Process of a Custom Canvas

The Process

  1. After receiving all of the customers information, project details and deposit, we are able to start the process of creating their canvas. The first thing we do in our process is take measurements using our digitized canvas measuring system. This measuring system is a quick and efficient way to make a template of the boat without needing the actual boat or old canvas at our shop.
  2. After measuring the boat, we use the measurements to create the digital template on the computer. From there we are then able to start cutting the fabrics using an automated fabric cutting table. Once the fabric is cut the seamstresses get to work sewing it all together, and the hardware is added.
  3. Now that the project is complete our team installs the canvas onto the boat. If necessary, the canvas may be brought back for minor adjustments. It’s as simple as that!


Chicago Marine Canvas uses the most advanced measuring and manufacturing processes available to the industry today. Our digitized canvas measuring process uses laser technology that gives us pinpoint accurate dimensions. Which then translates to a 3D template of your boat and new cover.

This not only gives you a perfectly tight boat canvas, but it also reduces our manufacturing time by up to 80% which saves you money.

We have used this process for full enclosures, cockpit covers, framing upholstery (new and reupholster), eisenglass window replacement, carpeting and much more. Please view at some recent projects we’ve worked on to see the results.

Our Marine Fabricator Magazine Article

Recently we had an article published in the Marine Fabricator magazine. 

Throughout the article we shared the different aspects that went on behind the scenes when switching to a new location.

Check out the article here to learn what we did when switching to a location nearly triple the size of our old one. 

Benefits on Non-Slip Fabrics for Marine Use

Non-Slip Custom Embroidered Boarding Mat

Chicago Marine Canvas offers one-of-a-kind fiberglass friendly non-slip fabrics which can be used on anything, you name it! There are many projects that can be done using non-slip fabrics. Such as non-slip custom embroidered boarding mats and non-slip cushion bottoms.

Non-slip fabrics are easy to put into place and remove. Which is perfect for a quick and temporary reusable solution. Or to move and use throughout the boat over time. Since there is no drilling into the fiberglass, the non-slip material can be placed on any surface with ease and no leftover damage.

Non-slip materials also help keep your boat clean when guest board your luxury yacht. Boarding mats can be placed down moments before a guest boards and be easily cleaned at the end of the day. Like the name states, the non-slip mats will keep people from slipping while keeping the boat nice and clean.

Any project, such as the boarding mat, can be embroidered with a personal custom design using our embroidering machine. Which adds a personal branded touch to any boat.

Non-Slip Cushion Bottom












28' Skater Speedboat - Exterior Upholstery by Chicago Marine Canvas

Chicago Marine Canvas Wins Twin 2019 Outstanding Achievement Awards

58' Bayliner Pilothouse - Canvas Enclosure by Chicago Marine Canvas
58′ Bayliner Pilothouse – Canvas Enclosure

(Long Beach, CA – Jan. 12, 2019) – Chicago Marine Canvas was recognized with the 2019 Fabrication Excellence Awards for design excellence in marine fabric applications, that took place Jan. 12th at the 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

Chicago Marine Canvas received two Awards of Excellence.   The first for it’s The Labor Day Weekend Show project which was recognized in the competition’s soft enclosures category.  The second for A “Skater” with Style in the exterior upholstery category.  

MFA received a total of 90 entries submitted in 9 categories in this year’s competition. Winners were selected based on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and function. Judges were certified Master Fabric Craftsman professionals who were chosen for their knowledge in a particular product area.

28' Skater Boat - Captain Chair
28′ Skater Boat – Captain Chair

All entries receive prominent recognition at the Marine Fabricators Conference. Entrants receive additional publicity through coverage in the Marine Fabricator and winners not only receive additional coverage in the Marine Fabricatorbut also on the MFA website and in future MFA marketing material.

The goal of the awards is to promote awareness of the marine fabrics used in marine products and applications ranging in size and type.

The Fabrication Excellence Awards is a competition sponsored by MFA, a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a not-for-profit trade association whose over 1,500-member companies represent the international specialty fabrics and technical textiles marketplace.

58' Bayliner Pilothouse Bridge - Canvas Enclosure by Chicago Marine Canvas
58′ Bayliner Pilothouse Bridge

Private Jet Service Carpet Runner

Private Jet Service Carpet RunnerThis past winter, Chicago Executive Airport contacted us, asking if we could do a carpet runner for one of their private jets. The Embraer Legacy 500 is a 12 passenger luxury jet with a 6 foot high cabin, fully berthing seats, and low cabin noise to make sure your journey is enjoyable. These customers wanted a floor runner for when the jet is in the hanger.

