Tarps or tarpaulins are large sheets that consist of strong, water resistant, waterproof, and flexible material. This material is usually material such as cloth and/or canvas that is coated with latex and plastic. In places like Australia and the military, tarps are also known as hootchies.
Tarps, for the most part, have reinforced grommets in their corners (holes) and along their sides, where you can attach a rope to it that will allow it to be tied down or suspended while still providing cover. There are a lot of inexpensive tarps these days that are constructed from loosely woven polyethylene material. This type of tarp has now become known simply as a polytarp.
Polytarps are not of your traditional fabric, but instead are a laminate of woven and sheet material. The center of these tarps is loosely woven from strips of polyethylene plastic, which also have sheets made of the same material attached to the surface. This creates a fabric-like material that will totally prevent it stretching in all directions, and it is 100% waterproof. When treated against harsh sunlight, these tarps can last many years of being exposed to the elements, but ones that are not made with UV treated material will quickly become hard and brittle, eventually losing strength and water resistance if exposed to sunlight.
Poly tarps are proven to be a popular
source when an inexpensive, water resistant fabric is needed for just about any job. Many amateur builders of boats will turn to these types of tarps in order to construct the sails for their boats because of the price and durability, as it is inexpensive and easily worked. If you have the right kind of tape, it is not out the question to be able to construct a large sail of several tarps without any sewing.
There are many uses for tarps in the world today.
Covering items that you do not want to get wet, whether they are being transported, or they are stationary. They can also provide much needed sails for sail boats. Also, because of how light they are, they can serve as coverings for those hikers that want to keep their backpacks at a low weight. They can easily be folded up and stored in a backpack without taking up weight or room, both of which are vital to the hiker. Tarps have many uses, and will continue to be popular.