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The Fence Post

The 4 Main Types of Wire Mesh Fencing Materials

April 21, 2017 | by Debbie Page

woven wire fencing materials


When researching the type of wire fence you want to purchase, there are many things you want to consider before making a decision. Have you thought about the following?

  • Aesthetic considerations - how important is appearance?
  • Function is a significant factor - what do you want to keep in or out?
  • Cost is important - should you buy the least expensive product or invest in fencing material that will last a long time and save on the future expenses and labor of early replacement?
  • Country of origin may be something you want to take into account - is there any connection between the quality of a fence and where it is made?
  • Topography of the site should be considered - are there irregularities in the ground's surface where the fence will be located?
  • Manufacturing method is important - is a welded product a better choice than a woven fence mesh?

When making a decision about which wire fencing material to use, one of the most important aspects to take into account is the type of "finish" the wire has. There are four basic types:

  1. GBW - Galvanized Before Weld and Galvanized Before Weave
  2. GAW - Galvanized After Weld and Galvanized After Weave
  3. VC - Vinyl Coated welded and woven
  4. SS - Stainless Steel and other alloys.
A professional fence installer in your area can help you make an informed decision.


Galvanized before wire fences can be either welded or woven. Galvanized wire is used to manufacture the mesh.

Welded products - the zinc coating is burnt off during the welding process. The welded points where the horizontal and vertical wires intersect are left unprotected and exposed to rust and corrosion. In wet weather, moisture tends to collect at the joint, hastening the process. While it is true that zinc can "flow" from the areas adjacent to the burnt intersection, the weld spot never regains it's full protection. These are the types you see in your local building supply store and garden center. Differences in gauge, mesh opening size and height are considerable. You can find a product that will meet your needs. It is important to keep in mind the fact that these items have a limited lifetime. Welded GBW fencing materials are relatively inexpensive and utilitarian.

Woven products - these do not have any welded areas and therefore do not have the same vulnerability. These range from light weight hex netting up to field fence and heavy gauge woven high tensile deer and wildlife fence. The heavier fences have an extended lifetime, especially those with Class 3 galvanizing.


Galvanized after fencing materials are galvanized after the welding or weaving process. The mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc which thoroughly seals the wire, including the welded and woven areas. These products are heavily protected from rust and corrosion and have an extended lifetime that far exceeds the lifetime of the same products with GBW finish. You can tell if a product is galvanized after by looking at the welded and woven areas. You can actually see how the zinc seals the areas. GAW items are initially more expensive. However when you consider the extra material and labor cost of replacement, the higher initial cost of GAW meshes can be justified.

GAW fencing is more specialized and therefore are not as easy to find at retail stores. The welded meshes are often used in making animal cages. They are ideal to use in areas where there is constant moisture or exposure to corrosion. There is an even wider range of choices in wire gauge, mesh size and widths due to the more specialized end uses of these items. The GAW hex netting meshes are often used in salt water applications and in building game bird pens - areas where long life is sought and appreciated.


Vinyl coated fencing materials are coated with either polyester or PVC after the welding or weaving process. The most common colors are black and green. Black color is the most unobtrusive. It blends with the background, becoming virtually invisible. As with GAW products, the vinyl coating thoroughly coats the entire mesh, sealing it against rust and corrosion. The additional cost is offset by longer life expectancy and more attractive appearance. Many different specifications are widely available in retail stores. The vinyl makes them aesthetically pleasing.

As with any products, there are different quality grades available. The least expensive products do not bond the vinyl securely to the wire. The vinyl is easily cut and can then be peeled off the wire with your fingers. The higher quality grades have vinyl coating that is tightly bonded to the wire and resists scraping, even with a knife. And there are products available that have the double protection of GAW wire under the coating. These offer the longest lasting meshes available. As always, higher quality means higher cost. You get what you pay for. Higher intiial cost can save you money over the life of the mesh.

In addition to the regular generic retail items, there is a wide range of gauge and mesh opening size specialty items not available in stores. There are welded meshes used in lobster traps, safety mesh in railings, animal cages and other unique applications. Woven hex mehses are used in such things as bird pens and deer fence.

SS and other alloys

Stainless steel fencing materials are perhaps the most specialized type available. They have the advantage of being resistant to rust, corrosion and other environmental stressors. Stainless steel welded wire meshes have often been used as fences in coastal areas. They are quite expensive and can be difficult to impossible to obtain at retail stores. Their appearance is more utilitarian than attractive. These items have an extended lifetime. Other alloys such as copper are also available in a variety of gauges, mesh sizes and weaving styles.

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Topics: fencing materials

Gallery of Chicken Wire Art

April 14, 2017 | by Debbie Page

In 2012 we came across an Austrian chicken wire artist and highlighted him in this blog post. The post was wildly popular and we continue to receive many questions about the uses of chicken wire. Today, we are sharing some of our favorite photos of chicken wire art.

But first, you should know a few things about chicken wire. 

The most common specifications of chicken wire available are made using 20 gauge wire woven into 1" or 2" hexagonal mesh. Other types available are 1/2" x 22 gauge, 1" x 18 gauge and 1-1/2 x 17gauge.

Finishes available are: galvanized before weave (GBW), galvanized after weave (GAW) and PVC vinyl coated (VC). Not all specifications are available in all finishes.

This fencing material is ideal for use around home, farm, and in industrial applications - any place where a lighter weight mesh can be used. Conventional uses include:

  • deer fence
  • craft projects
  • stucco netting
  • window guards
  • game bird flight pens
  • garden perimeter fence
  • tree and shrub protection
  • holding insulation in place
  • exclusion barriers for birds
  • chicken runs and poultry houses
  • trellis for climbing plants & flowers
  • backing mesh for post and rail fence
  • framework for sculpture and float decorations

Now it's time to explore some examples of what people are creating with hexagonal netting aka chicken wire.

