Wednesday, November 12, 2008
At Furniture Leisure, our market umbrellas are 7 1/2 foot tall and made of fiberglass. These market umbrellas have a tilted one piece pole for use with picnic tables. They offer shade from the sun and look great on outdoor patios and in picnic areas. These market umbrellas have incredible strength and flexibility to absorb strong wind and abuse.
They have a rust free frame due to stainless and aluminum hardware with nylon parts. The sturdy pole offers stability and no breakage or permanent bending that distorts appearance. We offer a three year warranty on all of the interior frame parts of these market umbrellas.
Umbrellas come in all different shapes and sizes and are made from different materials depending on the conditions where the umbrella will be placed. The most common material is fabric. They can be made by stretching fabric over a frame. The person is kept dry by the fabric which is usually water proof and water rolls off the sides. However, solid fiberglass, aluminum panels are specialty types.
Excerpt from RL. Chambers' Book of Days, Vol. 1 (1864) at 241-44
The designation of this useful contrivance (from umbra, shade) indicates the earliest of its twofold uses. Johnson describes it as "a screen used in hot countries to keep off the sun, and in others to bear off the rain;" and Kersey many years before (1708) had described it as "a kind of broad fan or screen, commonly used by women to shelter them from rain; also a wooden frame, covered with cloth, to keep off the sun from a window." Phillips in his New World of Words, edit. 1720, describes the umbrella as "now commonly used by women to shelter them from rain."
An umbrella is a device used to give shelter against rain or sunshine to a person. Umbrellas carried by hand are now usually used as rain shields, although their first use was for shielding from the sun. However, as sun tans became more sociably acceptable, this usage declined.
An umbrella made for protection from the sun is called a parasol. These are often meant to be fixed to one point called free-standing or used with patio tables or other outdoor tables.
Umbrellas are also used on the beach for shelter from the sun. These types of umbrellas are generally either 7.5’ long or 9’. An umbrella that is used close to a beach at the ocean will face much more damage and harsher conditions than one at a park somewhere inland. Winds are also an important factor to the durability of the umbrella. Market umbrella tops are made with vents in the top to allow the wind to escape. This helps relieve the top from stress and make it last longer.
The 2 main styles of umbrellas used in the commercial industry are the Garden, sometimes called patio style and Market umbrellas. There are several differences in the two kinds of umbrellas. Garden or patio umbrellas generally have a valence on them. This valance is material that is draped from the edge around the perimeter. It is sometimes used to place a logo for restaurants or brand recognition. It not only gives them a different look but gives more protection from the sun at lower angles.
Market umbrellas will usually consist of either 6 or 8 ribs that is the structure that holds the fabric. The ribs of the umbrella are very important to the life of the umbrella. Initially the ribs of umbrellas were constructed out of material that could break or deform easily such as wood or metal. Fiberglass ribs have greatly helped change the way people can use there umbrellas. The fiberglass ribs provide flexibility to the design of the umbrella making it more applicable to high winds. For umbrellas near the beach where the winds are the fastest umbrella ribs and frame are made from steel.
The fabric on your umbrella is also very important to the life of the umbrella. Most any fabric can be used on an umbrella However in the commercial industry there are two that are the most common. The first one I will discuss is the olefin fabric. This is a very popular fabric for people who don’t need an extremely heavy duty umbrella. Olefin fiber is a synthetic fiber made from alkenes. It is used in the manufacture of various textile products. Olefin is also referred to as polypropylene, polyethylene or polyolefin. It is not recommended to dry clean Olefin, because many dry-cleaning solvents can swell the fibers. As Olefin dries quickly, line drying and low tumble drying with little or no heat is the recommended method of drying. Since Olefin is not absorbent, waterborne stains do not present a problem; however, oily stains are difficult to remove. Most such stains can be removed with lukewarm water and detergent, but bleach can also be used. Olefin fiber has a low melting point (around 225 to 335 °F, depending on the polymer's grade) so items should be ironed at a very low temperature, if at all. Items such as outdoor carpets and other fabrics can be hosed off. Regarding disposal, Olefin is easy to recycle.
Marine Grade fabric is made of an acrylic fiber which is much tougher than the olefin. Acrylic fabric is used for boat awnings and situations where the demand for a heavy duty, mold resistant fabric is needed. Marine canvas is used as protection against harmful UV rays. UV damages varnish (causes degradation, loss of color and elasticity and finally cracking and peeling). Many American marine canvas fabricators use Sunbrella brand acrylic fabric, and although there are many other brands of acrylic canvas, they apparently do not enjoy the market strength of Sunbrella Fabrics, produced by Glen Raven Mills. The light colors disintegrate more quickly in the sun and can, under certain conditions (usually full tropical sun); lose significant strength within the first three to five years. Darker colors (Pacific blue, darker greens and black) may last up to 20 years in all but the most tropical conditions.
The History of the umbrella as a portable device for protection from the sun or rain goes all the way back to Asia and Italy where the umbrella was first made. Umbrellas were used to shade customers at markets as they shopped. The edge of the umbrella top is straight and the angle is slight from the top to allow people to easily walk under the umbrellas. The market was the heart of the cities in early twentieth century. People gathered together to do business and shop for their families. They were the early grocery stores and malls open air style. Some parts of the market are still popular. Everyone that travels to Seattle will be mesmerized by the beautiful thriving market there. The term “market umbrella” originated from that setting and has become the name for that style ever since. Today up-scale restaurants and chic bistros decorate their patios and side walk cafes with this trendy style. They are used widely in the hospitality industry for food service areas as well as pool setting. The clean geometrical look of the market umbrella is synonymous with good food, hospitality and leisure.
Beach Umbrellas and Cabanas
Outside of garden and market style umbrellas the most popular type of umbrella would be the beach umbrella. Beach umbrellas are used in many resorts and hotels that want to offer their guests a shady spot while still on the beach. Beach umbrellas are designed so that they may be stuck into the sand to anchor them and will remain upright. Another style of the beach umbrella is what is called the Cabana. These are umbrellas that do not have a pole like a typical umbrella. They are U shaped frames that can be laid on the ground and then pulled over to stand like a cabana. These are perfect for providing a nice relaxing spot on the beach and usually provide enough space for 2 chaise lounges.
The umbrella base is also very important. Umbrella bases are usually either plastic or aluminum/metal and will come pre-filled with cement or empty so that the customer can fill with water or sand. Bases almost always fall into the “get what you pay for” category. Cheap bases are almost worthless giving more psychological comfort than good support for the umbrella. Umbrellas require a weight to be attached to anchor them and keep them from blowing away or toppling over. One of the universal problems is that there are different size umbrella pole sizes for the bases to accommodate. The compromise often fails. Inspect an umbrella installed in a base and you will most likely find that the pole is not secured into the base. The most common installation is when the umbrella is used with a table so it is important to anchor the umbrella to keep the center of gravity low and stabilizing the umbrella table combination.
If you are going to use the umbrella with a dining table such as many restaurants or outdoor seating areas there is a breakthrough product that is guaranteed to save you time and money. The Ubrace is a design that allows the person to attach there umbrella to the table using a very simple method and it actually makes the table itself the umbrella base. The product is still in the early stages of development but once available to the commercial industry will be sure to change the way people think about securing there umbrellas.
For a stand alone or free-standing umbrella a heavy very stable base is required. Depending on the size of the umbrella, it is not uncommon to use as much as 175 pounds. One certainly doesn’t want to move it very often.
Umbrellas bases should be viewed as a valuable part of a system to keep the umbrella secure so it performs correctly.