Most banners these days are made from a 10 oz. or 13 oz. fabric. We use a 13 oz. cool white banner fabric that is certified Flame Retardant. Vinyl banners are waterproof and will usually hold up for a long time in outdoor situations.
To keep your banners & signs looking fresh, just clean with a sponge and soapy water. Do not scrub or use any harsh abrasive chemical, or it could damage the printing. The banner should be completely dry before rehanging or storing.
Banners should be rolled, not folded, when stored. Keep them on a tube or rolled neatly and in a clear plastic bag. If the banner has vinyl lettering on it, the lettering should be rolled with the vinyl on the outside. This seems counterintuitive, but if you roll with the letters on the inside it will cause the vinyl to separate from the banner material. With digitally printed banners, you can roll them either way.
If your banner was folded or is wrinkled, you can use a blow dryer to heat the fabric to cause it to relax. Banners that are hung outdoors in a high-wind area can have slits cut in them every two feet or so to allow the wind to pass through. Just take a plastic bowl and cut half moons around the bowl interspersed about the banner, trying to avoid important words or images.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR OLD BANNER
We have made banners for businesses that have hung outside on their building for years. We have also seen people wrinkle up their banner, step on it, get it wet and muddy and ruin it in under two weeks time. However long your banner lasts (we hope you get good use out of it), when it will no longer work as a banner, you can use it as a tarp, a covering for wood or something else outdoors, or donate it to a preschool for an art project--the other side is a blank canvas for them and you'd be amazed at what kids will come up with.
Recycled banner fabrics and recyclable banner fabrics are just now coming onto the market. We will be testing several products very soon and offer this as an option for customers who want a totally green banner. We'll keep you posted on this.
In the mean time, we hope you get a lot of bang for your buck with one of the least expensive ways to advertise!