This subject comes up often. I do a lot of it.
These observations are my own and this is only the way I do it. I have my reasons for just about every part of the process. Some of those reasons might or might not be important to anyone else.
From a professional's point of view I like the better quality fabrics. It's better to work with and when done properly it looks and works better, especially over time.
The problem I have with the fixed knot fabrics is they've got built in stretch kinks. What this means over time is it's going to deform. Fabrics like non climb and V Mesh don't come with built in stretch kinks. But they are harder'n heck to get to roll up and down grades. Their upside is if you've got some of the horizontals tighter'n Dick's hat band as they say around here, it's tight today. And it'll be tight tomorrow.
I've made some tools for making this easier on me. The old two boards, some bolts, and a chain work. But I'm lazy. I hate losing and or buggering the bolts and nuts.
This is my friction stretcher. It's easy to make. And not hard at all to use once you get the right attitude.
The right attitude is, "if it was easy the women and kids would be doing it." We know it's going to be hard so we just buck up and do it.
If you look at the picture you will see the middle rod slides back and forth in a slot that's cut in the top and bottom plates.
Think about a belt buckle kinda sorta.
The fabric is fed in between the two verticals until it reaches approximately the end of the slots in the top and bottom plates.
The floater is pulled forward. Then comes the hard part. That's folding the fabric over the floater and pushing it down until it's flat with over the floater.
The floater is pulled back far enough where the end of the folded fabric can fit back through the verticals. Pulling on the frame will force the floater against the verticals locking in the fabric.
There is one downside of this friction stretcher. It's designed for pulling past the termination post. Then the horizontal wires are cut one at a time, staggered of course, and terminated around the post.
I will usually cut the fabric where when stretched it's foot and a half to two feet past the terminating post.