Awnings date back as far as the ancient Egyptians and Syrians. They were typically made of woven grass or bamboo and were used to provide shade for market areas or in houses.  In modern day they are made of frame over which a fabric or material is stretched to form an umbrella type protection.  The frame can be free standing or attached to a post in concrete or attached to a wall of a building. They are mostly used for protection against sun for cards, gardens and people. Awnings can also be used for decoration.

Two types of awnings are used:  these are the retractable or the stationary awning.
Retractable awnings can be opened or closed via manual means or with an automated switch or remote control. They can be manually or automatically opened and closed, and are generally very easy to use.  Other functions such as automated opening or closing on demand from controls which are activated by certain conditions are also common – for instance sun or wind may be picked up by sensors and the awnings will be closed automatically without any human intervention needed.

Stationary awnings are good for home use as these can be tailored to suit the space they are installed in.  These are commonly used in spaces with unusual shapes and windows in unusual places or sizes.  As they do not have any electronic or moving parts, they are low on maintenance.

Awnings are useful for improving décor and can enhance the aesthetics of a property significantly. They can also be used as a focal point for marketing purposes outside restaurants or other businesses at street level.

Awnings are manufactured in several shapes, styles, colours and materials.  The material used will depend on the location and function of the awning.   For instance, fabrics can be ultraviolet protected, in candy stripes, in the desired colour and size.   

Some of the more modern awnings also attach accessories that can greatly improve the functionality and purpose of the areas covered by the awning.  For instance, insect screens can be attached to the awnings to keep away bugs, and wind screens can protect against the elements.

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