Awning Glossary

There’s plenty of jargon within the world of awnings. Find the meaning behind some of our most commonly used words and phrases below. If you’ve spotted something you don’t understand and can’t see it here, do not hesitate to contact the Roché team.


All Markilux and Weinor awnings are manufactured from extruded aluminium which means makes them stronger than other off-the-shelf options.


The long, cylindrical part of a mounted awning which the cover winds onto when it’s not in use.


Fixings which attach a mounted awning to the wall or framework. Often there are two, but there may be more for larger (and therefore heavier) awnings.


The name given to Weinor’s remote control and sensor system. Operating your awning with your iPhone or iPad is also available using BiConnect.

Bionic Tendon Arm

A new alternative to chain link arms, found on some Markilux patio awnings. The parts of the arm are connected by a Kevlar-mix fabric, which is carries out the extending and retracting movement with minimal friction. This produces a quieter motion.

Butterfly Awning

A butterfly awning is a metal framework which supports one or two patio awnings. They are freestanding and can therefore be used in open spaces, either fixed into concrete footings or on-ground weighted boxes. Sometimes they have front support posts for additional strength. The Markilux Syncra is an example of a butterfly awning. Our butterfly awning prices are based on the framework only; add the chosen patio awning(s) for a total price estimate.


A cassette forms an enclosure to protects the components and cover when the awning isn’t in use. There are two types of cassette; a full cassette and semi cassette. Open awnings are those which do not have a cassette. Patio awnings have a choice between the three types, whereas other categories (like vertical awnings) always have a full cassette. The cassette type will be specified on each product page.

Chain Link Arms

One or two chains link the parts in the arm together. It is these flexible parts which allow the awning to open and close.


Motorised awnings can be operated by remote control. A multiple channel setup allows you to control multiple awnings, and/or different components such as heating and lighting, with a single handset. A button will allow you to switch between them.


Markilux’s solid colour fabric collection, including both Sunsilk and Sunvas. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.

Commercial Awning

All designs can be used for both domestic and commercial use. Commercial awnings are commonly found in the retail and hospitality sectors, such as on shop fronts or over smoking areas and beer gardens. Large cover areas and signwriting are common characteristics of awnings in the commercial sector.

Conservatory Awning

A practical alternative to blinds. Conservatory awnings are mounted to the framework of a glass room, veranda or conservatory, either over or under the glass. They allow convenient and effective temperature control in the room with the highest temperature variation.


With some models, two or more awnings can be installed next to each other and used simultaneously. Coupling units is an effective way to increase the maximum width of coverage they offer. They can be operated from the same remote control, and a junction section can bridge the gap between the two awning covers. This gives the appearance of a single unit.


The fabric part of an awning. Markilux and Weinor use high tech polyester and acrylic fabrics, with a choice of different fabric types available. Covers can usually be removed and replaced without the need for an entirely new installation.


A standalone wall mounted cover to protect awnings from above. They help bridge the gap between the awning and the wall, preventing rain from reaching the patio from here. Markilux make their transparent coverboard design available in different awning widths.


These fabrics have a transparent coating which prevents dirt from sticking to the surface.

Drop Arm Awnings

A type of vertical awning. In addition to extending vertically, the pitch can also be adjusted away from the window, providing extra flexibility with shading and light levels. This is achieved with the help of a movable bar situated at the bottom of the awning.

Drop Valance

This means the valance can extend downwards for adjustable shading. Available on patio awnings; look for the Markilux Shadeplus or Weinor’s Valance Plus.

Electric Operation

All of Roché’s awnings come with electric operation as standard. This added convenience allows you to operate the awning in the push of a button.


See Covers, or visit our Fabrics page for more information.


The metal parts of an awning. Usually made from aluminium, with a choice of finishes available.


This means the awning isn’t fixed to a wall, and vertical posts support the weight of the awning instead. For stability they are either fixed into the ground or into heavy boxes.

Folding Arm Awning

All of our patio awnings have folding arms. These moving metal parts connect the front and back bars, below the fabric cover. They serve the important function of allowing the awning to extend and retract.

Full Cassette

The highest level of protection for an awning. When it is not in use the arms, cover and barrel will be closed away inside the aluminium cassette, keeping it protected from rain, wind, snow, dirt and leaves.

Guide Ropes / Rails

The fixings either side of the fabric on a vertical awning. They help keep the cover in position and add stability against winds.

Glass Room Awning

Our conservatory awnings provide underglass or overglass shading. They can also be used on the Terrazza roof and Glasoase room.


All of Roché’s domestic awnings come with a 5 year guarantee as standard when installed by us. That means in unlikely event of you having a problem, you’re covered for parts and labour. We might be able to fix the issue over the phone, but if not we’ll send an engineer out free of charge.


