Types of Tarp Fabrics

Types of Tarp Fabrics

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

Canvas, poly and PVC are our specialties, with each being customised 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.

Our Polymar 8556 is used for truck side curtains. Made by Mehler Texnologies, it is weather and temperature resistant as well as strong, heavy-duty and long-lasting, even against summer or winter rains. The custom tarp comes in a variety of colours and can have a logo printed on it. It is most commonly used in long-term applications.

  • 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 as ute covers and horse rugs with a medium weight. An XLP finish makes them waterproof and rot-resistant, while special reinforcement in the weaving technique gives them a high strength to prevent tearing. 

They are 52% polyester, 48% cotton for a lower-cost and more light-weight solution to high strength needs. They are especially suitable for outdoor applications.

  • Weatherproof finish
  • High resistance to tearing
  • Affordable
  • Medium to heavy-duty
  • Often used as truck and ute covers
  • Also used as horse rugs and in other 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 truck side curtains and covers to dome shelters and roof leaks. The outdoor tarp is very common because it is so versatile.

  • Watertight
  • UV resistant
  • Dirt repellent
  • Custom options available
  • Used as truck bed liners and floor coverings
  • Silver poly tarp for covering roof leaks
  • Can be used as a cover for dome shelters and structures
  • High resistance to tearing
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Used in agriculture and construction


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.


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 weather covers such as 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.

  • Often used as truck bed covers
  • Clear tarps available for marine windscreens
  • Waterproof 
  • Abrasion-, UV- and weather-resistant
  • Acid-, oil-, mildew- and grease-resistant
  • Suitable for trucking and outdoor applications
  • Flame retardant
  • Higher-end cost


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 warehouse.