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Sail Shades Stylish and the Best Shade Protection from the Sun

Oct 25, 2007
If you are looking for stylish protection from the sun, then shade sails could be the right solution for you. With the era of climate change and the increase in UV rays, shade sails provide a modern and attractive way to make use of outdoor spaces, safely away from the heat and damaging rays of the sun.

Modern techniques in fabric design mean that shade sails are rapidly overtaking the garden parasol and gazebo as the means to provide shade. The unique construction of stitch knitted fabric allows the shade to breathe, thus reducing temperatures below and blocking out 90% of harmful UV rays.

Being UV resistant, shade sails are designed to withstand the elements, which make them durable enough for constant outdoor use. A typical DIY Shade Sail will last between 5 and 10 years, which makes them a worthwhile investment.

Intended to be semi permanent structures, shade sails are installed using marine grade anti-corrosive stainless steel fixings. On a DIY sail shade, the welded stainless steel rings that are sewn into each corner, enable the shade to be attached using eyebolts or pad eyes, which are then easily tensioned using turnbuckles.

Stainless steel D-shackles and snap hooks are used to allow the shade to be taken down quickly and easily during bad weather, typically in winter time or during high winds. Eye bolts and pad eyes are used to attach the shade sails to structurally sound permanent fixtures, such as houses, outbuildings, walls and metal or wooden posts.

Commercial shades are constructed with much heavier fabric and it is usual for these shades to have steel cables sewn into their construction.

When compared with the garden parasol, gazebo or awning, the DIY shade sail wins easily with its numerous uses and applications. Its easy to put up and tensioned approach means you are not restricted by a central fixing therefore enabling a more effective use of space.

Larger areas can be covered, and you can position the shade exactly where you want it. When angling your shade sail towards the sun, a greater shaded footprint can be achieved.

Costs vary depending whether you choose to go for a commercial or DIY shade sail. DIY shade sails typically come in a range of fixed sizes and are in a lighter fabric but still offer excellent UV protection of up to 90%. DIY shades are generally offered as triangular or square shape and typically four contemporary colours. Sizes are normally 3.6 metres up to 5 metres in width.

Commercial grade sails offer the purchaser the opportunity to custom fit their shade and select fabric weft up to 330gsm. With the heavier duty fabrics, come the benefits of up to 98% UV protection, greater span widths and a vast range of colours to suit the surroundings and space.

As a nation, our love for the outdoors has grown but so too have the risks for skin cancer, highlighting the importance of protecting yourself from the sun. Indeed a study has shown that since 1985, in Australia the incidence of skin cancer has grown significantly in the last 23 years. Shade sails are becoming increasingly popular in childrens nurseries and schools now that care in the sun is being highlighted by Official School Body, Ofsted.

Demonstrating their versatility, shade sails can be used for suspension over patios, swimming pools, hot tubs, carports, garden play areas, sand pits and play structures. They can even be used for privacy screening and provide a sculptured contemporary look for interior design.

Since the no-smoking ban came into force on 1st July 2007, shade sails are also being used for outdoor meeting areas and public spaces as they provide the ideal solution through fulfilling the legal requirements for having more than 50% of wall space open to the elements.

When you are buying a shade sail, it is important to think about the application and what you are trying to achieve. Apart from being practical, you can choose the size, look and shape you want. A cream/porcelain shade will make a statement by bringing a contemporary feel, whereas a green will blend in. The choice, as they say, is yours.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on sail shades. To find out more see http://www.shadednation.com
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