Great Ideas

Sails work best when they are:
1. Under enough tension to give curvature
2. Not on a level plane
3. Are ‘twisted’ for stability

It is important to consider the slope of the fabric to ensure good shedding of water.
The shade sail is essentially pulled taut and twisted so one axis is convex and the other axis concave.
The best designs we have found are shade sails that have a significant difference with one corner much
higher than the other. This gives a striking look. Overlapping shade sails or a series of sails can also
give a dramatic sculptural look.

1. Measure The Shade Area
— decide where shade is wanted and measure the sides and diagonals of this whole area.
— consider the height of the sun and direction during the summer period.
— consider the size of the sail, location of any barbecue’s or tree branches that may also chafe or affect the sail.
— to help visualize the sail you can use a string stretched between planned attachment points.
— a scale drawing of the area to be shaded can be useful.
— rotate scale drawings of the actual shade to get an idea of actual layout.
— straight lines drawn through the centre or corners will give the fixing points.
—tensioned sails have curved or concave edges and the depth of the curve is about 10%. in from the outer of the sail.
— this curvature and the use of fixings means that the sail covers a smaller area.

2. Allow For Sail Curvature
The fabric needs curvature to maintain stability and it will be pulled taut and slightly twisted to achieve this.
—This curvature plus the sail not being on one level plane – will make the sail more stable in winds.
— A flat sail will not perform properly and can hold water. The most common method is to have each pair of diagonally opposite corners at sgnificantly different heights.
— Shapes that have little curvature and tension will deform under load and become unstable and move about.

3. Fixing Points
Finally ensure that any proposed fixing points are strong enough to bear the local wind conditions. If unsure consult a local engineer.

4.What Sort Of Fixing Methods?

4.1 Houses or Buildings
Always ensure that the existing structure or building can support the load of a sail under poor weather conditions. A sail under heavy wind can put considerable strain on the building. A local engineer or qualified builder can verify that the building can withstand such a load.

4.2 Posts
Galvanised steel will avoid rust and is a better solution for fixing shade to than wood.Wooden posts can warp which place the sail out of alignment and can rot over time.

4.3 Foundations
If the post moves in its foundations as it is under strain it is usually hard to correct at a later stage. If the post moves during the initial construction of the sail it will be extremely difficult to tension the sail properly at the outset. A good way to look at the foundation depths is 1/3 of the post underground. Most sails sit 2.5m high so the post needs to be just over 1/3 again longer than this.

Top 7 Problems With DIY Shade Sail Projects

Top 7 problems with DIY shade sail projects

A shade sail supported by posts is essentially a small construction project . Holes need to be measured and dug, posts sourced and concreted in. Several site visits are also needed to secure accurate measurements throughout the project. All of this work can be costly if using a 3rd party installer. There are a few points to consider if you are measuring and installing yourself.

DIY pitfalls to avoid: Before buying a shade sail, measure the shade area first and identify possible fixing points. We many calls from customers who have bought a DIY shade sail, get home only to find it will not match up with available fixing points!
Properly tensioned sails have curved or concave edges and the depth of the curve is about 10% in from the outer of the sail. Remember when measuring this curvature and the use of fixings means that the sail covers a smaller area.
Sails on a level plane can hold water. Consider the slope of the material to shed water. The most common solution is to have opposite corners at significantly different heights.
If not pulled taut and twisted sails can become unstable in wind. It must be tensioned properly to have some curvature and be twisted into a hypar shape.
Avoid poor quality weave canvas which can hang limp and absorb water.
Sails manufactured with single line or poor chain stitching as this can come undone when under tension or stress. Too many seams in the sail can split under tension.
Corner rings not made of marine grade stainless steel can rust and discolor surrounding material.
Once the overall dimensions are finalized, the sail cloth area and the number of fixing devices needed to pull the sail into tension can be costed.

If you are thinking of installing a shade sail we have a host of useful DIY installation tips on our website.

Not all sails are the same. We at Shade Matters use high grade heavy duty shade mesh offering up to 95% UV protection. Interlock seamed with twin lock stitching, all sail shade edges are hemmed with heavy duty UV stabilized webbing.

