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Beautiful Made To Measure Awnings & Canopies

Expression Blinds are delighted to be able to offer our customers a huge selection of awnings and canopies for a variety of external applications, covering both domestic and commercial installations to customers in Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and Liverpool.

We can provide, non-casetted, semi-casetted and fully-casetted awnings in a huge range of colours and fabrics, which can be customised with sign-writing if required. The awnings can be manually controlled, or motorised for greater ease of opening.

In addition to extendable coverings, we can also supply fixed canopies. These are particularly effective on commercial premises, being used to draw the observer’s attention to a particular point/entrance-way on a building or to communicate your services & brand. We have fitted these types of awnings across the North West, especially for restaurants, bars, venues & cafes.

What Exactly Are Awnings?


Commercial Awnings

Folding arm awnings (also known as folding arm awnings) have, in the past 20 years, almost replaced the traditional awning.  As a shop blind, the folding arm is a very versatile awning. 

It is nearly always fitted below the fascia allowing the fascia to be seen when the blind is extended.  The methods of installation are a concealed blind box within the shopfront, fitted directly to the shopfront in a cassette or fitted under a top board with side cheeks for protection. The greatest asset of the folding arm system is that when retracted, it is contained in an area of approximately 200mm x 200mm.

Types and Operation

  • Electric operation – an electric motor contained within the roller is usually activated by a switch within the premises.  The extension/retraction is set on limits at the time of installation.  The motors also have an automatic cut off to prevent overheating due to misuse.
  • Gear operation – is generally attached to the side of the roller and is activated by a removable winding handle.
  • Most systems are built around a 40mm x 40mm galvanised steel bar to which the wall fixing or top fixing brackets are mounted.  The bar also has the blind arms attached and also the two roller brackets.
  • Concealed system (or blind box system) – this method of installation is into a prepared blind box, fitted usually by the shopfitter and incorporated into the shopfront.
  • Cassette system – this is a totally enclosed system with a combination of top, bottom and back sections which can be anodised, stove enameled or sprayed to the colour specified.  The benefit is that the fabric is completely protected from the elements when retracted.


  • Roller – generally 70mm or 78mm in diameter.  Usually galvanised steel or mill finish aluminium.  A longitudinal groove is used to provide fabric attachment.
  • Back bar (or installation bar) – generally 40mm  x 40mm galvanised steel but can be anodised aluminium.  Often not required on cassette systems.
  • Face fix wall bracket – for attaching back bar to wall.
  • Top fix bracket – for attaching back bar to soffit or concrete lintels.
  • Roller tube bracket – fitted on each end of the back bar they carry the roller and gear box or motor.
  • Blind arm bracket – carry the arms from the back bar to which they are attached.
  • Blind arm – made from aluminium extrusion and various components, enabling projection from 750mm up to 4m.
  • Front profile (or front rail) – this generally is an aluminium extrusion which is attached to the blind arms.  It also has two longitudinal grooves to which the blind cover and the valance are attached.
  • Winding handle – detachable handle for manual operation.
  • Blind fabric – usually made from woven acrylic fibre or reinforced PVC sheeting complete with fungicidal and flame retardant treatments.

What are Continental/ Dutch Canopies?

French Awning

French Canopy

This is the one of the most popular of all external awnings and is widely used on shops, restaurants, hotels and on domestic properties.  These can be either retractable or non-retractable, and we can give advice on the best type for you depending on your requirements & budget.

The quarter circle shape is formed by four or five legs, depending on the projection,  from anodised aluminium extrusion and held together by metal or plastic components and rivets.  The profile has a channel into which a PVC extrusion is inserted and to which the blind fabric is stapled and then covered by tape. The blinds can be housed under an aluminium top board and end cheeks if needed.

Types and Operation

  • Manual – with heavy duty nylon cord fed through three pulleys and attached to the front of the blind.  It is held in the closed position by winding a cord around a cleat.
  • Gear and electric operation – can be fitted into a tube that winds up the nylon cord and is mounted under the top frame.


  • Dutch profile –  anodised aluminium extrusion to make framework with a channel to take the PVC insert.  Can also be powder coated.
  • Dutch blind corner –  small radius corner with two tongues to slip into extrusion to form leg and cross member – made from alloy or plastic.
  • Dutch hinge set –  made with back hinges which is elongated with pre-drilled holes to fasten to the wall; this is then joined to intermediate hinges, finished off with a front hinge all joined together with hinge pins.  All hinge pieces have a tongue for inserting into the extrusion.
  • Dutch pulleys –  free hanging pulley to operate raising and lowering of blind metal case and hook.
  • Pulley plates – stamped metal plate to fasten pulley to extrusion.
  • Corner brace bracket – alloy component which fastens at an angle across the corner of the frame for reinforcement.  Fitted normally on back and front frames only.
  • Dutch blind cleat – made from alloy, steel or plastic for fastening cord to hold blind in retracted position.
  • Top board – made from anodised aluminium sheet folded to shape or aluminium extrusion to give weather protection.
  • Top fix/top board bracket – anodised aluminium or steel bracket, formed to fasten upwards and backwards, carries frame under shopfront etc.
  • Face fix bracket – anodised aluminium bracket to fasten backwards only.
  • Trimming tape (or hideaway tape) – a PVC tape which has a self-closing groove.  The tape is stretched over the frame concealing the staples if required.
  • Studs or Dutch nails – plastic, brass or enameled steel for fastening stud tape.
*Sourced from Blinds and Shutters Magazine. Copyright Turret Group Ltd 2011


Commercial Canopies and Awnings in Liverpool.

Pan Am Canopies fitted by Expression Blinds

Free, No Obligation Quotes

Our free, no obligation choose at home service will provide you with expert advice to ensure you receive the blinds that will perform exactly right for your commercial property. We will work closely with you to design your blinds, and meet your budget and taste requirements. Our blinds will be tailored to your needs, including customisation for your business, colours, weather requirements & more.

All of our meetings are with a professional blinds fitter and advisor, as we do not employ salesmen, and our fitters prefer to measure your space themselves for the best quality work.

Whatever your requirements, we provide impartial advice to customers in Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire, Liverpool and surrounding areas – so why not call today?