Choosing the right fabric for your shade sail is important. Many different fabrics and quality construction are available. It helps to ask a few questions to get started:

What is the Best Fabric for Sun Shade?

Commercial Grade Sail Cloth offers durability and quality. At Creative Shades, we use several types of commercial-grade high-density polyethylene shade fabric. We also use super durable TENARA® thread to fabricate our shade sails. The best cloth options have the ability to allow cool breezes to flow freely through the fabric fibers. This can even lower the temperature under our shade structures by 15-20 degrees! Remember, any shade fabric chosen should meets fire resistance tests.

Types of Shade Sail Fabric

There are several different types of quality Shade Sail Fabric available depending on your needs. Here are the fabrics we recommend:

  • Commercial 95® 340: Great for mid-sized projects – a combination of long-lasting maximum sun protection, strength, durability and maintenance-free performance.
  • Polytex®: The monofilament and tape are knitted together using a “Raschel Knit” construction to produce this highly durable and flexible choice.
  • SolaMesh®: Tested in the world’s toughest conditions. This outdoor fabric uses polymer technology and is perfect for medium-sized shade sails and some custom awnings.
  • Comtex®: Excellent fire rating. This fabric features less shrinkage and is more stable than other shade cloths, while maintaining high strength and over 90% UV protection.
  • Sunbrella® Contour: Legendary Sunbrella performance. This well-known high quality, rich, knit-textured fabric ideal for shade sails, as well as a variety of other shade application.
  • Commercial Heavy® 430: Great for large-scale jobs. Commercial Heavy 430 is specifically developed for large span tension shade structures where you need to cover a vast space with minimal structures.
  • Architec 400®: Unique blend of fibers for maximum endurance, and made for strength, minimal stretch, and UV protection of 90 percent and greater.
  • Commercial FR 300®: Flame retardant and UV resistant fabric which is also tear resistant, crack resistant, and maintenance-free.
  • FR Comshade®: A new-and-improved version with updated materials, higher flame resistance, and stricter environmental safety.
  • Commercial DualShade: Superior biaxial stability with a unique two-toned look and offers up to 93.2% UVR Block protection; available in 12 popular colors to match your project and aesthetic.

What is the Best Fabric for Waterproof Shade?

For most uses, structures are fabricated using the standard fabric with +- 88% water runoff. However, there are full waterproof options available for people looking to cover an area and protect against rain. Waterproof cloth is about 30% more expensive than standard fabric and is available only in limited colors. Waterproof shade structures are a good solution for many applications, such as entryways or parking lots, but can cost more to install is more than the commercial grade shade sails because extra heavy-duty anchoring points are required to hold them in place.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the shade or waterproof sail options available, please give us a call at 888.570.SAIL.