An Insider’s Guide To Tensile Fabric Structures

Tensile fabric structures have been around for a while now. They have existed in the form of simple tent-like structures to provide pre-tension to a fabric, enabling the structure to withstand loads of wind, rain, and snow.

Since the inception of tents, things have come a long way. Thanks to the analysis and rigorous work of architects and continuous technological progress, today, it has become much easier to manufacture all sorts of fabric structures. Eventually, large-scale tensile structures have peaked in popularity over the past few decades.

Today’s architects are using tensile fabric structures in the form of sweeping roofs, dismountable & relocatable pavilions, and more. As architects, designers, and contractors experiment with the creative boundaries of these forms, fabric structures continue to become popular all across the globe. Before hiring a fabric building structure provider In Kansas, make sure that you are well aware of the ways fabric buildings can benefit you.

An overview – a fabric structure

A tensile fabric structure is categorized by the tensioning of a fabric membrane system leveraging steel, cables, and wires. By tensioning the fabric membrane system, not only are creases removed, creating a clean appearance but the material is also invigorated to withstand extreme weather conditions or potential damage.

While endless dramatic shapes are possible with fabric structures, most are derivations of two shapes: the saddle and the cone. The saddle is a hyperbolic paraboloid, meaning that the fabric surface is categorized by two high peaks and two low points. Simply put, the saddle can be conceptualized as a warped rectangular grid. The cone resembles a volcano and is categorized by stacked radians or hoops.

Materials used in fabric structures

Today’s creative tensile fabrics can be categorized into the mesh and coated fabrics. Coated tensile fabrics are designed with woven cloth fabrics stabilized with a protective coating all over the structure.

The most common materials used in fabric structure include Poly Vinyl Chloride and Poly Tetra Fluro Ethylene.


Tensile fabric structures can be manufactured in all sizes and shapes. However, it is essential to consider how fabrics will stretch if pulled to create tension.

When it comes to tensile fabrics, the color white is the industry standard. However, while using the light-colored fabric, one can effectively reduce the amount of heat attracted to the structure. This is why it is the most sustainable choice.

PVC-coated polyester can be manufactured with varying ranges of transparency, light transmission.

Iron Span USA is one of the leading fabric building structure providers in the USA. Our experienced fabric structure design team will help adjust proper fabric pressure, creating long-lasting and sustainable buildings. Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.

December 6th, 2021 posted by superadmin