric traditionally costs about 50% more than vinyl. It requires sewing and additional treatments that make it more time consuming to create
  • Fabric comes in many weights and types. For most church purposes you should be looking for a knit or poplin weave. These fabrics are traditionally less expensive and still display beautifully in a church.
  • Although fabrics look beautiful they don’t retain the saturation of color that you will get with vinyl. If you are looking for darker tones and deeper colors you may want to consider a flat vinyl.
  • Make sure your fabric banners are being printed on non-solvent presses using non-toxic(zero VOC) inks. VOCs (Voltalic Organic Compounds) are toxic for humans and the environment and should be avoided in indoor situations.
  • Understanding what type of banner is best for your church can seem overwhelming, but with the help from the team at SermonView it’s easy. Our knowledgeable team of print, design, and marketing professionals are dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of your ministry in your local community. If you have any additional questions about church banners or want to place an order for something you don’t see on the site you can give us a call at (888) 336-3048. To head to our banner section and see all of our designs click here.


    Written by Vince Williams
    February 18th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    4 Responses to 'Church Banners: Vinyl Vs. Fabric'

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    1. Do you also do fabric banners?

      Dawn Ashman

      Aug 12, 2013

    2. Hi, Dawn. Yes, we offer both vinyl and fabric banners on our website.

      Larry Witzel

      Aug 13, 2013

    3. Hi was really looking for something that would last in the elements. ..outdoors. ..
      Did like the Amazing Grace banner…would that fit on the tall banner. ..


      Sep 2, 2015

    4. We can have our design department put it on any size banner. Please contact our team at 1-888-336-3048 and we’ll go over the options. And good news, we are having a sale right now.

      Vince Williams

      Dec 7, 2015

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