Levi Reeves - Feb 24, 2023

Landscape Fabric: The Ultimate Guide

Landscaping fabric, also known as landscape cloth, ground cover fabric, weed control fabric or geotextile, is a material used in landscape construction and maintenance to protect soil from erosion and reduce the growth of weeds. This type of fabric has a variety of applications, from providing ground stabilization for pathways and patios to helping create healthy turf. It helps decrease the amount of water runoff, reduces labor costs associated with weed control, and keeps outdoor areas looking clean and organized. It's crucial to comprehend the numerous sorts of fabric that are accessible and the correct installation method before starting any project. Several types of geotextile fabric are available, each having a specific function. 

Geotextile Fabric with measuring Tape

Quick Summary

What is it?
Landscape fabric is an umbrella term for various geotextile fabrics used in construction, landscaping and other applications.

Why use it
Each type of geotextile fabric has different benefits and uses. They can be used for filtration, separation, stabilization, weed block, and more. Different types of fabrics are used for different applications such as for a garden bed, gravel driveways, or for a french drain.

How to install it?

The installation method will vary basic on the application, but the general installation method is to measure how much fabric is needed, grade/prepare the soil surface, roll out the fabric, stake it down, and cover with dirt, mulch, or gravel.

What Does the Fabric Do?

Many advantages of using heavy duty landscape fabric include as a weed control fabric, soil stabilization, erosion prevention, better water drainage, and root protection. Weed seeds below the surface layer are less able to sprout and develop into undesired plants in your flower bed by stopping sunlight from reaching them. Moreover, it aids in retaining moisture, preventing rapid soil drying up and reducing compaction brought on by foot traffic. The fabric provides improved stability against cascading water flows or landslides that may otherwise occur on slopes with heavy soils, preventing soil displacement during rainstorms. Its permeability allows water to seep through while also preventing runoff, which can result in substantial erosion damage if left unchecked over time on sloped surfaces with looser soils like sand or clay mixtures.

 What are the Benefits of Geotextile Fabric?

Geotextile fabric is made from synthetic fibers that are woven or heat bonded together to form a strong webbing-like textile. It offers superior protection against weeds without affecting the quality or health of the soil. The right fabric can help prevent weed seeds from germinating while allowing air, water, and nutrients to pass through it easily.

When installing fabric correctly, it will allow moisture to move through while blocking light so that weed growth is less able to occur. Depending on your landscaping project needs, the fabrics can be laid out as sheets on top of existing soil or buried beneath mulch to further act as a weed control fabric. To ensure maximum effectiveness, geotextile fabric should be installed after grading has been done properly and before any vegetation is added during landscape construction projects.

Geotextile fabric also helps to ensure that mulch stays in its designated area instead of being washed away by rain or windy conditions. This makes for an easier time for gardeners who don't have to constantly reapply mulch after heavy rainfall events or high winds. Furthermore, this type of material is lightweight yet strong enough to withstand pressure from furniture such as patio chairs or tables without tearing or puncturing holes into it when it is covered with bark or other covering.

Garden Bed in Backyard

Raised Garden Bed

Heavy-Duty Weed Barrier Fabric

All weed barrier is the same right? Wrong! Weed barrier often gets a bad rap because of the cheap stuff you can go pickup at your local garden center. No weed barrier is 100% effective but if you use the right stuff the amount of weeds in your landscape will be greatly reduced. We sell the right stuff.

View our Weed Barrier Fabric Sizes and Pricing
Gravel on Landscape Fabric

Adding Gravel to Geotextile Fabric

Is Geotextile Fabric Waterproof?

Geotextile fabrics are composed of a variety of different materials, some waterproof in nature and some not. While certain fabrics and liners for landscaping are intended to be waterproof, some are not. Often constructed from plastic or rubber, waterproof landscaping plastic can serve as a barrier against moisture and water seepage into underlying soils. Landscape fabric itself is not waterproof and lets air and water vapor through while obstructing larger objects like loose soil.

It's crucial to take into account how much rain your area gets on a regular basis when determining whether or not to utilize a waterproofing product in your project. In order to provide enough protection against flooding and water damage over time, it is likely that a waterproof liner constructed of HDPE would be more appropriate for an appliction where a waterproof liner is required.

Is Geo Fabric Permeable?

