How to Choose the Right Fabric for Your Residential Shade Sail

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Shade sails open up outdoor spaces by making them more usable throughout the year. You can install a shade sail over the kids' play area, patio, swimming pool or residential parking. The most important part of this structure is the fabric that acts as a covering over your outdoor spaces. Therefore, when buying a shade sail, you must choose the best fabric for your applications. Below are four factors to consider when selecting fabric type, quality and colour. 

Seasons and usability

Which seasons do you intend to use your shade sail? This factor can determine the type and quality of the shade sail you need for your home. For example, if you need a shade sail for use during the warm, dry seasons, you can get a lighter material with no waterproofing properties. These shade sails are relatively cheap and easy to install. However, if you intend to use the structure during the wet season, you need a waterproof one. Most waterproof shade sails are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric.

Desired shading levels

Fabric material and colour can determine the shading levels for the shade sail. Light-coloured coverings allow more light to pass through. They are great if you need a shade sail to keep out the scorching sun while bringing in a decent amount of light. However, if you want to achieve full shading, go for a heavy fabric in a dark colour. You can also use a heavily shaded space to enjoy afternoon naps in your garden or read a book without experiencing solar glare. When buying the shade sail, go for one with UV-blocking features to increase comfort and maximise UV protection.

Visual appeal

A shade sail can make or break your garden's visual appeal. Therefore, consider outdoor aesthetics when buying the product. Will the chosen colour blend well with the surroundings? Will the hue complement other outdoor features? You can choose a colour that matches the foliage or existing outdoor structures such as the patio. Alternatively, find a hue that reflects the purpose of the sail. For example, for a kids' play area, you can choose bright, playful colours. You can also mix and match different fabric colours to achieve a vibrant look. 

Maintenance requirements

Shade sails require some level of maintenance to boost performance and maintain visual appeal. The colour and quality of the fabric can determine its maintenance needs. For example, light hues get dirty easily and require regular cleaning. Conversely, dark and neutral colours conceal dirt better and can get away with fewer cleanings. Materials such as PVC are easy to clean, and you can hose down the fabric once in a while. Therefore, keep this in mind when shopping for a shade sail.

Consider the above factors when buying a shade sail for residential use.