Umbrella construction materials

Umbrella construction materials

Τhe umbrella has evolved greatly since it was first invented. The materials used for its construction have improved a lot over the years. One of the most significant innovations regarding the construction of the individual umbrellas, occurred in the early 1850s, when an American by the name of Samuel Fox, decided to use bend silver bars in ‘U’ shape, for the lateral and folding parts, so that the umbrella structure would be lighter, yet more resistant. Before that, umbrellas were made of straw canes, or even whale bones.
Let’s have a look at the essential umbrella parts and how they are manufactured today:

The pole

The modern umbrellas are still manufactured in a semi -automatic mode. The first think that needs to be done is to create the pole. The most common materials used for the pole construction are steel, wood, aluminium and, in some cases, plastic or fiberglass. The selection of the materials and the quality control are carried out during the production process. Although a well made umbrella isn’t necessarily expensive, the quality of the materials, that obviously affect the price of the umbrella, play a major part. What also matters is the size of the umbrella. An individual umbrella is definitely more affordable compared to a beach umbrella regardless of what material is made of.

The structure and the lateral parts

When it comes to individual umbrellas, the structure, as well as the lateral and folding parts, are mainly made of steel or aluminium in U shape. They are then jointed with the tube and with each other, while springs are placed on the tube in order for the umbrella to open and close. The construction and the mechanism of the portable umbrellas are also similar. But thinks are way different when it comes to heavy duty straw umbrellas, like those we meet at beach bars and hotels. Here, the metallic galvanized structure is jointed with the pole via metallic, wind resistant, support ribs. The structure functions as a base for the tropical canopy.

The canopy

When it comes to aluminium umbrellas, the canopy is sewn by hand on the metallic parts. The standard aluminium umbrella consists of 8 parts of fabric, although some consist of only six .The fabric used for the canopy is usually synthetic polyester or PVC, equipped with an acrylic layer at the lower part.

Regarding the tropical umbrellas, the canopy is usually made of straw cane or wicker. These materials offer great protection from the sun, in comparison to any synthetic material. Another great advantage, is that these material allow for the passing of air through the under side of the canopy, rendering the tropical umbrella extremely wind resistant, while offering a pleasurable coolness.

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