If you have attended a trade show, convention, or event in the past four years, you have seen large, colorful fabric graphics. Fabric graphics have become the standard for most large format images. They are lightweight, vibrant, and durable, and are the perfect medium for trade shows, where every exhibitor wants minimal weight but still wants to make a big splash.
The options can be a bit overwhelming and getting more varied all the time. But for most of us, fabric graphics can be lumped into two categories: tension fabric or pillowcase graphics. The following is a convenient FAQ to get you quickly up to speed.
What is a tension fabric graphic?
Tension fabric graphics attach to a frame so the fabric is taut edge-to-edge, creating “tension.” Typically, the graphic has Velcro hook sewn along the border, usually top and bottom, and attaches to Velcro loop on the frame.
What is a pillowcase fabric graphic?
Think of a printed pillowcase with zippers. A pillowcase graphic wraps around a frame structure and the inner and outer sections zip together along the least obvious edge. This creates a tailored fit. Almost all hanging sign structures are wrapped in pillowcase fabric graphics.
How does a tension fabric graphic differ from a pillowcase fabric graphic? commercial sign company
Tension fabric graphics attach to the frame, leaving the frame exposed. The fabric is held taut by attaching it to the frame using Velcro. Pillowcase graphics slip over the frame and hide the frame structure. The fabric is secured by a zipper(s).
What are the benefits of fabric graphics vs. traditional first surface graphics?
- Flexibility. An array of fabric options and finishing exists. Fabric graphics can be adapted to just about any hardware
- Storage and Shipping. Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. Fold your graphics neatly when in storage and take up much less space.
- Care. Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are just as durable and long lasting as traditional graphics.
- Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
- Cost. More image bang for the buck!
- Green. There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
- No Glare. Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any backdrop that is being photographed or filmed.
- Versatility. Fabric can be applied to most display and hardware options and is perfect for skinning or covering displays or objects. Custom covers can be created to drape over objects, wrap, or completely pillowcase them!
Do fabric graphics offer the same color saturation, vibrancy, definition, and overall image quality as other graphics?
Fabric not only matches other graphic options, it often exceeds it. Dye sublimation equipment is more advanced than ever offering near continuous tone (limited by the texture of the material you choose) and exceptional detail created from high dpi outputs and sophisticated image patterns. Color is permanently dyed into the fabric creating a deep saturated image.