Captains, I'm always about saving money. Who isn't? So I'm going to drop a little secret in on you. Sunbrella Material is a synthetic fiber fabric. It's not canvas. Canvas is cotton based. Sunbrella also generally carries around a 10 yr warranty with good care and maintenance.  Why am I saying all of this?  Well, I just finished renewing Labors Love's Tops.  They were made of Sunbrella in 1997, and still to this day are solid and well. About every 5 years or so, I will lose a zipper, or a seam will come undone. This is due to the THREAD quality not the "fabric rotting out" as most lofts will like to tell you. So as long as the fabric itself is solid, and hasn't ripped where a seam IS NOT located. One can have a top restitched for a fraction of the cost and the life is well extended. To do both of my tops along with my back drop winter cover cost me less that 40.00, keeping in mind I have the machine and I don't charge myself labor. The key is to have your loft use a good V-92 "Non-wicking" thread which is UV protected and has a coating to prevent water permeation. 9 times out of 10....okay maybe 8-10 you just need a good restitching job done, and a zipper or two replaced. Mine's already for spring again, (and maybe another 5 years? But if it finally gives, I've already gotten 16 years out of them with annual washing and zipper spray.  (See attached)  Cheers!!

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Lee, given that labor costs are a significant part of any repair job (for those who don't do the repair themselves), would it make sense to use Tenara thread?  ( I know it's like 10X the cost of the best polyester).  

Absolutely on Tenara. Good Stuff! Well worth the money too!

I resowed our top on Martha Ann with Tenara thread.  It was a chore (had a regular industrial sewing machine so bunching up the material to get to the seam was interesting) but turned out well in the end.

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