Sun Awning Glossary

When you're new to the world of awnings, you may find yourself confused by the different phrases companies use. In this alphabet of awning-related phrases, we've explained the definitions we're referring to across our website and brochures. If you've spotted some jargon which isn't on the list, drop us a message and we'll explain what we mean. 



All Weather Protection

This means the awning can be used in light showers in addition to dry weather. The label is different to those of totally waterproof and water resistant fabrics, which offer a higher level of protection.



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.

Bionic Tendon Arm

A new alternative to chain link arms, found on some Markilux models. The parts of the arm are connected by a Kevlar-mix fabric, which produces minimal friction when extending and retracting. 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.



A cassette is a built-in enclosure which 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.

Chain Link Arms

One or two chains link the parts in the arm together. These flexible parts allow the awning to open and close.


Motorised awnings can be operated by remote control. One with multiple channels allows you to control different components, such as heating, lighting, and the awning, with a single handset. A button will switch between them.

Commercial Awning

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


This means two awnings can be 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.


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


A standalone wall mounted cover to protect awnings from above. Markilux make their transparent 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.

Drop Valance

This means the valance can extend downwards for adjustable shading.


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.



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. Vertical posts will support the weight of the awning instead. For stability they are either fixed into concrete fixings in the ground (such as Markilux's Fix models) or into weighted boxes (such as the Flex). Some awnings, like the Markilux Pergola, use front support posts, but they are wall mounted too. You’ll still find these designs in the Freestanding section of the website.

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 and dirt.


Glass Room Awning

Our conservatory awnings can be used on glass rooms too. They provide underglass or overglass shading. If you have the Terrazza roof or Glasoase room, take a look at the Weinor Sottezza in particular.


All of Roché’s domestic awnings come with a 5 year guarantee as standard. That means in unlikely event of you having a problem, you’re covered for parts and labour.



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


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 Livona features decorative LED light cap rings at either end of the barrel. The alternative is a lighting bar.

Interior Operation

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



A type of lighting which uses minimal energy. Available as an integrated strip or spotlight, or as a standalone lighting bar.

Lighting / Heating Bars

If your awning doesn't support integrated lighting or heating, a standalone option may be more suitable. 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 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. These designs are perfect for gardens, balconies and terraces with limited space. Markilux offer a similar solution; the Stretch models.


The part which drives your awning, located within the barrel.


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.


Patio Awning

The most common type of sun awning. We list our wall-mounted designs as patio awnings, as long as they don’t have additional front support posts (you’ll find these in our ‘Freestanding’ section).


The angle at which your awning is installed at. Our surveyors recommend a minimum pitch of 14o to encourage rainfall run-off and protect the awning from water pooling, which can stretch the fabric. 


Some awnings have vertical support posts. Where used there are usually two posts, situated either end of the front bar.


Remote Control

Our electric awnings are compatible with hand-held remote controls for added convenience. These have functions like 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.

Retro Fitted Lighting  / Heating

Just because you already have an awning installed, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to accessorise it. Some features, like our lighting and heating bars, can be retro fitted, which means they are fitted after the awning installation process.



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, vibration or motion, or a combination of two of them (in the case of sun and wind sensors). Sensors can be fitted to the wall or roof independently, or to the awning itself.

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.


This Markilux accessory is a type of valance which is built in to 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.


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.

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, while spreaders will spread out the load across more than two brackets.


Markilux's version of the MiniMax. These awnings can have a greater width than projection, making them ideal for long, narrow spaces.


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



An option available on some Markilux 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.


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 narrow strip of fabric which permanently hangs below the front profile. They give an awning a more traditional look, and common edge designs include a straight and scalloped patterns. A drawback of having a valance is the fact that it remains exposed, even when the awning is retracted. This can mean it weathers at a faster rate than the cover, although some are removable to help you to keep them clean.

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 is included as standard on all of Roché’s Markilux awnings.


Wall Mounted

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

Waterproof / 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.


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.

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 when it is 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. Awnings rated 3 show the highest resilience to windy conditions.