Shadecloth Measured GSM or Grams Per Square Metre.

Shadecloth is measured in various ways. One way is GSM- or grams per square metre. Typically the higher the GSM, the heavier and higher the UV blockage the cloth gives. So for instance, a shadecloth with a 185gsm would be considered quite light weight and would only give a relatively low UV blockage whereas a cloth with a 280gsm is considered quite heavy and would block out a much greater amount of UV radiation.

BEWARE- if the GSM is not mentioned when you purchase a shadesail, you should assume it is a low GSM, therefore lesser quality.


Tips And Tricks

Tips and tricks
Looking Great

If designing a shade sail project in our experience we find that the more difference there is in the heights of the posts, the more dramatic the final design will be. Allowing them to lean backwards 5 or 10 degrees gives the ´nautical´ feeling.

Using 2 or more different colour sails is very popular and gives depth in the design. If the sails overlap at some point then the look is even more dramatic. This can be done to blend in with the landscape or contrast with it depending on your style.

More Functionality:

Our CUSTOM MADE shade sails are made with a stainless steel cable sewn into the perimeter. These cables will make the sail more stable in high winds and allow us to work with sails with less curves.

How To Give Your House The Architectural Advantage With Shade Sails

How to Give Your House the Architectural Advantage with Shade Sails
Enjoy the full use of your property even in the sizzling Australia heat with shade sails. Made from Commercial 95 High Density Polyethylene and treated with UV stabilizers, shade sails will withstand high temperatures and UV exposure typical of Australia.


Architectural perspective
Installing shade sails to your home will introduce a unique architectural perspective to your property, while at the same time providing much needed respite from the sun. Suitable for use around your swimming pool to provide a cool shade over the sun loungers, or over your outside dining area, a shade sail is not only practical but will add aesthetic and architectural appeal to your house.

Shade sails are a popular feature in Australia both in home and commercial properties. If you own a rental home then installing a shade sail will surely attract a lot more prospective tenants. The shade sale is attractive both in design and functionality and no home should be without one. Available in many different colours you can rest assured there is a colour to complement your outside decor and paint choice.

Below are other uses of shade sails:
• Shade sails in Australia will protect your garden furniture from solar damage
• Shaded barbeque areas and children play areas
• Gardens and carports

The opportunities for using shade sails are unlimited; get in touch today to start off the process of purchasing a shade sail from Shade Matters.

Installations know How’s

Installations know how’s
When very lucky we can mount a shade sail between existing walls. But in most projects we need to add a pole to support the sails. A shade sail supported by posts is essentially a small construction project. We need to dig holes, posts have to be sourced and concreted in. Several site visits are needed to secure accurate measurements throughout the project..

When properly tensioned, shade sail fabric will not wrinkle, sag, or flap in the wind. We aim sails to be tensioned between 300& 450kg, depending on size and location. Accordingly anchor points require careful selection and installation. Sails that are not properly tensioned end up holding water, hanging limp and becoming unstable in heavy winds. Sails work best when they are under enough tension to give curvature, are not on a level plane and are ‘twisted’ for stability.

What Color Shade Sail Is Cooler Underneath?

What color shade sail is cooler underneath?
My first reaction on this quest was to ask myself is, am I cooler or hotter in a black T-shirt vs. a White T-shirt…
A black T-shirt is obviously hotter. Then some thinking began. If you wear a dark-colored shirt, you get hotter because the color absorbs more UV rays.

So.., white reflects heat, black absorbs it. Darker coloured fabrics are better at blocking UV rays than lighter ones. So a dark blue, green, or black would be better than yellow or white.

Since the canopy isn’t in direct contact with your body the black fabric will block/absorb more of the sun’s UV-radiation than a lighter colour. A shade sail fabric is thin enough that it is going to allow some amount of radiation to pass. So the more important question is which colour is better at blocking this radiation. The black fabric is certainly going to be hotter to the touch, but since you are at least a meter under the sail it does not reflect the heat on your body.

