By Melissa Donovan
Building wraps are predominately seen in out-of-home advertising and one of the biggest reasons is to cover unsightly construction projects. For those who choose to use a building wrap, it serves the dual purpose of not only covering up the job while in process, but also promoting what is to come or optimizing what would otherwise be dead space with an advertisement for a movie, event, or product promotion.
A number of materials are used for building wrap applications, but for the purposes of this article we’ve chosen to focus on mesh. Mesh connotes breathability, as the material—either fabric or vinyl-based—has small perforations placed throughout to offer viewing both ways and a light weight.
Building wraps—especially those made from mesh—are popular visual barriers for construction projects, according to Danny Jimenez, print media sales consultant, TVF. “Mesh works well with any installation method and the images turn out great. Whether it’s a simple logo, words and images, or a rendering of what the project will look like, mesh wraps are a great choice.”
“Outdoor mesh is strong, allows air flow, is lighter than banner to put up, and is eye appealing from a distance. Other attributes that make it ideal for building wraps include it being air penetrable and cost effective,” explains Steve Weiss, print manager, Serge Ferrari North America.
Serge Ferrari offers two mesh products of note that are used for building wraps. Ocean flag/mesh is a jersey mesh, which is light, foldable, and ideal for two-sided graphics. Seemee Loop is a 100 percent recycled polyester yarn made from post consumer waste—it is also PVC free.
Seemee Loop is an example of one of the latest trends in building wraps that Weiss has noticed in the last year or so—eco-friendly products. “We are working on a solution to take back used materials—two years—which will set us apart from all others,” he shares.
Mesh is available not only in different substrate constructions—fabric or vinyl-based—but weights. TVF promotes, for example, an 8 oz. and a 9 oz. vinyl mesh. Both are 1000 denier reinforced banner material manufactured with polyester support cloth and coated with PVC.
However, “because of its comparatively smaller holes and more print surface, 9 oz. vinyl mesh provides more privacy than 8 oz. vinyl mesh. The 8 oz. version still prints beautifully, and it can be black backed to make it visible through the backside,” shares Jimenez.
A Finished Aspect
Jimenez says outside of mesh materials being so popular among building wrap creators, another noticeable topic of discussion involves finishing, more specifically how building wrap companies are framing these graphics. According to Jimenez, in the early days of building wraps, it was common to see cabling systems, now it’s more about frames. Using the correct frame in critical.
“The outside perimeter is what’s going to keep it intact and allow you to attach it to the building. I’ve seen framing systems that you bolt in. I’ve seen systems that kind of grab the mesh and pull it. I’ve seen framing systems with a hook, a spring, and a latch that make the material taught. There are many options out there, but ultimately it’s the framing or cabling system that allows the wrap to be installed. So, the outside perimeter holding the actual printed graphic material has to be on point,” continues Jimenez.
In addition to the frame—or cable system—webbing needs to be thoughtfully considered. A 30×80-foot mesh banner benefits from a two- or even 2.5-inch webbing. “The larger the graphic, the larger the webbing, so those additional lines of reinforcement stitching can do their job. Even though you’re using a lightweight material, it’s still going to be a heavy piece being pulled really hard. You just don’t want to put stress on the mesh material’s seams,” advises Jimenez.
More companies than ever before handle building wrap projects and this is happening in a few different ways, says Jimenez. One example, installers and printers are developing their own framing system or they work with an architect who created one. Or, installation companies with their own framing systems visit cities, municipalities, and real estate organizations and help them find new sources of revenue. The installers create framing systems that pass all necessary codes and work with printing companies on all printing and finishing work to get the job done—this is attractive to the buyer.
Building wraps are commonly made up of mesh material due to its light weight, breathability, cost effectiveness, and ability to be easily held in place with certain framing systems.
“If you show a customer what mesh will look like for almost any building wrap application, they’ll pick mesh because of how it looks. The print quality is superb. Modern UV printers that have been printing on mesh since the early 2000s deliver amazing results,” concludes Jimenez.
Dec2022, Digital Output