Yes, the tiny pores in nonwoven geotextile fabric are intended to let moisture and air through while still keeping weed seeds out of the soil. Because of this, landscapers wishing to control weeds without using harsh chemicals or treatments will find permeable landscape fabric to a great solution.

In addition to allowing air pockets to form in the soil, which helps vegetation have healthier root systems, permeable landscaping fabrics can also help to reduce soil compaction. The performance and general health of your landscape will improve as a result of making sure plants have access to more oxygen.

Is Landscaping Fabric Necessary?

One of the primary uses for fabric is weed control. As a barrier between the soil and the plants you want to grow in your landscape, the cloth is effective. This helps to limit weeds from overtaking your target plants and stealing their nutrients and moisture as well as preventing their unrestrained growth. Geo fabric isn't always required for weed management, though. You might not even require landscaping cloth if you maintain consistent routines for weeding and mulching throughout your landscape.

Landscape fabric can also be used to control erosion. You can help stabilize the soil so that it doesn't move downhill during rainstorms or winter and cause issues downstream by placing the fabric on slopes where erosion might occur, such as close to roadways or around retention ponds. Moreover, the fabrics offer structural support against soil compaction and heaving, preserving soil integrity even when it is subjected to high loads like cars or outdoor furniture. Depending on the severity of any potential erosion issues in your location, fabric might be necessary in this situation.

Roll of Fabric

Roll of Non-Woven Fabric

Weed Barrier under Garden Beds

Raised Beds with Weed Barrier Fabric


Whatever plants or other things you have installed in your yard are also somewhat protected by using geo fabrics. A layer of fabric beneath any special hardscapes, such as stepping stones or stone pathways, can help prevent them from shifting out of place over time due to frost heave or other ground movement issues. For instance, installing garden edging with fabrics between them will help to prevent grasses or other unwanted plants from encroaching into what should be planted areas.

In addition to allowing air pockets to form in the soil, which helps vegetation have healthier root systems, permeable landscaping fabrics can also help to reduce soil compaction. The performance and general health of your landscape will improve as a result of making sure plants have access to more oxygen.

There are a number of things to take into account when determining whether landscaping fabric is required for a given project, including the local climate, the type of soil present, the existing vegetation types (both desirable and undesirable), local water drainage patterns, and potential uses for the land being worked on in the future (e.g., recreational areas). It is simpler to determine whether landscaping fabrics are actually necessary when all factors are taken into account, both now and in the future if applicable, together with any aesthetic preferences or practical restrictions specific to a particular project site.

Is Geo Fabric Good for Gardens?

Gardeners wishing to design a landscape that is both beautiful and productive are increasingly turning to the use of landscape fabric, commonly known as garden fabric. This landscaping cloth is intended to aid with weed management and soil moisture retention. It can also be used to divide various soil types and give a monotonous landscape some visual appeal.

Geotextile fabric has several advantages for garden landscape design. It successfully prevents weed growth while enabling water and nutrients to reach the soil, allowing plants to grow more readily without competition from weeds. This reduces care requirements. The porous properties of the fabric also lessen runoff and aid in water conservation during droughts or protracted dry spells.

Installing fabric for Landscaped Area

Adding Gravel to Geo Fabric

The capacity of garden fabric to shield plants from harsh temperatures is one of the most significant advantages of utilizing it in gardens. Landscape cloth can help keep roots cool in the summer and protect them from frost damage in the winter by obstructing direct sunlight. Moreover, landscaping cloth aids in soil insulation, which may promote better root growth.

In general, geo fabrics have several benefits for gardeners wishing to enhance their outside space. Garden fabrics are a great option for gardeners looking for cost-effective ways to save time and money while enhancing the look and feel of their outdoor space. They can reduce maintenance time and costs associated with managing weeds, protect plants from temperature extremes, and provide aesthetic value.

Is Geo Fabric Good for Soil?

The quick response is: Yes it can be. There are a variety of ways that geotextile fabric can improve soil health. By allowing for air and water infiltration, fabric aids in the retention of moisture in the soil. This aids in preserving the soil's health and nutrient content, which are essential for plant growth. Also, by limiting extreme temperature fluctuations in either way, geotextile fabrics aids in controlling soil temperature. This helps to improve the environment for your plants' root growth.