The first step to our process is heading out to the airplane to take measurements. This is a quick and easy process for us because of our 3D measuring device. It helps us precisely take measurements of the interior flooring of your jet, to ensure every millimeter will be covered. After we gather all the Private Jet Service Carpet Runnermeasurements we need, we head back to our shop and start our design process. Here we use CAD (Computer-Aided- Design) Software to prepare our pattern for our seamstress. Finally, once we finish up our design process, we send the pattern over to our plotter. Which consequently draws out each piece to the pattern quickly and perfectly as a result.Private Jet Service Carpet Runner

For this service carpet runner, we used Grand Reserva vinyl. This vinyl has a polyester microsuede backing, so it is soft yet durable on both the front, Private Jet Service Carpet Runnerand the back. Above all, this is an aircraft certified vinyl that is flame resistant, anti-microable, and anti-bacterial.  Most noteworthy, you can clean this fabric with just a mild soap and water. We used Solarfix thread on this carpet runner. SolarFix has a lifetime guarantee. It is UV, chemical, and weather resistant.

Right now, we are currently in the process to begin to work on aircraft upholstery through the FAA! This is super exciting and allows us to open our doors to the aircraft world!

Dingy Cover For Galeon 560 Skydeck

Dingy CoverThis 2017 Galeon 560 Yacht  needed a new dingy cover.

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas we specialize in custom covers therefore, none of our covers are the same. They are all different to ensure that each one fits the boat in need properly. We also use many labor-saving tools that help us do things quickly. This saves you money at the end of the day on the perfect cover.

Dingy CoverThe first step to our process is to head out to your boat to take measurements with our 3D measuring device. After we gather precise measurements we head back to the shop to start our design process on the computer. We do all of our design work using CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) Software. Because we are working on the computer we can see exactly what we are creating in 3D. This allows us to create the perfect fitting cover for your boat. After the cover is designed, we draw it out using our plotter. This draws out all the pieces of the pattern perfectly so our seamstress can sew it up!

Dingy CoverThis dingy cover was created out of Stamoid. Stamoid is a great material to make a boat cover out of. It is water, UV, and stain resistant. We used SolarFix thread in clear to sew this all together. Solarfix is a PTF thread which is also, UV, chemical, and mildew resistant. Which means, that you’d never have to bring your new dingy cover in for restitching after it’s been out in the sun for a few summers! Finally, on the bottom of the cover we did a draw cord. As a result, the cover can tighten around the dingy keeping the cover nice and secure, and your boat dry!

Sailboat: Dodger, Helm Cover, Winch Covers, Sail Cover

Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch CoversFor this sailboat we created a custom dodger, helm cover, winch covers and sail cover.

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas, everything we do is custom. We use many cost-effective, labor-saving tools that help us speed up the process, therefore you save some money. This also helps us make sure that your cover will fit perfectly when it comes to install time!

The first thing we do to begin our process is journey out to your boat. Once we get Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Coversthere we use our 3D measuring device to take precise pinpoint measurements. After we gather all of those, we head back to our shop where our designer gets to work. We use CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) Software during our design process. On the computer we can see the thing we can see the design in 3D.Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Covers

Making sure everything matched in color, we used Sunbrella fabric in the color toast. Sunbrella is one of our favorite marine fabrics to use when it comes to canvas, it comes with 10 year warranty. For all the things we sewed up for this job, we used  SolarFix thread in clear, which has a lifetime guarantee. This means, no more restitching after your new canvas has been out in the sun for a few years! This thread will outlast the canvas it self!

We made sure to add leather reinforcement patches on the forward and aft areas of the dodger where Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Coversthere would be high amounts of friction on the sailboat. For the windows of this dodger we used Strataglass. Strataglass is the only vinyl on the market that offers a 2 year warranty if it is properly maintained and cleaned.

For this sailboat we also made matching winch covers out of sunbrella fabric as well as a matching helm cover!

Reclining Dual Sunpads

Reclining Dual SunpadsWe created some custom reclining dual sunpads we created for this Cruisers Yacht 390 SC just in time for the Chicago Air and Water Show!!! The Chicago Air and Water Show is the largest free show, of its kind in the country! It happens right on and above Lake Michigan at North Ave. Beach.

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas, we can create anything quickly and efficiently many of our labor-saving tools. We start off all of our projects by going on site to take pinpoint measurements with our 3D measuring device. After we gather the Reclining Dual Sunpadsmeasurements, we head back to our shop and start our design process. We do all of our design work using CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) Software. This allows us to visually see the piece on hand, before we start to psychically put it together. For these sunpads, the customers wanted something that could lay completely flat, as well as sit up to watch the show in front of them.

