Art Fair Insiders

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My Canopy Dilemma

I have a Show Off Canopy and love the frame. It's strong and easy to setup. I love the telescoping legs and frame. This and their limited number of parts make setup easy. Most of it is aluminum making it light, but it has steal corners to make it strongest in the most vulnerable area.

However, my 2nd top I've had for the canopy in 7 years is again turning colors. The skylight material is turning a rusty redish color. It's surface very sticky (like sap). It's top is developing more and more leaks in the roof.

My first top I owned Show Off blamed me because I had used bleach to keep it white. So this time I followed their directions. I only washed it with regular soap. If I had to pack wet, I'd dry it out the next day. Nevertheless the fabric is giving me the same problems.

I look around at shows and notice many of the Show Off's with redish skylights and others complain of it feeling sappy. Anyone with a Show Off found a solution for these problems? On my first top I discovered bleach did temporarily make it whiter, but then would turn red again (even worse).

I like both the Trimline's and the Light Dome's fabric better. One option I'm considering is getting a whole new canopy, but I don't like either of their frames as much as Show Off. Today I contacted both Flourish and Light Dome to see if they'd be willing to make a custom top for me. Flourish said straight out "no" and Light Dome said they would consider it but was concerned the zippers wouldn't be compatible.

If I were to get a new canopy system, I'm leaning toward's Light Dome's "Finale". They seem a bit more difficult to put up and not as strong as the Show Off, however much easier to setup than the Trimline and not nearly as cumbersome and heavy.

What I don't like about the Finale the most is their seems no way to zip tie your booth at night, as there is no rings near the zippers to connect to.

I've contacted Show Off with my disappoint of their material. They have offered me a 20% discount on a new top and say the fabric has improved UV protection as of 2 years ago, but I'm losing faith in them and not sure they are worth another try.

Am I being unrealistic how long a canopy top should last? My 2nd top did last with great care for 4 years. Doing an average of 30 shows a year that's 120 shows.

Okay, so I'm open to hearing any love or hate things people have to say about their particular canopy. Any advice on care of the material is also welcome!

Views: 1097

Tags: Show Off, ShowOff, canopies, canopy

Comment by Nels Johnson on August 19, 2009 at 7:26am
John if you get 2-4 years wear out of any of the industry's canopy roofs, you are doing good. It is just the nature of the wear and tear on roofs especially during setup,storage and teardowns. John do not take this as a personal attack, but your use of the English language is atrocious. Check your spelling out or at least proof it. Also commas are very helpful for separating phrases and giving a clear meaning to what you are trying to convey. You use almost no commas. But I know your intent is good--just thought I would mention that. You are not alone. Most people these days cannot write a clear declarative sentence with proper spelling and punctuation--Aloha,Nels
Comment by Michelle Sholund on August 19, 2009 at 8:49am
I recently bought a Trimline - I talked about my distress and uncertainty of which canopy to buy under a forum post - Death to my EZ-UP. There is some great feedback there, which may help you make a better, more educated decision.

I personally went with the Trimline and like many who have said this in the past, I too cannot think of going back to using anything else. The material is truly durable and have packed it up during a rain storm. I did the proper thing of laying it out the next day to dry and used a mild mix of bleach - about a tbs per 1 gallon - and it is just fine. Pristine white (including the sky light), no stickiness - as I had it set up near pine trees and other sappy like trees . Of course it is still new, so I cannot predict what will happen down the road. However, I want to get as much as I can out of mine so I am going to baby it as much as possible and ensure it is properly stored and washed/hosed off when needed.

Side note, I was able to set up the canopy in about 20-25 minutes all by myself, but couldn't do it without the help of the easy riser - an extra "leg" that allows one person to set up the canopy by themselves. It is pretty ingenious and with the added stay bars adding to the stability of the canopy - it is a win win. Since the first show, I have had A LOT of compliments on it from both customers as well as fellow artists too.
Comment by Deb Fox on January 21, 2011 at 1:53pm

Hi,   I have not had a problem with a reddish tint to my Showoff canopy top. Do you show in an area with certain types of trees that may drop leaves etc. that may cause this ? I know that I hate to pack wet and when I do I open my canopy asap air it out to dry.  The canopy material has held up very well through shows and on the occassional back yard set up during a party. I love my Showoff and would not use any other canopy. Customers even comment on feeling it is "roomy" inside.

Comment by Bill Sargent on August 6, 2011 at 10:52am

John:

    Ann and I started getting this problem with our Craft Hut recently.  We noticed the stickiness  some time ago and blamed it on sap.  During this last year it's gotten much worse and it's making the setup a lot rougher having to handle it.  

    An artist told me that's what happens with that light strip material when the stuff they impregnate

the fabric with starts to break down.  

     We are seriously looking into the showoff ourselves and will be making a decison soon.  What do you have now?  

Comment by Bill Sargent on August 6, 2011 at 11:10am
I forgot to mention;  anyone who is having this problem should check the light strip area and compare it to the material next to it.  We found the stickiness and discoloration were limited to this material.
Comment by John Hartung on August 6, 2011 at 3:04pm

I ended up getting another Show Off top with a 25% discount. They said the problem has been fixed and the new top should last much longer. So far I've had the new top for 2 years and it's not showing signs of the stickiness or redness. No the stickiness is not caused by trees but what you were told Bill, the protective coating of the skylight material breaking down.

 

I no longer try to clean the top at all.  If this top lasts 6 years, I'll be happy.

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