The history of awnings

Awnings can be found pretty much everywhere nowadays. From shops, restaurants, coffee shops and banks to regular households, they’re widely used for practical and aesthetic reasons. Adding an awning to your home can truly bring out the beauty of it, as well as provide you with protection from the rain and heat. But how did awnings even come to be?


Awnings originated in Ancient Egypt and the Middle ease, with various homes and marketplaces inventing new ways to protect themselves from the scorching sun. Makeshift awnings included solutions such as placing a carpet over doors and windows – these were found in homes, commercial areas, but also animal pens.


The Roman Empire saw its own implementation of awnings. Due to the cultural significance of large gatherings such as the coliseum fights, stadiums, amphitheatres, etc. people had to be protected from weather conditions. The Romans actually utilised retractable awning systems for the Coliseum. These were operated manually by sailors. The awnings found at the Coliseum were massive, constructed from around 240 wooden beams, all operated through manpower.

Post-World War II decline of residential awnings

Technological advancements of the 20th century made it much easier to manufacture retractable awnings, making them more widespread for commercial areas like shops, coffee shops, and restaurants. Aluminium became widely used as a material for awnings, being both durable and lightweight. But this age also brought the invention of another device – air conditioning. As homes no longer needed to be shaded in order for the dwellers to remain cool indoors, there was no need for awnings in residential homes.

A stable comeback

As more and more homes aim for a more stylised look, residential awnings are now back in full force. Now available in a variety of types, with the technology behind them being sufficiently advanced, they are now a popular choice not just for shops and restaurants, but also homes.

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