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Use 303 Aerospace Protectant on Vinyl Convertible Tops

There are two types of convertible topping material.

1). Vinyl Convertible Tops:
Some automotive convertible tops and most aftermarket `soft tops' (for 4 wheel drive vehicles, primarily) are vinyl. The world's largest manufacturer of automotive convertible tops and numerous soft top manufacturers are 303® Aerospace Protectant™ customers.

Vinyl top manufacturers recommend 303® Aerospace Protectant™ for two primary reasons: First, because 303® Aerospace Protectant™ beautifies better, lasts longer and is the most powerful UV screening protective product for vinyl. Second, because by recommending or requiring only 303® Aerospace Protectant™, manufacturers minimize customer service problems and warranty costs that result from consumers using `protectant' products which not only do not protect but actually damage vinyl.

2). Fabric Convertible Tops:
Fabric convertible tops (mistakenly referred to as `canvas') are considered to be the best. These are not vinyl (and not canvas), but a laminate consisting of several components, a top layer of a solution-dyed acrylic textile, a middle layer of butyl rubber or urethane, and the poly-cotton headliner. 

The acrylic textile is very UV resistant...that's why it's used in this application. However, it has no inherent soil resistance or water or oil repellency. Therefore, in order to keep the topping material clean, after lamination the topping material is treated with an industrial agent to resist soiling, water & oil based stains.

After a year or so, fabric convertible topping starts to lose is soil and stain resistance...owners begin to notice the fabric gets wet and has to dry out when it rains. The top doesn't leak because of the layer of butyl rubber (that's what it's for). However, wet fabric is an indication that the top can now soil or become stained and that it is time to treat the top with an appropriate fabric protector to prevent soiling and staining.

Unfortunately, the fabric protector products that can be easily purchased at automotive chain stores and large retail chains are the only ones convertible owners have available to them. And these consumer grade products are no where near powerful enough to do the job necessary on fabric convertible tops...insufficient repellency, inadequate durability. This is where 303®'s fabric protector product comes in. 303® High Tech Fabric Guard is the only fabric protector specifically designed for outdoor textiles and indoor fabrics exposed to the sun. 303® HTFG easily out performs consumer grade fabric protectors as well as the industrial quality fabric protectors which are not available to consumers.

NOTE: 303® Aerospace Protectant™ is not for textiles and should not be used on fabric convertible tops.

Wicking: When fabric convertible topping material is sewn correctly, the butyl rubber clenches the thread tightly and water does not get through. When it does seep through...and this is most common around the windows in a fabric convertible top...this is called `wicking'. Wicking can be a very expensive warranty problem ...the correction often involves the replacement of the top at the car dealer along with replacing mildew damaged carpeting and fabric upholstery. To minimize wicking, before sending their tops to the car maker, convertible top manufacturers in recent years have treated the seams on each top with 303® High Tech Fabric Guard.