Do’s and Dont’s for fabric structures

This is just a short list to point out all the basics when it comes to the design, manufacture and installation of a tensile structure. Some may warrant further discussion, we’d love hear from you.


  • Make sure you are fixing to something robust enough
  • Talk it through with a specialist contractor
  • Get a useful budget figure before you have a guess
  • Remember fabric structures can wobble – leave sufficient clearance
  • Keep the fabric clean. You’ll make it last longer.
  • Use double curvature if you can
  • Pay attention to all the little details!
  • Look after the fabric throughout the whole fabrication and installation process.
  • Choose your canopy material early on
  • Have a plan for the rainwater


  • Underestimate the power of the wind
  • Try to do the sums yourself!
  • Create obstructions with the supporting structure
  • Make the canopy structure too complicated
  • Let it pond under snow load
  • Overtension the canopy
  • Use fabric from different batches, even if the same colour
  • Put up the canopy in high winds
  • Ignore the inspection and maintenance plan
  • Forget to tighten all the locknuts

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