These awnings will be mounted outside, as stated before, and because of this they should be made of a material that is able to withstand all forms of weather. This means that will not wear down if it is raining or sunny and should also be treated to prevent rotting, mold and mildew. The fabric itself will vary as will the color, but no matter the fabric you choose, make sure it is durable to take on the weather you have in your area.
When trying to decide between a fixed or retractable awning consider the differences. With a fixed awning, one side will be mounted to your house while the other is supported using some kind of framework, generally metal. When using a retractable awning, one side is still attached to your home, but the awning itself can be retracted or extended using either electrical or manual controls.