Polyethylene and Polypropylene vs. Vinyl Coated Polyester

polyethylene and polypropylene vs. vinyl coated polyester infographic

What’s the difference?

Comparing polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) with vinyl coated polyester (VCP) is a bit like comparing apples with oranges. These materials have different constructions, properties, and price points. All of these materials are high in quality and have their own advantages, but the material you choose depends mostly on your desired application.

About Polyethylene and Polypropylene

HDPE and PP are single construction fabrics that can be woven or knitted. Although they can be quite strong, they are usually not as strong as similar VCP materials. HDPE and PP are both extremely mildew resistant. They often contain carbon black or other UV inhibitors, making them very resistant to UV damage, as well.

HDPE and PP are widely available in the United States, and they are more cost-effective than VCP. Because they do not have any coatings, they are not waterproof. They are best used in situations where waterproofing is not a concern, such as dump truck covers.

About Vinyl Coated Polyester

VCP is a composite material made of polyester coated in layers of vinyl. Polyester is a strong fabric, and the addition of vinyl makes it even more durable. Having multiple layers also increases this material’s abrasion resistance.

Depending on the construction and coating, VCP can be waterproof. This distinction makes VCP a great option for trailers, flatbed trucks, or other applications that require waterproofing. Due to the materials used, VCP is more expensive than HDPE or PP. It’s also frequently made off-shore and may be affected by recent tariffs.


We are here to help you find the right fabric for your products and your customers’ needs. If you have questions about any of these materials, please don’t hesitate to contact us.