We get asked this a lot and explain here why we believe this is the right answer for our marquee customers. It’s true low-wick cloth made with low-wick yarn is more expensive but if you focus on cost per use it ends up in our opinion significantly better value. More use less cost per use.
The cloth we use Valmex low-wick from Mehler is manufactured using low-wick yarns. The yarn used is treated with a primer that creates a hydrophobic barrier and prevents liquid absorption at cut edges and in areas, which are not protected by PVC anymore. Each yarn is totally encapsulated with water repellent medium which prevents any water ingress.
Mehler state that the wicking behaviour of their material is almost zero, which is quite near to an anti – wicking behaviour. This low-wick yarn treatment ensures that the base cloth and the finished marquee fabric keeps this low wick behaviour, including and after installation and washing.
No water ingress is key, when your focus is on the long-term use of marquee sides and tops which are used upwards of 30 times a year and being constantly washed throughout.
What is the difference between low-wick cloth and lowwick system? I.e., what is the difference between a cloth made from a low-wick yarn and a base cloth not made with a low-wick yarn that has been treated with the same low-wick treatment. The short answer is the “system” is less effective and in our opinion not as robust.
Schematic of the structure of Valmex cloth using low-wick yarn Ink wicking test showing wicking effect using low-wick v non low-wick cloth
As Mehler puts it explaining low wick system: It is also possible to reach a better wicking behaviour with a cloth by using a primer, which has a very low viscosity and therefore the primer gets very deeply into the base fabric. The filaments of the yarn are fixed – glued together – by the primer. This kind of “low wick treatment” is very common, but it works only for a certain time, if the material is not bent or washed. Due to bending and washing process the filaments are separated again and the wicking behaviour increases more and more. And therefore, the possible absorption of moisture increases. The more moisture we have in the material, the higher the risk of mould and fungal attacks. Moisture and temperature are the main factors that significantly accelerate chemical processes and reduces the lifetime of marquee material.
In summary, focus on price per usage and buy Marquee covers made with low-wick yarn.