Why are fabric graphics, rather than vinyl graphics, used for most premium banner stands?
Generally speaking, fabric is lighter and lays better than vinyl, or PVC banners. Hence, it rolls better inside a pop up banner stand or roll up banner stand and it doesn't tend to get permanent wrinkles like vinyl will.
There are other materials available for roll up banners as well that are decent quality such as polyethylene and plasticized papers, but when it comes to the premium stands that companies who want the best graphics for a trade show they're attending, fabric is going to be the best option.
The other main reason, as I hinted at in the last paragraph, is that fabric just looks better, and richer. Dye sublimation printing of cloth banners creates vivid colors with a soft, textured look that vinyl simply can't match. Even though the digital or screen printing looks great on many vinyl banners, the fact that the banner is plasticky-looking defeats the purpose for indoor and trade show graphics.
Out-of-doors, it's really no big issue either way, and vinyl is our choice in most outdoor applications. It's weather resistant (so are the outdoor fabrics), washable (so are outdoor fabric banners), and wind-resistant (outdoor cloth banners are as well).
So why would we recommend them over fabric out-of-doors? Mainly price, because the average person walking by a vinyl banner or a cloth banner either won't see that there is a difference, and if this person does see that there is a difference, it won't likely cast a negative light on the advertiser as it might in an indoor tradeshow situation or the like where subconsciously, the cheaper look of vinyl may reflect on the advertising company itself.
What about wrinkles in tension fabric pop-ups and how do we eliminate them?
Using higher quality fabric banner material will usually eliminate this problem. The difficulty with wrinkling material often comes from a desire to save money, and therefore companies pay the cheapest price, then are surprised to get subpar graphics.
There are other products besides pop up fabric banners that can be used with roll up banner displays, such as durable plasticized papers and various non-curl plastics. However, as I stated in the previous answer, fabric will always look richer and better and will reflect that way on your company as well.
It will also help, assuming the material used for your roll up banners is of good quality, to take care when rolling up the material not to roll wrinkles into it. If you're using tension pop up banner stands, then make sure when you fold the material, it is not compressed in that state or it may tend to get some hard wrinkles.
If there are lots of wrinkles, you can use a steam iron to iron the wrinkles out... take care to test the temperature of the iron on the backside of one corner before you ruin the banner with too much heat. Most fabric banners are also washable, so if you wash the banner then hang it dry or dry it on low heat, pulling it out when it's close to dry and hanging it the rest of the way dry, that may also get rid of the wrinkles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barry K. Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!
Barry is a great resource for information regarding Signs, Banners, Decals, and Displays, and is also an outstanding source of information on how to shop online without getting ripped off.
For more about dye sublimated fabric banner and pop up displays, browse here.