Moreover, by allowing extra water to drain away from plant roots, landscaping fabrics help to enhance drainage in your garden beds. This lessens flooding, which can harm or kill your plants by depriving their roots of oxygen. Also, it reduces salts from building up around the root zone, which over time can be detrimental to plant health.

Last but not least, geotextile fabrics aid in preventing soil erosion, which can pose serious issues with landscape upkeep. Reduced microbial activity results in a healthier garden overall since fewer weed seeds may sprout and take root in your landscape design when exposed portions of soil are covered with fabric.

To sum up, these fabrics are a good option for gardeners who want to maintain a lovely outdoor area while retaining favorable levels of soil health and guarding against erosion damage over time. Without having to worry about too many weeds or nutrient depletion in the soil structure itself, you can help to ensure that your garden remains healthy year-round by utilizing landscape materials effectively together with suitable care procedures, such as routine weeding.

Weed Cloth in Backyard

Covering Weed Cloth in Gravel

Does Landscaping Fabric Prevent Weeds?

Geotextile, commonly referred to as weed barrier, is a well-liked product for gardeners trying to lessen the amount of weeds in their landscape. This material prevents weeds from growing by letting water and nutrients through while preventing sunlight from penetrating the soil.

But does weed barrier fabric actually work?

Indeed, garden fabric can efficiently minimize existing weeds and aid in preventing the emergence of new ones. Yet, the installation and upkeep of fabric is crucial to its effectiveness. When laid correctly, forms a barrier that prevents sunlight from penetrating the soil to weed seeds. Weed seeds cannot grow in the absence of sunshine and will remain dormant until they are pulled up or eliminated using herbicides or other techniques.

Weed Barrier can be used to smother weeds in addition to limiting sunlight. You can deprive weeds of oxygen so that they finally die off by completely covering them with fabric or filling up any holes left uncovered by it. Mulch or stones should be used to weigh down the fabric so that it won't blow away during high winds or shift due to soil erosion.

But when it comes to weed barrier, not all landscape textiles are made equal. When purchasing weed block fabrics, choose more heavy duty, thicker fabrics rather than thinner ones because they are better at preventing weed growth.

Last but not least, bear in mind that weed barrier fabrics won't solve any current weed issues; if an area already has a serious weed infestation, you'll need to take steps like manually pulling them out or using herbicides to eradicate them before thinking about using these fabrics as a long-term prevention solution.

In conclusion, this fabric can kill existing weeds and stop new ones from growing—but only if it is properly installed and maintained on a regular basis. If you want to maximize the advantages of this product, make sure you get a heavy duty landscape cloth composed of thicker fabrics and ideally a hybrid woven and non-woven fabric that is ideal for weed barrier applications.

What is the Best Type of Fabric for Landscaping?

Today's market offers a wide variety of fabrics. The majority of geotextile fabrics are produced from synthetic or natural materials like polyester, polypropylene, jute, or cotton. Although natural fabrics like cotton or jute may allow for better airflow, they are not as strong as synthetic materials and synthetic materials for landscaping are typically tougher and more tear-resistant, however they do not permit as much airflow as natural fabrics.

Landscape fabrics can be further divided into strength and permeability. The fabric's ability to withstand tearing from foot traffic or other activities in your garden is determined by its strength rating; the greater the number, the more durable the fabric will be. A higher rating suggests that more moisture will be able to reach plant roots. The permeability rating shows you how much water or air can move through it.

Consider the climate it will be used in when choosing a fabric for your garden or outdoor area, and select one that offers the right balance of strength and permeability for your needs. While choosing fabric, it is important to take into account a variety of elements, such as soil type (sandy vs. heavy clay), sunlight exposure (shady vs. sunny places), humidity (dry vs. wet climates), seasonal temperature changes (cold winters vs. hot summers), and others.

Adding Paver Stones over Geo Fabric

Adding Paver Stones Over Fabric

It's important to keep in mind that some fabrics function best when laid over an existing layer of gravel or small stones because this keeps them in place and ensures proper drainage for water runoff from irrigation systems or rainstorms, which helps prevent erosion brought on by extreme weather or strong winds.

In conclusion, there isn't a single "optimal" kind of geotextile fabric for every circumstance; instead, each setting calls for a customized approach to provide your soil and plants the greatest efficiency and safety. It is feasible to discover a fabric ideal for every landscaping project, though, if parameters like weight capacity requirements, permeability ratings, UV resistance levels, etc. are carefully taken into account.