A type of element used in heating accessories. Halogen provides instant heat which can be directed towards your patio seating area.


See Remote Control.


The process of fitting an awning, which should always be carried out by experienced professionals. Awnings can pose a safety risk if installed by someone without the required knowledge and skills. Roché offer a nationwide installation service with unrivalled expertise.

Integrated Lighting

This is built into the awning framework for a completely seamless appearance. For example, the Markilux 1650 has powerful halogen spotlights built into the front bar, while the Weinor Opal Design II features decorative LED spotlights within the awning cassette.

Interior Operation

A manual winding handle installed inside your home. Suitable for vertical Markilux awnings only.


A type of lighting which uses minimal energy. Available as an integrated strip or spotlight on your awning, or as a standalone lighting bar installed beneath it.

Lighting / Heating Bars

A convenient alternative to integrated lighting or heating. The Markilux Hotspot, Markilux Spotlight and Weinor Light Bar are attached to your wall or awning after it is installed. They are compatible with most of our awnings.


A Weinor fabric collection, made from woven acrylic. Available as either a lightweight patio awning, in a variety of white shades, or as a heavier opaque coloured material.  See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


A leading German manufacturer of sun awnings. Roché are a recognised dealer of Markilux products.

Manual Operation

If an electric sun awning isn’t convenient, we can provide a manual solution. These are usually operated via a rod and crank, which you’ll hook onto the joint on the underside and turn to operate the mechanism. Manual awnings are ideal for open spaces without a power supply.


If a larger projection than width is required, then Weinor’s MiniMax may be the solution. It is perfect for gardens, balconies and terraces with limited space.


The part which drives your awning, discretely located within the barrel. All motorised Markilux and Weinor awnings have a motor which is manufactured by the world’s leading brand in awning automation, Somfy.

Open Awning

An open awning doesn’t have a cassette. That means the cover and other components are exposed to the elements at all times. If your roof has an overhang to provide a degree of protection, this may not be a problem and you may prefer the lightweight appearance of an open design.

Patio Awning

The most common type of sun awning. Our patio awnings are wall mounted and retractable, with a multitude of options and styles to choose from. Our fabric roof verandas have many of the same characteristics, with the addition of front support posts.


A Weinor fabric collection. PVC coated polyester with translucent (light permeable) and classic (more opaque) options available. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


A Markilux fabric collection, perforated for light permeability with a Teflon coating. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


A Markilux fabric collection. Perla fabrics have special waterproof and flame retardant coatings, producing a paler, matte finish on the underside. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


The angle at which your awning is installed at. Our surveyors recommend a minimum pitch of 14 degrees to encourage rainfall run-off and protect the awning from water pooling (which can stretch the fabric). This differs for vertical awnings.


Vertical supports used on some awnings. Where used there are usually two posts, situated either end of the front bar. This can vary for larger awnings.

Powder Coating

A method of applying paint, producing a hardwearing, even colour finish. Many of our awning frameworks can be powder coated to any colour


How far an awning extends outwards away from the wall (or framework mounting in the case of freestanding awnings). The projection will usually need to be smaller than the width, and our product pages detail the maximum dimensions for each product. Exceptions to this rule are the Markilux Stretch and Weinor MiniMax models, which enable a greater projection than width and are suitable for long, narrow spaces. Learn more about awning projections here.

RAL Colour

A universal colour referencing system. If you would like to match your awning framework to a feature like your window frames, you can have it powder coated. Simply provide the office with a RAL reference for the closest possible colour match.


A component which receives the signal from your remote control and instructs the awning (or accessory) to operate.

Remote Control

Our electric awnings are compatible with hand-held remote controls for added convenience and comfort. These can incorporate features such as multiple channels and intelligent memory function to remember your favourite position.

Retractable Awning

This phrase means you can open and close the awning. All of Roché’s awnings are retractable.


You may already have an awning installed, but it’s not too late to accessorise it. Some features, like our lighting and heating bars, can be retro fitted, which means they can be fitted after the awning installation process.

Self Cleaning Coating (SNC)

A special fabric coating given to improve dirt resisting properties.


Sensors automatically extend and / or retract the awning. They can be used to protect the installation in windy conditions or ensure your patio is always ready with shading on a hot day. The technology can detect UV rays, light levels, rain, vibration or motion, and they can be combined as required. Depending on their design, sensors can be fitted to the wall or roof independently or to the awning itself. Roché advise a wind sensor should be installed with all externally installed awnings as a form of protection.

