What To Look For In A Long-Lasting Outdoor Patio Umbrella Canopy

29 May 2023
Should your outdoor umbrella last for years? If you choose well, the answer is yes. Here are a few tips on what to look for in umbrella canopy fabric so your deck or patio umbrella will shelter you for many summers.

“How long should an outdoor umbrella last?”, is a common and understandable question. Anyone investing in an outdoor sun umbrella wants to enjoy their umbrella for many years. But not all umbrella canopies are created equal. The answer to how long your umbrella will last comes down to a number of factors. The primary factors are the strength and durability of the frame, and of the canopy.  In the case of Shade7 outdoor deck and patio sun umbrellas, their canopies are engineered to stand up to New Zealand’s demanding conditions, with a canopy warranty of ten years. Some umbrellas with strong frames let their owners down with the canopy fabric. So the best way to be confident your umbrella will last is to choose an umbrella with durable canopy fabric. But which canopy fabric is best to ensure your outdoor umbrella will go the distance? What should you look for?

Here are a few tips that will help you to choose an outdoor market or cantilever umbrella that will last.

  • UV-resistant Fabric

The UV levels in New Zealand can be as brutal on fabric as on skin. The ozone layer helps to screen some of the damaging UVs. But in New Zealand, the ozone layer thins from its thickest in Spring to its thinnest in Autumn. This means that in Summer when we are closest to the sun with the longest days, the thinning ozone layer lets through more UV damaging rays when we are frequently in the sun. Getting into the shade of an outdoor umbrella is an excellent way to keep your skin safe from UV damage. However, many outdoor umbrellas are made for climates with lower exposure to damaging UVs. Often, these fabrics are simply unable to cope with New Zealand conditions. Fabrics that haven’t been engineered for our conditions will not only let damaging UV rays through to the people sheltering below, but the fabric itself breaks down, becoming powdery and brittle, leading to a disappointingly short lifespan. So, for the sake of your skin’s health, and enjoying a long-lasting canopy, the number one quality to insist on in an outdoor sun umbrella is that it is UV-resistant. Shade7’s acrylic canvas, which has the highest possible rating of UPF80 for maximum UV protection, is extremely durable as well as protective. 


  • Colour-fast

One of the most disappointing aspects of poor-quality canopy fabric is how quickly it fades. In New Zealand, once again this is closely tied to our high UV levels. The sight of a once-black canopy reduced to bleached licorice stripes can be deeply disappointing. Or a brilliant orange canopy that is now white and fawny-apricot. Ensuring you choose a fabric engineered for New Zealand conditions also ensures the vibrant, bold colours will last. Even in cover bags, a durable colour-fast colour bag fabric will look smart for years as well as increasing the longevity of your umbrella. Shade7’s umbrella cover bags LINK are made of the same premium acrylic canvas as their umbrella canopies, adding maximum protection for your already very durable canopy.

  • Strong and Water-Resistant

In New Zealand we can experience four seasons in one day. A calm afternoon can suddenly become gusty, and showers occur even in the middle of summer. A strong and water-resistant canopy is a fantastic advantage when hosting guests, whether residential or commercial. If showers begin to fall, there is no need to run for alternative shelter unless the rain is pelting sideways. And if it is so wet that you do need to sprint for shelter, a strong umbrella and canopy mean that you won’t always need to linger to get the canopy down before you get under cover. It is smart to close your umbrella in stormy weather, but choosing a strong and water-resistant umbrella not only reduces the need to seek alternative cover, it also reduces the chance of damage to the umbrella if you do have to get out of the weather quickly. Look for a highly wind-rated umbrella, as the wind-rating means the canopy and frame will be strong in the wind, and for water-resistance, such as Shade7’s marine-grade acrylic canvas canopies from Recasens in Spain.

  • PTFE Teflon Thread

Shade7 has introduced this market-leading feature to their premium canvas canopies. PTFE Teflon thread is designed to provide even greater umbrella durability, adding even further to their customers’ peace of mind. Where regular durable thread designed for outdoor use can still sometime fail over time in exposure to the fierce New Zealand sun, PTFE Teflon thread is engineered to last the life of the canopy. Not widely used in umbrella canopies in New Zealand, PTFE Teflon thread is yet another reason to begin and end your search for the most durable outdoor deck or patio umbrella in New Zealand at Shade7.

To view their strong, UV and rain-resistant umbrellas, visit the Shade7 website or call in to their showroom at 1096 Great South Road in Mt Wellington, where their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be pleased to help you.


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