Garviks retractable pergola canopy - various colors and sizes

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A Garviks HDPE retractable canopy is perfect for your garden, patio or for restaurants. Can be mounted in almost any pergola. Several sizes - 3 colors

Garviks retractable pergola canopy - various colors and sizes

Retractable pergola canopy - Garviks

A retractable pergola canopy from Garviks is easy to install in almost any pergola. It is also possible to install the retractable pergola canopy in between two walls, very easy, you do not even need to build a pergola.
Good protection against the sun, available in different sizes and three different colours. Be sure to sit in the shade this summer !

How does a retractable pergola canopy work? How does a retractable pergola canopy work?

How does a retractable percola canopy work?

A retractable pergola canopy slides over steel cables stretched between the beams of a pergola or 2 walls. You could even put posts in the ground and tension the cables between them.

There are metal eyelets in the retractable pergola canopy through which the cables run.

Aluminium ribs (rods) are slid across the width of the pergola cover, under the eyelets, to keep the pergola cover hanging straight.

You attach a rope to the pergola cover, which runs between pulleys. By pulling the rope, you can slide a pergola cover open and closed. The retractable pergola canopy is then folded and slid in 1 direction. During assembly, you can choose yourself to which side the fabric should slide open and closed and on which side you want the pulleys with the rope (the rope should always be on the side where the pergola cover is folded, but can be to the left or right of the pergola).

On the picture you can see the steel tension cables where the pergola cover hangs and the white rope that comes down and runs over the pulleys at the top.

HDPE pergola cover HDPE pergola cover

What are the advantages of a pergola cover?

I personally like the shade of a retractable pergola canopy more than a closed one. Because some light gets through, it looks like you are sitting under the canopy of a tree, the sunlight shining through. This makes you less confined and still enjoy a little of the sun. I know from experience that you still get a tan under a retractable pergola canopy, although of course much more slowly than in the full sun. After all, 95% of the rays are filtered out.

Another advantage of a pergola cover is that you can also slide it half open and closed. You can't do that with a fixed pergola canopy. At our house, there is often discussion because one half of the table wants to sit in the sun and the other half does not. Well, you get rid of that too, just open the pergola cover halfway, then everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to sit in the sun or not! ;-)

A retractable pergola canopy made of HDPE is not tightly woven, so there are small holes between the threads of the cloth. The advantage of this is that warm air can rise under the pergola cover through the holes and does not get trapped. This provides extra cooling on hot days!
The pergola cover also allows some sunlight through, but still blocks up to 95% of harmful UV radiation. 

On the picture you can see in detail how the HDPE threads are woven into the pergola cover fabric. HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) is a very strong plastic that is protected against UV radiation.

Where can I buy a pergola cover?

Buying a pergola cover is of course something you do at!

We have been working with these pergola covers since 2009 and I have installed dozens of retractable pergola canopies at customers' premises. As a result, we know what we are talking about and can advise you better. We don't install them anymore, we don't have the time now.

But that doesn't matter, you can easily buy and install a retractable pergola canopy yourself, saving you a lot of money. Read the installation tips below and watch the video, so you can do it too.

Dimensions retractable pergola canopyDimensions retractable pergola canopy

In what sizes can a pergola cover be bought?

A pergola cover is for sale in 3 different widths and 3 different lengths, as you can see in the pictures.

The width is fixed and cannot be changed. Keep in mind that you need to leave at least 5 cm free space on each side. That may be a bit more, 10 or 15 cm doesn't look strange, from 20 cm you really start to see a gap between the pergola cover and the pergola or wall, but that doesn't have to be disturbing either.

Do you have a terrace against the house of, say, 340cm wide? Then you can easily use a 290cm wide pergola cover in a Lean to pergola .

Let's do the maths:

  • terrace 340cm wide
  • minus the width of the beam of the pergola (9 or 14cm): 340 - 9 = 331cm
  • minus at least 5cm clearance, but when you have plenty of room I would recommend at least 10cm: 331 - 10 = 321cm
  • minus the width of the pergola cover 290cm: 321 - 290 = 31cm
  • That leaves 31cm of free space on the wall side.

31cm of free space between the pergola cover and the wall of your house is really not much, it can easily be more. At my house it's even more than 50cm, which leaves enough space for the outdoor lamps hanging against the wall.
The sun is never exactly straight above the pergola and thus falls obliquely against the wall. On the ground, there is then just shade. Also, you are hardly ever tight against the wall. Even if some sun gets between the awning and the wall, you will still be sitting slightly away from the wall in the shade.
The table below shows the minimum free width needed, more is no problem. (For your convenience, we have also added the number of steel cables in the pergola cover fabric, so you know immediately how many are needed.)

Longitudinally, you don't need to keep a free space. The length is variable. If, for example, you hang a 500cm retractable pergola canopy in a free space of 470cm, this is not a problem. The pergola cover will simply slide open a little less and stay wavy when fully extended.

