PVC tarpaulins are both waterproof and rot-proof. They are most often utilized when wanting to protect certain items from the extremes of the climate. They are not so susceptible to damage from strong UV rays and can be kept outdoors without any deterioration in strength. They are a lightweight option that are easy to handle and manipulate and are a great option for covering timber and construction materials.
Cotton tarps are not inherently water resistant but are treatable so that they become so. Cotton is a natural fabric and therefore has a breathable quality. The combination of being waterproof and breathable makes it a great option when wanting to cover organic materials that need protection, no condensation will form under a cotton tarp. One downside with these designs is that once they have become ripped they are very difficult to repair.
Jute cloth tarpaulins are an affordable option and a choice that can be resistant to high temperatures. Though neither waterproof or strong they're perfect for use in a garage or workshop. If there is regularly a naked flame in your work space, for example from a blow torch or burner, you should invest in a tarpaulin that is flame retardant.
A polyethylene tarp is a design that can be utilized for industrial, construction and agriculture, as well as domestic use. They come in a range of colors and sizes and may be specially made to suit your requirements.