Black shade sail blocking more UV radiation

What about reflection of the radiation?
Darker colours generally block more light creating more shade and a darker environment under the sail. A darker environment will reflect less radiation than a lighter one.
If you are in the shade but close to a reflective surface, such as a swimming pool, shiny white wall or white outdoor table, you may still be exposed to UV rays that bounce off these surfaces. Anything that causes a glare in the Sun (e.g. snow, water, white surfaces) has the potential to increase your UV exposure by reflecting and scattering radiation from any direction – including beneath the shade sail.
So to bring all this together, the best shade sail will have a dark coloured tightly woven fabric.

The Do’s and Don’ts of shade sail installation

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shade Sail Installation

Shade sails have become very popular in recent times, not only are they great for creating a shaded area in your home yard or garden they also add a touch more style to your home.
Shade sail installation can be a tricky job, vital to setting up the sail fabric are 3 things : (1) possible attachment points ; (2) the dimensions of the space and ; (3) the position of the sun. These 3 aspects form the foundation on which your selected sail fabric will be anchored and will identify the final result of your installation efforts.
For those who are buying their first sail shade it is a good idea to gain a knowledge of how they are installed, especially if you intend to install it yourself. Below you will find some handy hints and tips which will give you a basic knowledge on how to install your your new sail shade.

What are the types of problems I may encounter?
One of the main issues in shade sail installation is that you may require more than one person to set up the structure and a few tools and woodworking materials could be needed in the procedure.
Second , Some are lucky to have regular shaped spaces, but this isn’t always the case. Some spaces have unique dimensions, therefore it is hard to measure and find fixing points where the shade sail can be attached. Additionally , sail covers are tricky to position because you’ve got to take into account the direction of the sun, otherwise the structure won’t provide any shade .

Points to Think about before Installing Shade Sails
In this part, much attention is given to the 3 most important points in building the basis for your shade structure. Below are the key guidelines which may be needed for first time installation

Where to Set-Up – This first point answers the query : In what part of my home will I install the shade sail? Everyone knows that this sort of shade structure is the most efficient substitute for permanent enclosures like roofs, coverings or gazebos. Therefore they are excellent for use in the garden, terrace, deck, carport, or in the pool area. The area in which you position your sun sail is crucial in figuring out where the fabric will be attached and whether extra posts will need to to be put up. For example, in the garden, trees are often used as posts. alternatively, shade sails installed in decks are attached using metal hooks drilled / fixed in the wall.
Get the Right Measurements
In theory the size and shape of the area you wish to cover is something you should know even before buying the shade fabric as these dimensions will decide how big the fabric will be. However for some, this is something that is overlooked as many think shade fabrics are flexible to any size or shape. The correct measurements of the boundary of the area, the rough shape of the space and the sun’s direction are all essential pieces of information needed for successful installation.
Who will carry out the Installation?
When thinking about setting up the sail structure, one can select between commercial installation and home installation. These 2 options have their own good points and bad points. Choosing commercial shade sail installation means the whole project is performed by a professional or an external party who are specialists in putting up these structures. One good point about using professionals is that you can be sure that the structure is installed properly and will not need to purchase or lease the required materials. However you have to pay for the services of these 3rd party installers.
If you have completed DIY projects before, you may decide to install your shade sail yourself. With this option you are in control of the entire installation meaning you can design the configuration in the way you want it without needing to pay a 3rd party. However the complicated thing with home installation is that you will need to ensure that you have the correct tools needed for the project. Also you have to be extremely careful with the installation process as it is easy to cause damages to the fabric which cannot be fixed.



DIY Waterproof Shade Sails

We have now extended our range of waterproof shade sails, we now have a range of 26 waterproof shade sails.
The colors include Sand, Cream, Grey and Black.
The waterproof shade sails have been proven to be very popular as they are not only protecting you from the sun, but also giving you protection from the rain and wind.
Our waterproof Shade sails not only provide up to 95% UV protection, but have the additional appeal of being waterproof thus creating a more comfortable and protective all weather living environment under the sail.

Waterproof shade sails are particularly appealing around entertainment, BBQ and extended patio living areas.

Our elite range of sails are extra strong, and made from the highest quality.




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