How Tarpaulins Are Made

Tarps are magical products that work for anything and everything. They cover food, fences, machines, trucks, boats, cars, grill, outdoor furniture, woodpiles, etc, and can serve as easy tents for shelters, camping, and more. Choosing a heavy duty versatile tarpaulin is important. They are used for industrial and commercial purposes. Heavy-duty tarpaulins are one of the most useful creations. 


What is Tarpaulin?

A tarpaulin is a large sheet of waterproof polymer available in different sizes, made from plastic like HDPE (High-Density Poly Ethylene), LDPE (Low-density polyethylene), or PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). All three are thermoplastic and can withstand heat and sun rays for longer times. 

Traditionally, Tarps were used to cover loads on ships from where it gets its name. Tar means “Tarred” and Palling means “canvas”. There are different types of tarpaulins available in different materials with variable thicknesses for various types of applications. For Example, canvas tarps are for known flatbed trucks coverage, urethane-coated polyester tarps for water repellent capabilities, etc. Modern-day tarpaulins are made from woven polyethylene, thereby are extra cost-effective.


How are they made?

Tarpaulins are made from Polyethylene. Beings source material, it is often purchased in the form of Resin Poly bead pellets. Polyethylene is made from processes involved in the refining of petroleum. During the refining of petroleum, a liquid called naphtha is produced, which further is cracked to produce ethylene. Ethylene is produced by applying pressure and treating with certain catalysts at the right temperatures. The high-pressure process gives Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and a low-pressure process gives high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is also used to make toys, shampoo bottles, and garbage tin cans, while LDPE is used to make plastic polythene bags and film wrap.


  1. Most manufacturers start with polyethylene purchased in resin beads pellet form. These Resin beads are fed into an extruding line. 
  2. This process first melts the pellets and produces polyethylene film, and then cuts it to form polyethylene film which then is stretched into polyethylene yarn.
  3. A weaving loom then cross-weaves the yarn into a tear-resistant and stretch-resistant fabric. 
  4. The fabric is further coated on both sides with a layer of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), 
  5. The coating layers give the tarp a protective shiny finish. 
  6. During the coating process, masterbatches are automated to determine the color of the tarpaulin.
  7. Rolls of tarp produced with the above procedure are then cut to standard and custom size.
  8. The edges of the tarp are reinforced with rope. They are welded with grommets (the rings evenly spaced along the edges of a tarp) to create the finished product.
  9. The automated tarp folder machine makes sure a tarp is folded tightly, which reduces damage in transit.
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