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What is a silicone coating? What is silnylon?
A silicone coating is usually applied to nylon, hence silnylon. The coating ‘permeates’ the nylon fabric creating a stronger silicon ‘reinforced’, waterproof nylon fabric with better stretch and tear strength. Silicone repels water and so it’s easy to shake off excess water and dries quickly. On the down side silicone coatings are more expensive, stop ‘breathing’ in the fabric which may lead to greater condensation, and result in a very slick and slippery surface meaning that tent seams cannot be taped - Silnylon seams require manual application of a liquid seam sealant. And note that brand logos cannot be printed onto silicone coatings.
What is a Polyurethane (PU) coating?
Polyurethane or PU coatings applied to polyester and nylon fabrics are more like a layer that sticks to the surface of the tent fabric. It creates a waterproof barrier, is more affordable, has greater breathability than silicone and has a surface which allows the application of tape on tent seams. But it doesn’t reinforce a fabric’s strength in the same way as silicone, requires some care to be kept clean and dry for storage, and will affected by UV exposure and break down over time. Branding can be printed directly onto PU coatings.
I hope this information is helpful in your decisions to buy. Sometimes a little knowledge goes a long ways...….."Raggs" short for Ragetty Man