Are you thinking of buying standard square or triangle shade sails for your home or business? Are you thinking of buying them online or from the garden centre? Square and triangle shade sails have been available in Spain for only 3-4 years and there are many levels of quality. So what should you look for when buying a shade sail?

Shade sails have been manufactured commercially for approximately 20 years. The original manufacturers were based in Australia and most production of shade sails has now been moved to countries such as China, Vietnam and Korea. Whilst most of the larger players in the market of shade cloth fabrication control their quality and product manufacture, sadly there are many manufacturers jumping on the ‘band wagon’ that are manufacturing sub-standard shade sails that will not provide a long term solution. Even the largest manufacturer of shade sails has moved their production to China, but the biggest difference is that their manufacturing facility and the control of the product is assured.

Nowadays cheap disposable shade sails are available from most online garden furniture stores, garden centers and hardware stores, and they are priced very keenly. At first glance these shade sails look like a bargain but they come with many problems that are not at first apparent.

1. With cheap shade sails the stitching is generally not of a very good quality and when tensioning the shade sail the stitching can pull which will cause the material to tear. This is even more apparent when the shade sail is put under load from the wind. Poor quality stitching will fail under load causing the material to rip and be rendered useless. Poor quality manufacturing methods will also mean that corners will be cut when it comes to the stitching. The thread needs to be completely UV stable to enable it to withstand high levels of sun exposure and unfortunately this is not the case with cheaper shade sails.

2. With so many companies now seeing that the market is growing for shade sails it is obvious that most will try to copy what has taken years of product testing and placement to perfect. In most cases they will produce a shade sail that lacks any history of testing. This is the main problem with many of the standard shade sails now being marketed. Manufacturing techniques are being perfected and improved all the time by the major proven manufacturers but producers of cheap shade sails are using out-dated machinery, techniques and specifications to produce their cloth, which is after all the main component of the shade sail.

The sun is getting stronger year by year and the cheap material that is often produced will rot, fade and breakdown due to the higher UV levels. This problem is now, sadly, common-place. For example, if you purchase a blue shade sail you want that shade sail to stay that colour! Most of the cheaper shade sails will fade to white within weeks of being exposed to the sun. If a client invests in a shade sail to protect his or her home, possessions and family then it is bad practice to install a shade sail that will turn to dust after one season or less.

3. The main structural element of a shade sail is the webbing that should run around the perimeter. Some of the cheaper shade sails do not even have this! It is the job of the webbing to put tension into the perimeter cantenary curve. Once again, in the production of cheap shade sails this will not be UV stable and is subject to rotting especially where the D-ring is connected to the shade sail. This part of the structure is vital and it needs to be able to stand very high pressures and tensions. It is also the main reason that cheap shade sails are a false economy. Would you buy a nice looking product that when left out in the sun will rot, fade and breakdown within a year or less? Would it then make sense to purchase another shade sail of professional quality to protect the first cheap purchase? This is not an ideal situation for anyone.

4. Even with cheap shade sails guarantees are given and most are quoted as being ‘Manufacturers 10 year warranty against UV damage‘. At first glance this seems ok, when you buy the shade sail you are getting a product that will last forever – think again!

Firstly, you will be buying from a store, not the manufacturer. This means that when your shade sail rots or fails due to sub-standard quality you will have to contact the manufacturer directly. Nearly all of the cheap shade sails will not have the address of the manufacturer indicated anywhere on the product. Usually the importer would have bought a batch of shade sails and then re-branded it to their own ‘catchy’ name. Eventually you are left with a rotten shade sail that cannot be used and you have very little chance of getting your replacement as promised. Often you will hear the term ”Buy Cheap. Buy Twice.” This is a very apt phrase for this kind of practice.

Coolashade Shade Sails in Spain are the leading installers and sellers of shade sails on the Iberian Peninsular. We use only the very best quality manufacturers of shade sails in the world. All installations are undertaken by professional installers and all materials and connections are to the highest quality. Coolashade Shade Sails in Spain install in the whole of Spain and Europe.

Coolashade manufacture purpose-made shade sails using the very best quality of commercial grade shade cloth available. They can be supplied in a wide range of colours and are finished off with superb fixtures and fittings of the latest designs and compositions. When you buy Coolashade shade sails you are buying the best quality product available.

© 2011 Coolashade Shade Sails Spain