Semi Cassette

The awning is partially protected when it’s not in use. It has a built-in cover to prevent rain, dirt and leaves from reaching the mechanism or cover from above, but the underside remains open. They provide adequate protection for most patio awnings.


This Markilux accessory is a type of valance which is built into the front profile. It drops down for the exact degree of shading when necessary, and can be retracted when not in use.

Side Blinds

A wall or post mounted shade which extends horizontally for shading from low level sun. It will fix into a post or bracket to stay extended, and then retract back into its slim post when not in use. They’re often used in conjunction with a patio awning.


The process by where branding such as a logo and business name is permanently printed onto the awning fabric. Ask the office for a bespoke signwriting quote.


Advanced noise-cancelling technology which has been patented by Markilux. It uses insulation around the motor to reduce vibrations and quieten the sound produced when in operation. Currently available on the Markilux 6000.


A Weinor fabric collection made from polyester. Tiny pores to allow air to permeate, while thread reinforcement provides exceptional strength. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


A world-renowned motor manufacturer. All electric Markilux and Weinor awnings have built-in Somfy motors.

Spacers / Spreaders

Installation components used to fix an awning to a wall correctly. Spacers will bring the awning in front of the wall to accommodate guttering or other obstacles, while spreaders will spread out the load across more than two brackets.


A type of dyeing process used by Weinor. Each yarn is dyed during the spinning process, rather than afterwards. This helps to maintain colour brilliance.


Some Markilux patio awnings are available as a Stretch model. Special ‘scissor’ style arms enable the weight to be supported across a smaller width than projection, making them suitable for long, narrow spaces.


A Markilux fabric collection, made from polyester with a long weave. This produces a soft glow effect underneath the awning. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


A Markilux fabric collection, made from acrylic fibres with a shorter weave than Sunsilk. The effect is therefore more opaque. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.


The first stage before getting an accurate quote. Find out more about surveys here.


A type of fabric impregnation process. It helps the awning repel water, dirt and oils, ensuring the cover looks its best for many years.


An option available on some Markilux vertical and conservatory awnings. It means there isn’t a gap between the side edges of the cover and the guide system. The fabric is sealed inside the guides instead, preventing water and light ingress and providing a streamlined, neat look.


See Remote Control.


A Markilux fabric collection, perforated for light permeability. Part of the Sunvas range. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.

Trend Colours

Weinor’s collection of 9 special framework colours. They differ from standard RAL colours in that they have a textured finish, with metallic and sparkling options available. A surcharge applies to the Trend range.

True Colours

Weinor’s main acrylic fabric collection, with block colours and striped designs. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.

UPF Protection

The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a measurement used to show how much sunburn-causing UV light can pass through a fabric, including awning covers. A UPF of 50+ is the highest possible rating, blocking 98% or more of harmful radiation.


A small strip of fabric which permanently hangs below the front profile. They give an awning a more traditional look, with common edge designs including straight and scalloped patterns. A valance remains exposed even when the awning is retracted. This can mean it weathers and a faster rate than the cover, although some are removable to help you to keep them clean. A drop valance like Markilux’s Shadeplus or Weinor’s Valance Plus is retractable for protection.

Vertical Awning

A blind-like design with advanced awning fabric. They are used to shade windows, usually from outside, with manual or electric operation.


One of Markilux’s wind sensors. The Vibrabox senses vibration in the front bar of the patio awning, retracting it to protect the installation from damage.


A Markilux fabric collection with a unique textured effect. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.

Vuscreen ALU

A Markilux fabric collection. Aluminium pigment is woven into the fabric for superior glare protection. See our fabrics page for details on awning collection compatibility.

Wall Mounted

These awnings are fitted to the wall using brackets. Most awnings are wall mounted, with the exception of some freestanding models.

Water Repellent / Water Resistant

Special coatings are available for additional weatherproofing. Discuss your needs with a member of the team when choosing awning fabrics. Water-repellent fabrics encourage the rain to run off the surface without leaving a trace. Remember you will still need to retract your awning in bad rain to prevent it from pooling on the cover and causing the fabric to stretch.


One of the world’s leading names in awning engineering. Roché are Weinor partners, offering a selection of high quality German awnings to the UK market.


The size of the awning when retracted. Please note this will be slightly wider than the fabric cover width when the awning is open. Our product pages detail the maximum width for each awning, or learn more about awning sizes in our buyer’s guide.

Wind Resistance Class

Each awning has been awarded a wind resistance class, with Markilux and Weinor awnings rated between 0 and 3. These numbers refer to the conditions which are safe to keep the awning extended. Each number corresponds to a different number on the Beaufort scale, or wind speed, with 3 being the highest, at 24-30 mph. These awnings show the highest resilience to windy conditions.