Shade Sails are an effective and attractive way to shade playgrounds, outdoor dining areas, recreational spaces and entrances. The damaging rays of the sun are no match for a properly installed shade! As outdoor activities are being encouraged, (but sun excessive sun exposure discouraged), more and more shade sails are being used in our great outdoor gathering areas. To get the most out of the shade sail structure, it is important to follow a few easy tips:

Squares are Often Better Than Rectangles
Squares and rectangles are often better than triangles. Two triangles should not be used to fit a square or rectangular space.  Be efficient in the space and choose the best shape option.

Details Matter
The right ropes and hardware are extremely important. Also, don’t use longer, skinny shapes. The Short sides should half or more the length of the longest side. Use quality and durable ropes that won’t wear quickly.

Vary Heights
When possible, don’t design flat sails. Flatter sails will move and flap in the wind more than sails with varying heights. This can cause strain on the sail fabric due and result in breakdown and excess wear and tear on the hardware. In addition, a shade sail with different attachment heights looks better and will last longer.

Size Matters BUT Give Space
Don’t make the sail the same size as the space. It will end up being too small. Instead choose some overlap over the space to get the coverage you desire. Don’t overlap sails without 3 feet of clearance. Sails do flex and they need space to avoid damage.

Watch the Grain
Sail fabric has a grain (the way the threads are woven create a pattern). When panels are joined, ensure that the grain of the fabric is not flipped to give a coherent look.

Use High Quality Specialty Thread
Don’t use regular thread. Do use lifetime warranty thread. At Creative Shades each shade panel is measured to very exact specifications and the tension requirement. Then they are sewn using only the best mildew resistant GORE Tenara thread and reinforced stitching.

Posts are Important
Don’t skimp on posts. Use high quality welded structures with a powder-coated finish. Lean posts out slightly to avoid looking bent. Most importantly, make sure you are following the guidelines for your area (some parts of the country have stronger wind and weather and that needs to be considered ahead of the build process!)

Footings are Important Too!
Footings are the least glamorous and potentially the most important part of the shade structure. An engineer’s approval and all proper permitting are required for most jobs. These footing literally hold the whole project together and ensure safety for years to come.

If you would you like to learn more, check out the Creative Shade website or give us a call at 888.570.SAIL.