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choosing a shade sail

How Do You Choose the Right Shade Sail for Your Home?

Choosing the right shade sail solutions is one of the most important decisions you can make for your home.

We share some of the things we would ask a Shade Sail supplier when purchasing a Shade Sail solution. Choosing the right shade sail is one of the most important decisions you can make for your home.

I’ve been in the industry all my life and knowing what I do about shade sails, so I’ll share with you first things I would ask when buying a shade sail solution:

  • What direction is the sun in relation to the area I want shaded?
  • What type of material should I use?
  • What shapes and sizes should I use
  • What type of stitching will be used?
  • What type of rigging and fittings will be used?
  • How is it installed?
  • What is the cost of the Shade Sail solution?
  • How long will the Shade Sail last?

Any qualified Shade Sail consultant should be able to give you these answers based on a quick site visit.

Direction of the Sun

Everybody knows that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and that at the hottest time of day is the time after it almost directly overhead.  But what it does in between is very important.  And you’d be surprised how many people take this critical aspect for granted.  I mean, the Shade Sail is first and foremost about providing shade (not visual look), but some people do still get things the wrong way around.

Every property has a slightly different aspect to the sun, so direction in relation to your property is a very important decision to maximise shade during the hotter times of the day.  Direction of the sun will determine the size and shape of the shade sail required and that will in turn effect the rigging you’ll need.

Type of Material and Stitching

My family has been producing textiles for over 100 years and that is how we got into Shade Sails.  I know just how important fabric and the choice of material is to Shade Sail solutions, as the reason we built our factory was to provide a wider range of materials and choice for our customers than any of our competitors.

Choice of material can determine the Shade Sails:

  • strength and durability
  • resistance to weather (including the amount of sun protection)
  • resistance from mould and fading
  • available colours

There are different types of fabric and materials, however the best is acrylic polyester.  Different materials and tension also require different stitching to ensure that the sails have a long life.  Many people expect Shade Sails to be waterproof, however waterproof Shade Sails are actually a specialised solution as they require much more robust support structures (and therefore a higher cost).

Choice has a bearing on cost and will also vary depending on your situation.


Colour is an important choice in terms of the visual appeal of the Shade Sails.  They should look good against the materials of your home or building.

Choice of colour can also its ability to provide superior shade.  Darker colours reflect more light and provide more shade.

Shapes and Sizes

Shade Sails come in all shapes and sizes, from triangular to rectangular and complex.

The decision depends on the sun, the aesthetic appeal and the available space.

Posts, Rigging and Fittings

Posts, rigging and fittings for Shade Sails will depend on the type of material you select, the size and location.

I recommend metal posts and cable rigging as it is by far the strongest.  Rope rigging is generally not recommended as it does not provide sufficient tension or weather resistance.


Depending on the size of the Shade Sails, it could range from a do-it-yourself (DIY) job to something that a professional is required to set up.  We allow for both, but to get the best result, it should be someone who knows what they are doing.

Support and Maintenance

You should check with your supplier that they provide adequate guarantees and warranties.  Lots of things can go wrong with Shade Sails when they are improperly designed or installed.

Shade Sails can add great value to your property and can last a long time, but they are not made to last forever.  Contrary to many beliefs, Shade Sails should be professionally checked by someone who knows what they are doing.  This avoids them becoming a hazard.

If well supported and maintained, Shade Sails can be a real asset to your property for a very long time.