Fabric under edging

Adding Sand to Fabric and Edging

What is this Fabric Made From?

Geotextile fabric is a type of geotextile used to cover the soil and provide erosion control, weed suppression, and soil stabilization. Woven and non-woven fabrics are made from polypropylene or polyethylene plastics that are durable and resist degradation from UV exposure, chemicals, acids, and alkalis found in soil.

Woven fabric is made up of a network of plastic fibers woven together. This type of fabric has superior tear strength compared to non-woven fabrics due to the interlocking nature of the weave. The tight weave also helps keep out light which prevents weeds from growing through it. Woven fabric also holds up better in areas with more traffic such as around gravel road driveways.

Non-woven fabrics are made from polypropylene fibers that have been thermally bonded together without weaving them and have an almost felt like appearance. Non-woven fabrics are very resistant to punctures, tears, and rips which makes them great for use in sloped or rough terrain where foot traffic can cause damage to other types of fabrics. Non-woven fabrics also allow water and air to flow freely through them.

How Long Will the Fabric Last?

In optimal conditions, geotextile fabric will hold up for several years. Proper installation and maintenance of the fabric can add longevity to its lifespan. After installing the fabric, it’s important to apply a top layer of organic mulch or rock over the fabric to protect it from UV light. Additionally, the fabrics should be inspected annually for rips or tears that might occur due to normal wear and tear or extreme weather events like heavy storms or strong winds.

The durability of the fabrics will vary based on their material type. Popular degradable fabrics are made from polypropylene plastic fibers which are treated with ultraviolet inhibitors to enhance longevity against sun exposure. Synthetic non-woven fabrics are composed of polyester filaments with similar UV stabilized protection treatments that may last up to 15 years in ideal conditions such as those found in residential gardens with moderate climates and minimal stress on the material due to roots and foot traffic.

Raised Garden Beds

Planter Bed Walkway

While geotextile fabric has many benefits, it’s important to keep an eye on its condition as it ages. Some signs that you may need to replace the fabric include discoloration, ripping or tearing along the edges, or areas where weeds seem to pop through more easily than usual. Taking the time each year to inspect your geotextile fabric and make repairs when necessary can ensure that your garden stays weed-free and healthy for many years.

Types of Geotextile Fabrics

There are two main types of landscape fabric (geotextile fabric). They are woven and non-woven. There are more sub-categories of fabric under each of these umbrella terms but most fit broadly into being a woven or non-woven fabric. Each has its own strengths, weaknesses and applications that they are best used in. These fabrics are often colloquially called different names, but usually fall into one of these two categories.

Woven Fabric on side of house

Installing Woven Fabric


Woven fabric is created by blending synthetic fibers like nylon or polypropylene into a type weave. It is used in a number of contexts, including road construction and landscaping. These materials are typically utilized to safeguard and maintain the ground.

Woven geotextile fabric can be used to separate two materials, such as sand, gravel, and concrete, in addition to supporting soil. This significantly lowers the likelihood of the two layers coming together, which could otherwise lead to expensive issues.

Woven geotextile fabric has many advantages due to its tensile strength and durability. Different materials are kept separated throughout construction projects thanks to the fabric's capacity to separate them.

Considering everything, woven geotextile fabric has a number of benefits that make it a useful product in a variety of applications, from engineering to gardening.


Non-woven fabric is constructed of needle punch polypropylene fibers. It is generally used in geotechnical engineering applications such ground covering, soil stabilization, and debris or water filtration. Non-woven geotextiles are frequently used to reinforce driveways, embankments, slopes, retaining walls, and other structures.

Non-woven geotextile fabric is ideal for long-term use in challenging environments due to its strength and permeability. Its distinctive design provides great tensile strength, UV stabilized benefits, and resistance to chemical exposure. This fabric is a popular option for drainage applications where water movement needs to be restricted because of its breathable nature.

Furthermore offering high filtering capabilities, this adaptable fabric is a good option for separating soils with various characteristics, such as those containing clay and sand particles. Although functioning as a filter, the cloth also permits fast passage of liquids like water. Many geotechnical projects, such as groundwater management systems and slope stabilization, have found this feature to be of great benefit. It is commonly used for rip-rap projects, and French drains as well.

