Sun Sails – A Shade Revolution ?

Sun sails are a new and exciting shading solution that have only recently arrived in the USA and Canada. The sails have quickly grown in popularity in France and Australia where they have been embraced for their superior sun protection and stylish design. They are visually attractive, light weight, easy to construct, low maintenance, and very affordable, which makes them a great alternative to more traditional shading options.

So what are are the sun shade options?

Shade sails are made from a flexible durable material referred to as shadecloth. The cloth forms a sail that is pulled taught at the corners to effectively shade the area underneath. The cloth can be arranged to create a variety of dynamic forms, and they are commonly used to shade patios, decks, children’s areas, swimming pools, and even driveways.

These sun shade oroducts are available in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. With such a wide variety, the right choice will fit pleasingly into any setting.

What is a sun sail made from?

A hi-tech polyethelene monofilament is the main material used to make the sails. It is dense enough to provide significant sun protection and stretchy enough to create fluid shapes. It can effectively block out 90% of UV light, and it is UV stabilized to make sure it can resist potential UV degradation itself. The durable, long lasting material does not fray, tear, rot, or develop mildew.

It is designed to be breathable as well as protective. The polyethelene is woven to be slightly porous so that hot air can pass through it. This means that heat does not get trapped underneath the sail, and the shaded area below remains cool. The downside of this feature is that the sail cannot be fully water proof. It is able resist light rain but will not protect from a serious downpour.

How is a sun sail fitted?

The corners of the sunsail are fitted to stable points, such as a house, pole or post. Like any sail they tend to catch the wind so these points should be as sturdy as possible. The side of a house makes a perfect anchor point, but wooden and timber posts also work well.

High quality stainless steel fixings are used to attach the sail. The fixings come with a tensioning element that is used to pull the sheet taught and create tension throughout the shade sail. A tense sail forms a solid shape that will not flap in the wind.

How should they be arranged?

There is a lot of personal choice when it comes to fitting a shade sail. The placement of the anchor points has a massive effect on the look of your shade. Sometimes this placement will have to be chosen for practical reasons. However, even slight differences in the height of an anchor point will allow for a wide choice of potential shapes. Choosing the right sail shape is a key decision:

Triangular – This shape is a functional choice if you want to shade the corner of your garden or patio area. However, when placed free standing above a swimming pool or children’s area they appear just as much a piece of sculpture as they do a practical sun shade. When several are used in combination the overlapping forms become especially dramatic.

Square – When trying to cover a large block space like a driveway or pool square sail shades are the perfect solution. They have more corners to place which can be more difficult, but this also gives you more creative freedom over the design. Gentle slopes, dynamic curves, and pleasing wave forms are all a possible.

Custom made – If the area you are trying to cover is an unusual shape, then sail shades can be custom made to suit any dimensions. This option may cost slightly more depending on the complexity you are after, but you will get a complete choice of colors and materials. Another easy solution is to combine several sun sails together to fill the space.

Shade sails are an attractive solution whichever model you choose. When searching for a suitable sun shade manufacturer, look for important extras like a UV warrantee on the sails. Trustworthy sites with secure payment methods are the most likely to provide quality products that you can enjoy for years to come.

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