For these sunpads we used Sunbrella upholstery fabric in Adaptation Indigo. Sunbrella upholstery fabrics come with a 5 year limited warranty and is super easy to clean! upholstery fabric is easy to clean! You can brush off any loose debris before it becomes embedded into the fabric. If you spill anything on the fabric, you can spot clean it before stains set by blotting the spill with a dry cloth. For more information on how to clean up other spills click this link!  The bottom layer of these sunpads are fabricated out of a white screen that helps with water drainage. So when it rains, your sunpads wont stay wet, the water will drain out of the bottom easily!Reclining Dual Sunpads

We also used Drifast foam for these two sunpads. Drifast is a open celled foam that allows water to flow through it instead of absorbing it. So if it rains, these cushions will dry out faster then others with different foam. To ensure that your sunpads wont go flying off  your boat when cruising on Lake Michigan we attached a kedar track to the front and sides of these sunpads.

These two sunpads can lay completely flat, and recline up into three different positions. If you have a flat deck where your sunpad would sit, these recliners can be custom made for your boat.

Woven Vinyl Flooring

Infinity Woven Vinyl Flooring By Chicago Marine CanvasOne of the things we offer here at Chicago Marine Canvas is luxury flooring. Now a days with technological advances in textiles, people aren’t putting regular pile carpet on their boats anymore. It doesn’t last as long, it easily gets moldy, it retains water, gets dirty fast, and doesn’t seem to last long. The product we use is by a company named Infinity which produces a woven vinyl flooring.

Infinity Woven Vinyl Flooring By Chicago Marine CanvasHere at Chicago Marine Canvas, we use lots of labor-saving, cost-effective tools which helps us lower the cost of our services we offer to our customers. One of those tools we use is our 3D measuring device. We use this to take all of our measurements quickly and efficiently. When it comes to flooring we head out to your boat and map out the whole flooring area that you want covered, making sure that we get the tightest fit possible, so that your new flooring looks how it should, like it was custom made for your boat. After we gather all of our measurements needed, we head back to the shop and start the design process. All of our design work is done on the computer using Infinity Woven Vinyl Flooring By Chicago Marine CanvasCAD (Computer-Aided-Design) software. This allows us to see the end product ahead of time, allowing us to make any minor adjustments we may need to before we go out to install your new product. It really helps us speed up the install process because it cuts our installs down to a one time thing instead of a multiple trip one. After we do all of our design work on the computer,mapping out your new custom flooring we send our design over to our plotter and draw out a template. Our plotter is another one of our special tools we use here at Chicago Marine Canvas. It helps us quickly and precisely draw out whatever we need it to, that way everything is perfect! Once our templates are all Infinity Woven Vinyl Flooring By Chicago Marine Canvasdrawn out, we cut them to size and lay out your new flooring. We make sure the pattern is all going the right way, so everything will look nice and neat once we install the new flooring on your boat. We trace out the pieces of the flooring, and then we cut it all out using our electric cutting knife. The pattern picked out for this boat is called Boucle #9.Then we bind all the edges of the flooring with Sunbrella binding in charcoal grey. After that we roll it up and bring it back out to your boat for installation.

Infinity Woven Vinyl comes with a 10 year warranty. This product is 100% recyclable and is certifiably green! It is anti-mircobial allowing no bacterial or mold growth. It is soil and stain resistant. It doesn’t get trashed by bird or spider defecation and is easy to clean!


Cruisers Rogue 3175

This Cruisers Rogue 3175 was in need of a new bimini. Biminis are great for keeping you out of the sun when you are out on the water, they even keep you dry if you get caught out in a storm.

Cruisers Rogue 3175 Bimini By Chicago Marine CanvasAll of our covers,  biminis, enclosures, and upholstery work is custom made. We work this way because each boat has different framing which means each boat is different and we want your new canvas to fit like a glove!

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas we use a bunch of labor-saving, cost-effective tools. The first step of our process involves us going to to your boat and taking measurements with our 3D measuring device. Using this tool speeds up our measuring process so we have more time to work on your custom design!

After we gather all the measurements, we go back to the shop and upload them to the computer. We do all of our design work using CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) software, that way we can make all the proper adjustments a head of time, as well as see visually how the design is going to turn out.

Once we finalize the design, we send over all the pieces of your new cover to our plotter. Our plotter draws out all of the pieces of your cover. This is another one of our labor-saving, cost-effective tools. With our plotter we can quickly draw out new designs in minutes rather then hours. This saves us time and you money in the end. After our plotter is finished, our seamstress cuts everything out, and begins the sewing process.

For this bimini we used Sunbrella fabric in black. We love using Sunbrella fabric! It is fade resistant and has a 10 year warranty! To sew everything up we  used GORE Tenara thread in black. GORE Tenara thread has a lifetime warranty! That means you can say good-bye to restitching and repairs! This thread doesn’t get eaten by the sun, water, or exposure to other outside elements. We used Lenzip zippers for this bimini. Lenzip also has a lifetime guarantee on zippers. No more zipper teeth breaking, no more zippers loosing their zip! We finished off this bimini with Sunbrella black binding to make sure theres no fraying of any canvas, that way it lasts!