In comparison to other textiles available on the market today, non-woven geotextile fabric is an exceptionally adaptable and strong material that provides superior strength and protection when you also need high permeability.

Its lightweight construction makes installation simple, and with the right installation, its resistance against UV radiation and chemical exposure ensures that it will last for years. Also, thanks to its great drainage characteristics, water can move quickly without building up on surfaces like driveways or roadways. A long-term benefit of purchasing high-quality geotextile fabric is that it will give your project more stability, toughness, and lifespan.

What is the Best Way to Store Fabric?

For geofabric to remain in good shape and last as long as possible, correct storage is crucial. Landscape fabric's efficiency and life duration can be shortened by damage caused by improper storage. Proper storage and upkeep are required to guarantee that the fabric is preserved and functions as intended.

Landscape cloth should always be rolled up firmly with the wrong side facing out when storing it. This will prevent the fabric from wrinkling or creasing, which could reduce its durability while exposed to the elements or when in use. In order to provide UV protection or water infiltration damage, fabric should also be stored away from direct sunlight and moisture sources.

Roll of Non-Woven Fabric at Warehouse

Non-Woven Fabric Roll

Storage Details

Geotextile fabrics should always be stored outdoors on a flat surface protected by a tarp or other materials to keep them from the elements. Geotextile fabrics that are laid directly on top of wet soil may grow damp over time, weakening their structural integrity. Also, outdoor storage areas need to be free of any debris that could pierce the material while you're working with it, including twigs or leaves.

The fabrics can quickly deteriorate from exposure to UV radiation and moisture infiltration if they are left outside for lengthy periods of time without any form of coverings or protection from direct sunlight.

When not in use, keep your landscape textiles cool, dry, and out of sunlight and other moisture sources. Also, maintain them clean by sweeping off dust frequently before putting them back in storage to extend their longevity.

Spreading Rocks over Fabric

Spreading Rocks over Geotextile Fabric

Step by Step Fabric Installation Guide:

  • Begin by planning the size and shape of your landscape area. Measure the space and mark off how much material you will need with stakes and string.
  • Prepare the landscape by removing any existing weeds, roots, stones, or other debris from the soil surface. It is also important to level out slopes and fill in low spots with soil so that the fabric will sit evenly once laid down.
  • Once you have prepared the landscape surface, it’s time to cut the fabric to fit your space. Make sure to leave at least six inches of extra material around all sides when cutting so there is plenty of room for overlapping during installation.
  • Start laying down the fabric in one corner of your area and make sure it lies flat without bunching up as you move along. The edges should overlap each other by six to twelve inches if you’re using multiple pieces of fabric to cover a large area so they form a seal against weeds getting through any gaps between seams.
  • If needed, use landscaping staples or pins to secure the fabric in place before covering it with soil (Note: Not all fabrics require this step). Be sure not to puncture drainage holes in the fabric as you apply staples or pins.
  • To further increase weed resistance, consider applying a light spray-on herbicide along the edges where weeds are more likely to take hold – just make sure not to saturate it too heavily as this can damage plants near the sprayed areas if done wrong.
  • Finally, top off your fabric installation with a layer of soil or bark overtop – this helps protect against UV radiation while adding essential nutrients back into your newly landscaped area as well! Be sure not to pile on too much covering though – aim for 2–3 inches deep only.

What You'll Need to Install Fabric

You’ll need geotextile fabric, which is also called geotextile. This material is available in rolls of varying sizes, so you’ll need to measure your area first before buying enough fabric for the job. Generally, the fabric should be several inches larger than your area so that it overlaps onto adjacent sections, allowing for secure installation. In addition, the fabric should always have an overlap of 6 inches or more when installing multiple pieces.

You will also need a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife in order to cut strips of fabric that fit properly around curves or corners in your design. If you are planning to edge your landscape bed with bricks or other masonry products, you may need wire stakes as well as staples or pins to secure the fabric and create a better bond between materials.

Lastly, you may want to consider purchasing a specialized tool designed specifically for laying geo fabric such as a turf barrow or roller. These tools help speed up the process of laying the ground cover fabrics and make it easier for one person working alone without assistance from others. With all these supplies at hand, you will be ready to install fabrics like a pro!

Hammering in landscape staple

Landscape Staples to Secure Fabric