PVC vs Polyester

Roll-Up Banner Material

Roll-up banners are a staple of trade shows, exhibitions, and retail displays. Being able to move an image from A to B without damaging it is something that should never be a headache for clients. For printers and end users, today’s roll-up banner materials are better than ever.

However, which is the better option for banner material? PVC or Polyester?


PVC – polyvinyl chloride – is a tough, cost-effective material. It has an interesting history, having been created by accident (twice) in one of the most helpful laboratory mishaps of the nineteenth century. PVC has many exceptional qualities. It is durable, easy to clean and can withstand extreme temperatures.

It is possible to produce very high quality prints on PVC, making it a favourite amongst banner advertisers. However, most PVC banner materials contain a support cloth made of polyester yarn. If the edges of a banner are not finished with a hem that seals the edge of the support cloth this cloth will begin to shrink over time. This results in curl at the edge of the banner which is not desirable.

As it isn’t possible to hem the edge of a banner going into a roll up banner cassette this means that eventually any supported PVC banner material will curl at the edges. For this reason, PVC banner materials are not the ideal solution for this application.

Polyester (PET)

Polyethylene terephthalate is one of the most widely-used plastics. It is beloved due to its strength, versatility, and – increasingly vital in today’s environment of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) and ecological awareness – recyclable.

As a print substrate, PET is recognised for its high-quality printing finish. It also has excellent lay-flat qualities, meaning that it guarantees a smooth and uninterrupted image time and time again. When it comes to repeated rolling and unrolling, PET is guaranteed to perform whilst always maintaining a flawless finish.

For example, our Supersmooth PET Greyback is a very smooth white / grey blockout material. As the product contains no base cloth to shrink, this material has superb resistance to edge curl. At 290 microns in thickness this very smooth material is perfectly suited to life in and out of a roll up banner cassette.

How Can Ultraflex Help?

At Ultraflex we offer a range of quality PET and PVC substrates. For a roll up system in most instances, PET is the best option. Have a look at our Supersmooth PET greyback for an example, and ask us to send you a sample if you think that this material might work for you.

How Can I Find Out More?

We have a detailed PDF guide, which gives information on our full product ranges and their applications. You are also welcome to contact us directly with any questions.

Download The PVC Banner Material Buyer's Guide PDF