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Shade Sails

An outdoor shade covering designed around the simple construction of a sailing boat sail, a shade sail is a modern and innovative way of creating shade in your outdoor space without losing the natural beauty of the sky above. Particularly popular in rustic and relaxed outdoor restaurants and bars, shade sails have seen an increased following across homeowners and garden decorators, as more and more buyers are looking for ways of upgrading their outdoor space so that they can enjoy the tranquillity of a shaded spot all year round, as well as the glare of the sunshine across the majority of their space.

How does a shade sail work?

The idea of a shade sail is like any other garden shade in that it is mounted or fixed above the heads of the users, or above the designated shaded space – the different comes in how it is fixed, relying on the piece of material being pulled taut by a series of ropes which are then tied into position across a series of anchor points. That is why shade sails are particularly beneficial in corner plots, as the corner provides ample locations for the ropes to be tied – though a wooden trellis or similar overhead construction could provide just as effective if located in the right position.

The top benefits of a shade sail

Initially designed as a way of adding exciting shading to suntraps across communities and communal spaces, the beauty of a shade sail is that its simple construction method means it can be erected or taken down quickly and easily – as per the requirements of the user. Another benefit is the aesthetic value of the shade sail in terms of elevating the appearance of a personal outdoor space, as its innovative and interesting construction makes for a really eye-catching design which is a lot more interesting than a basic garden shade or large parasol umbrella.

Things to consider

When it comes to selecting the right kind of material for your shade sail, remember that the material is not going to be supported by any solid frame and so you want to make sure that the material is structured enough that it won’t sag in the middle after being tied for more than a few hours. We tend to recommend that buyers reinforce the edges of the sail material with extra rope, and that the ropes are pulled taut from all angles so as to retain the tight fit of the sail. It is also worth noting that the size of the shade sail can sometimes impact the way it holds over time, with larger sail pieces tending to sag more quickly than much smaller pieces of fabric or material. Rainfall and wind can affect the tying of the knots and the hold of the rope, so check your shade sail after any adverse weather conditions to ensure that it is still safe and effective. Buyers should also note that the colour of the sail material can mean the difference between a very shaded and dark area, and one which holds off the sun’s glare but also lets light through – with the latter proving the most popular in most gardens. If you are looking to add a shade sail to your own outdoor space, we recommend first giving thought to where you will put your shade sail – before investing in any hooks and additional structural pieces which will hold it up safely. You can then head to garden centres and specialist outdoor accessory retailers to find the best products to suit your space.

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