1. Here is a beautifully displayed piece by artist, Derek Kenzett.

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2. Here is a gallery piece by artist, Benedetta Mori Ubaldini.


3. Here's a lighted piece by Cedric Le Borgue.


4. Here is "Floating Mountains, Singing Clouds" by Mei-ling Hom.


5.Here is a sculpture of chickens by Susan Nichols.

chickens 5.jpg

6. Finally, here are home decor projects that we found across the web.

pshelf12.jpgSource: Crafty Sisters

Chicken-Wire-Basket-Light.jpgSource: Shades of Light




Source: The Painted Parlor

We have highlighted our favorites sculptures and DIY projects from across the web. Perhaps you have a favorite chicken wire artist? Or maybe, you take the DIY approach and have created a sculpture of your own? Whatever the case, we want you to know, we love a good chicken wire sculture or homested project and sell hexagonal wire aka chicken wire (GBW, GAW and Vinyl-Coated) check it out our products here.

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Topics: hex netting

Swimming Pool Fence Requirements & Considerations

April 7, 2017 | by Debbie Page



Getting a swimming pool? Don't forget about the swimming pool fence required to keep the pool and pool area safe - especially for young children who may be drawn to the water to check it out.

You have probably planned the pool and its installation very carefully - putting into place all your thoughts and ideas for creating the perfect pool for you and an attractively landscaped pool area.

If you are installing the fence yourself, remember that you need to check with the local building inspector in your town to determine what is acceptable for pool fence and all the other requirements - such as self-closing gates. If a child forgets to close the gate when passing through, the gate will automatically close itself.

If you are having the fence installed by a reputable fence company any questions you may have can be answered by them.

For peace of mind and everyone's safety remember to install or have installed the proper fence around your dream pool so that it doesn't become a nightmare. Do as much planning for the fence as you would planning and designing the pool.

There are many different types of swimming pool fences available that will meet code requirements. Which type best fits your design requirements?

We carry pool fencing made in the U.S.A, Italy and China. Our product options fit various budgets and project specifications. We also offer free quotes.

Download the Swimming Pool Fence brochure!

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Topics: swimming pool fence

Netting for Gardens: Let’s Talk Birds and Crop Protection

March 31, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Each year millions of dollars worth of crops are lost to birds. Fruits and vegetables are both at risk. Blueberry and raspberry bushes are particularly attractive sites for birds to wreak their havoc. There are two types of polypropylene netting you can use to secure your garden.

bird 3.jpg

Extruded Bird Barrier Netting

Black polypropylene is extruded into strong square meshes with small openings. These products are specifically designed to protect your vegetables, flowers, plants, fruits, trees, gardens, ponds and other areas from invasion by nuisance birds. The netting can also be used for other purposes such as effective erosion control on newly seeded slopes and keeping leaf piles in place on windy days.

Ornex, made by Tenax, is available in two mesh sizes: 3/4"x3/4" and 3/8"x3/8". This bird barrier netting is light weight and easy to handle and install. It's inexpensive, rot and rust proof, and resistant to both UV rays and chemical agents. Large size rolls are available for bigger gardens and operations.The larger rolls eliminate the frustration of having to join several pieces together.

Ornex - 3/4"x3/4" mesh - black

  • Roll sizes available - 14' x 100', 14' x 500', 14' x 1,000', 14' x 5,000' and 15-1/2' x 700'

Ornex - 3/8"x3/8" mesh - black

  • Roll size available: 13' x 820'

S-31 - a stronger, longer lasting mesh with the same features as Ornex. Designed for the commercial grower. Available in 5/8"x3/4" mesh.

  • Roll sizes available: 14' x 5,000' and 17' x 5,000'


Ornex sold by Louis Page


Woven Crop Protection Netting

Multiple strands of UV stabilized black polypropylene yarns are woven into a flexible and long lasting hexagonal shaped mesh. This soft, knitted small mesh netting is ideal for protecting berries and fruits. It creates a physical barrier between the birds and your valuable crops. Larger size rolls will make the installation job easier for you. You won't have to piece several smaller pieces together.

  • 1/2" mesh - 25' x 100' rolls
  • 3/4" mesh - 25' x 100', 50' x 150' and 50' x 200' rolls
  • 1" mesh - 12' x 100', 25' x 100' and 50' x 150' rolls

Both the extruded and woven meshes will give your gardens and crops excellent protection from marauding birds. Why share when your share can be all?
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Topics: apairy fence, garden netting

Our Favorite How to Fix Your Fence Video

March 24, 2017 | by Debbie Page

We shared this video in 2013. Wow, that was awhile ago! The tutorial remains steadfast, this is still our favorite video for figuring out how to stretch your fence tight.

This video shows you how to make and use a homemade fence stretcher you can use to pull your fence tight. In the video, 2"x4" galvanized welded wire mesh is being installed. But this type of stretcher can be used for all styles of woven wire fence as well. Steel stretcher bars are also available to buy, if you don't want to make your own.



It is important to have a level pull uniformly across the height of the fence to avoid distorting the mesh. The amount of tension is determined by the type of mesh. Welded wire fencing material cannot be tightened as much as woven wire meshes, such as field fence, horse fence, deer and wildlife fence.

Don't forget to bring along a helper like Little Bit!

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Topics: fence, GAW, GBW

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