Types of Tarp Fabrics


Tarps are used for a variety of uses, from helping to secure items along with covering and protecting your items from the weather. Nowadays, you have many different choices of materials for tarps, each suited to specific purposes. Bee Jays Canvas manufactures world-class tarp fabrics for high-quality performance in commercial applications. We are industry experts in manufacturing custom tarps for large-scale uses such as transport, agriculture, mining/industrial, oil and gas and shipping.

Canvas, poly and PVC are our specialties, with each being fabricated for specific uses. Learn more about the three main types of tarp fabrics and their benefits, and we will help select the right tarp fabric to suit your requirements.


Did you know that the first tarp was simply a canvas covered with a coat of tar for weatherproofing on ships? Canvas is a highly breathable and coarse material and offers a degree weather protection, even if untreated. Treated canvas provides even more protection, resisting UV rays, mildew and water.

Canvas tarps are often used to cover flatbed loads that include moisture sensitive items and are deployed in the construction and agricultural industries. The general public also uses them to cover furniture and carpet while painting indoors.

  • Heavy-duty and long-term
  • Custom options available
  • Weather-resistant finish
  • Suitable for agriculture and construction


Ripstop Canvas

Ripstop Canvas are medium to heavy-duty road tarpaulins and are often used in Road Transport. An XLP finish makes them waterproof and rot-resistant, while special reinforcement in the weaving technique gives them a high strength to prevent tearing. This is called “Ripstop”.

The fabric content mix is 52% polyester, 48% cotton for a lower-cost and more light-weight solution to high strength needs. It is a woven fabric which allows it to breath and as a result is especially suitable for outdoor applications.

  • Weatherproof finish
  • High resistance to tearing
  • Breathable
  • Affordable
  • Medium to heavy-duty
  • Often used as flat bed load and ute covers
  • Also used in outdoor applications


Polyethylene is a woven plastic-based material used to make poly tarps that can cover a variety of items. They are flexible enough to use in applications ranging from road transport covers to dome covers and roof sheets. The poly tarp is very common because it is so versatile.

  • Watertight
  • UV resistant
  • Dirt repellent
  • Custom options available
  • Used as floor coverings
  • For covering roof leaks
  • Can be used as a cover for dome shelters and structures
  • High resistance to tearing
  • Light weight for ease of handling
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Used in agriculture and construction
  • Easy to repair with a tape that is available

We offer two densities in our tarp range:

High-density tarps have a high weight, a high mesh count, additional poly coating, and are designed for long-term use.

Low-density tarps are the opposite, suitable for short-term use and great for covering and protecting hay.

Want to learn more about our products and services? Get in contact with our friendly team to discuss your unique project requirements!


Also known as vinyl, PVC tarps are made of high-strength polyester scrim reinforced polyvinyl chloride with a smooth surface. Thicker and stronger than other tarps, they are heavy-duty yet versatile enough to resist weather as well as chemicals. Their most common uses are as transport covers for side curtains and roll tarps, weather covers such as general transport tarps, hay bale covers, industrial roof covers, visibility screens and containment liners because of their resistance to wind. All PVC tarps are waterproof and are not breathable, so they can not only trap heat but withstand cold. They are treated to resist UV rays. PVC has a plasticiser added to it that allows it to be more flexible and resistant to flex crack which is the most common form of tarp degradation.

  • Often used as truck covers such as side curtains(tautliners), roll tarps, wind-out(front to rear) tarps
  • Clear tarps available for visibility
  • Waterproof
  • Abrasion-, UV- and weather-resistant
  • Able to be heat welded/vulcanized so easy to repair
  • Acid-, oil-, mildew- and grease-resistant
  • Suitable for trucking and outdoor applications
  • Flame retardant
  • Higher-end cost
  • Repairable by hot air welding/vulcanizing. This can be done with a mobile repair service.

The most common pvc fabric we use is a German made 900gsm which is of the highest quality and industry leading standard. It is commonly used in road transport on side curtains for tautliners and roll tarps for grain tippers. It comes in a variety of colours and has the ability to be digitally printed on as well as being painted on so that you can use them as a mobile billboard displaying your company logo or products.

The most important things to consider when choosing a tarp is how you will use it, whether it’s for long-term or short-term use, and any special proofing and custom properties you desire. There is a tarp fabric to suit all needs and budgets, ranging from low-cost to higher-end. Many sizes and grades are available to perfectly fit your tarp application.

Bee Jays Canvas Perth

Bee Jays Canvas are a manufacturer of world-class tarp fabrics for all your commercial needs. We have a large warehouse in Welshpool, Perth, Western Australia where we manufacturer and also repair tarps. We also have five fully equipped vehicles on the road to perform most repairs at your premises. We also provide short and long term tarp hire. To learn more about our services, contact us or stop by our factory.

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