Longer than 500cm is not possible. The forces on the tension cables will then be too great and thepergola cover will sag. If the length exceeds 500cm, an intermediate beam must be installed between two fabrics. That's no problem for Vinuovo, we simply adapt your pergola to it. For a lean-to pergola, we can make a 10-metre-long pergola with just 3 posts! (In the case of a free-standing pergola, that obviously means 6 posts, 3 on each side).


Width of pergola cover Minimal free width Pergola cover length Suitable for a free length of:
200cm (2 steel cables) 210cm 300cm 200 to 300cm
200cm (2 steel cables) 210cm 400cm 300 to 400cm
200cm (2 steel cables) 210cm 500cm 400 to 500cm
290cm (3 steel cables) 300cm 300cm 200 to 300cm
290cm (3 steel cables) 300cm 400cm 300 to 400cm
290cm (3 steel cables) 300cm 500cm 400 to 500cm
370cm (4 steel cables) 380cm 370cm 300 to 370cm
370cm (4 steel cables) 380cm 500cm 400 to 500cm


Which colour do you choose for your retractable pergola canopy?

Choosing a colour can be difficult, especially when you can not see ithe fabric for real.

We have tried to make as realistic pictures as possible, however, the colour dislayed on the svreen of you pc or your telephone can be slightly different in real.

Garviks and Nesling both supply 3 colours for a pergola cover, and they call them the same; Off-white, sand and anthracite. The colours are also pretty much the same:

  • Anthracite is the same on both brands, really no difference to be seen!
  • Off-white is pretty much the same, only the binding thread is a touch darker on Garviks, but you have to look very closely to see the difference...
  • Sand does vary a lot, Nesling's is much darker and browner, Garviks' sand is a bit lighter and yellower.

View the photos below and choose the colour of your pergola cover:

Pergola cover Off-white - Garviks left, Nesling right Pergola cover Off-white - Garviks left, Nesling right
Off-white - Garviks left, Nesling right
Pergola cover colour sand - Nesling left below, Garviks is the clearer fabric Pergola cover colour sand - Nesling left below, Garviks is the clearer fabric
Pergola cover colour sand - Nesling left below, Garviks is the clearer fabric
Pergola cover anthracite - exact same colour for Garviks and Nesling Pergola cover anthracite - exact same colour for Garviks and Nesling
Pergola cover anthracite - exact same colour for Garviks and Nesling

When buying a retractable pergola canopy from Vinuovo, will you have everything you need?

In principle, yes, it depends a bit on how you want to install the pergola cover.
The standard packaging of a retractable pergola canopy includes the following materials:

  • 1 Garviks retractable pergola canopy
  • The aluminium ribs in the right size (these are the aluminium rods that are slid across the pergola cover to make sure it hangs straight)
  • The stainless steel cables with tensioners and fixing brackets. These cables are stretched lengthwise between the beams of your pergola or walls, the retractable pergola canopy slides underneath.
  • pulleys, rope, a tiewrap and a hook to wrap the rope around when you have slid the pergola cover open or closed.
  • stainless steel screws to secure anything in wood. But, be careful with these screws! I personally find the screws supplied by Nesling and Garviks to be of poor quality. In softwood it's okay, but I have broken many of them in the past. When fastened in hardwood, you can forget it altogether, they will all break off! I therefore recommend ordering good screws and throwing away those from Garviks or Nesling. Below you will find a table with the number and type of screws you need per size pergola cover.

Number and type of screw for fixing a pergola cover:

Width of the harmonica fabric Decking screw 5x60mm - Reisser RT UT
(for fixing the cable tensioners)
Retinox 2plus stainless steel screw 4.5x45mm-Reisser
(for fixing the other parts)
200cm 8 pieces 12pieces
290cm 12pieces 12pieces
370cm 16pieces 20pieces


If you want to attach a pergola cover to a wall you will need different materials, you can read more about that on our page: Pergola canopy.

How to clean a retractable pergola canopy?

With a brush and a bit of green soap. I myself have been cleaning the pergola cover with the pressure washer for years. Don't get too close, you might damage it! Using the pressure washer is at your own risk ;-)

Can I remove the retractable pergola canopy in wintertime?

Yes, you could remove a pergola cover in winter. But; Then you have to take this into account during installation! When you tension up the steel cables, cut off the excess afterwards. When you loosen the tensioners to take the fabric off, the cable may have become too short to easily stretch it again! Want to remove the pergola cover in winter? Then leave enough cable in place when installing it.

Is there any protective cover for a retractable pergola canopy?

Yes, both Garviks and Nesling sell protective covers in widths of 200 / 290 / 370cm. These protective covers are easily attached with Velcro and allow the fabric to ventilate. This costs a bit more, but is really recommended! A protective cover for a retractable pergola canopy is much easier than removing or cleaning the fabric, especially if there are a lot of leaves on it.

Can a retractable pergola canopy be custom-made?

It could be done and we have had it done in the past. However, the price would then be doubled and usually you can get by with a standard pergola cover. Read above in the chapter: "What sizes can a retractable pergola canopy be bought in?" How flexible you can be with the standard sizes.

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