A tarpaulin or tarp is a large sheet of strong, flexible, water-resistant, or waterproof material. It is made of cloth such as canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane or made of plastics such as polyethylene or vinyl. Tarpaulins are used as temporary roofs and for the protection of equipment and supplies. For example, a small tarp can be used to cover a car, while a large tarp can be used to cover a ship. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about tarpaulin GSM.

What is Tarpaulin GSM?

Tarps come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. The most important factor is tarpaulin GSM, tarpaulin GSM is the weight of the tarp measured in grams per square meter (GSM).

The most common weight range is from 60 GSM to 280 GSM. The higher the GSM, the more density and heavy-duty tarpaulin are. For example, a 120 GSM tarpaulin would be much lighter and less durable than a 220 GSM tarpaulin.

Heavier tarps are more durable and tear-resistant, making them ideal for covering larger items or for use in harsher environments. They are also used during picnics to keep food clean from dirt and insects. Large tarps may be used to cover haystacks or woodpiles. Smaller ones are used as ground sheets when camping.

What are the Benefits of Using Tarpaulin?

Tarpaulin is often made from polyethylene woven fabric with a waterproof or UV coating film and is available in a variety of weights and sizes. The most common uses for tarpaulin are also used in construction to protect floors and walls from paint, dust, and debris or as a waterproof cover for outdoor equipment such as boats and trailers, your lumber, machinery, or picnic mat.

Generally speaking, there are two benefits of using tarpaulin:

1. it is very versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be used in various industries, including roofing during building construction and repair work, transport vehicle covers for trucks and boats, temporary storage or ground coverings for outdoor equipment or to protect an area from the sun or rain, or as a privacy screen.

2. Another benefit is that it is very strong and durable due to it is made from PE (polyethylene), which is a tough synthetic material. This makes it ideal for use in harsh conditions, such as on construction sites or during extreme weather events.

Finally, a tarpaulin is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials that serve similar purposes. 

How to Choose the Right Tarpaulin GSM?

Poly tarpaulin sheet is made from polyethylene and range in thickness from 6 to 18 mils. It is reinforced with grommets placed around the edge, which makes it easy to secure with ropes or bungee cords. The increased durability also makes it ideal for protecting floors and walls from paint, dust, and debris. They can be used to line walkways to avoid mud and puddles, or placed over open areas of a job site to keep them clean and dry.

When it comes to choosing the right tarpaulin GSM, there are a few things to consider, the first is what the tarpaulin will be used for, then the sizes, weights, and thicknesses. And the second is the tarpaulin GSM is the most helpful guide in determining which is the right tarpaulin for your uses. 

Heavier-duty tarps are usually made from thicker material and have a higher weight limit, making them ideal for covering machinery or lumber. The heavier the tarp, the higher the gsm. Heavier tarps will be more durable and last longer, but they are also more expensive.

If you need a tarpaulin that is going to be durable and last for a long time, then you should opt for one with a higher GSM. These tarps are more expensive, but they are worth the investment if you need a heavy-duty tarpaulin.

If you’re looking for a lighter-weight tarpaulin for picnics or light coverings, look for one made from thinner material. , often used as a cover for boats, cars, or haystacks. Tarps are available in a variety of weights or grades, denoted by their “gsm” (grams per square meter). The GSM will usually range from 70 to 280.

For example, a 70GSM tarpaulin will be much lighter and easier to carry around than a 280GSM tarpaulin. However, the trade-off is that a lighter tarpaulin will not be as durable or last as long as a heavier one.

For most purposes, a mid-weight tarp with a gsm of around 70 will suffice. If you need a heavy-duty tarp for something like covering a haystack, you’ll want one with a gsm of 120 or higher.

Common tarps are rectangular, but they can also be triangular, square, or round. The size of the tarp depends on the purpose for which it will be used.

Here is a tarpaulin chart to keep in mind when choosing the right GSM for your tarpaulin:

How to Calculate the Weight of Your Tarpaulin?

When working out the weight of your tarpaulin, you need to take into account the thickness of the fabric and the size of the tarpaulin. The weight of a tarpaulin is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). To calculate the GSM, simply divide your tarpaulin’s weight by the square meters it covers.

For example, if you have a 5mx5m tarpaulin that weighs 10kg, its GSM would be 10 ÷ 25 = 400gsm. This number can be useful when comparing different tarps, as it will give you an indication of how heavy-duty they are.

The GSM of a tarpaulin can be affected by how it is constructed, for example, a tarpaulin with multiple layers of fabric will have a higher GSM than one with only a single layer.


In conclusion, it is important to consider the GSM of your tarpaulin when selecting one for your project. The higher the GSM, the more durable and waterproof the tarpaulin will be. And be sure to consider the weight and size of your tarpaulin need. With this information in mind, you can make an informed decision and purchase the best tarpaulin for your needs. If you have any requests of tarps, please let me know, we are happy to help you.

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