So you want to create this quiet, little lounging space in your backyard or patio, but you don’t want to spend money constructing some sort of gazebo or pergola.
Well then, why not use temporary shade providers like a sail cloth shade instead?
If you already have structures in your backyard that can serve as great supports, like posts and trees, then you don’t need to break the bank constructing something permanent that you may decide you don’t want after all a few months later.
Don’t know the first thing about a shade sail cloth? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In today’s article, you’ll learn all you need to know about sail cloths, from the basics of buying them, to installing them successfully.
Last update on 2018-11-18 at 11:30 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
First, the most important question: what are sail cloths? Well, sail cloths are permeable fabrics which are laid out horizontally over an area that requires coverage. They are connected to solid structures nearby like trees and posts. Most people use sail cloth for shade and protection from the elements. Of course, there are also people who use them for aesthetic purposes.
Sail cloths come in two forms: made-to-order and ready-made. Ready-made sail cloth shade are designed and pre-cut into specific shapes and dimensions by the manufacturer. The fabric is already treated for so many things, like UV protection, flame-retardant and waterproofing.
Some ready-made sail cloths already have webbing, corner rings and stitching at the edges. The measurements are based on average sizes used for each use. For example, there are sized meant for residential use, while others are meant for industrial, commercial and agricultural purposes.
Made-to-order sail cloths are manufactured and designed only after a client has called in with specific dimensions and specifications. The client will make a request and give the necessary details like desired color, shape, size, design, fabric texture and protective layers. They come with more specific protective layer treatment as requested by the client.
These sail cloths are also completely designed right down to the reinforced lining on the seams. They also have steel rings at the edges plus lock stitching combinations. Obviously, made-to-order sail cloths are more expensive because they are one of a kind. You also need to wait for the manufacturer to finish it, so expect to have it a few days to a week after you’ve made the request.
Everyone knows that sail cloths are perfect shade providers; however, there’s more to it than that. A sun screen shade cloth can also be used in the following context:
Shade cloth sails comes in different fabrics, and each fabric has its pros and cons. There is no single best fabric type, you just need to purchase one that suits your needs the most.
So what are the advantages of choosing sail cloth patio covers over other forms of portable shade? Also, that are its downsides? To make sure that sail cloths are the right product for you, you need to know both sides of the equation, and figure out for yourself if the pros outweigh the cons.
Before, sail cloth installation was a job best left to professionals. This is because there’s more to making a decent sail cloth assembly than just tying the ends of your sail cloth to posts and trees. You may have seen makeshift ones where tarps are tied to trees using rope. This is very rudimentary and won’t last long.
Nowadays though, there are kits available that make it easier for you to make your own sun shade cloth, The DIY kit comes with the materials necessary in making a sturdy and solid sail cloth assembly.
If you’re using a kit, here’s a list of the materials and tools
that you’ll be needing for the installation:
If you don’t have enough support structures to connect to your sail cloth,
here are the tools and materials you’ll need to make your own posts:
1. First, you need to measure the area that you need to cover with the sail cloth. The size and shape of the area will determine not only how large your sail cloth will be, but what shape it will take.
2. Each DIY kit comes with its own installation guide. There might be some instructions that are specific to the particular fabric you’re using, or the specific connectors you have. Remember to keep it handy and follow it to the letter.
3. You need to consider the placement of the sun throughout the day. As the sun moves, the area covered by your sail cloth will change as well. You also need to compute how high you want your sail cloth to be.. Again, the instruction manual will have recommendations on the perfect height for your particular sail cloth.
4. Look for fixing points you can use, like trees and posts. Take a look at these areas and determine whether or not these structures are sound enough to act as support points for your sail cloth sun shade. The number of viable structures you have also determine the shape of your sail cloth. The more structures you have, the more options you get.
5. If you don’t have any supporting structures, then you need to create them yourself, which takes more effort and money. You have to dig deep into the ground and set posts made of either metal or treated wood onto the ground. For extra stability, you can even cement it into the ground.
6. Now you need to install the attachment points next. Attachment points will vary depending on the material the supporting structures are made of. For example, if you’re using a tree as a fixing point, you need to install an eye screw on the trunk. If you’re using metal posts, you need to install eye bolts. If you need to use flat surfaces like the outer walls of your home, you need to install pad eyes.
7. Attach a turnbuckle to the attachment point, Then, attach a snap hook to the turnbuckle. The snap hooks will act as your tensioning accessories. They will help maintain proper tension throughout your sail cloth to ensure that it doesn’t sag. Attach another turnbuckle to the other end of the snap hook, and then attach the edge of your sail cloth to the turnbuckle.
8. Ready-made sail cloths already have steel rings at their corners where you can attach the turnbuckle easily. Other sail cloths have metal swages at the corners. Swages are more stable and secure.
9. Repeat the steps for all corners of your sail cloth. Once all corners are suspended in the air securely, test the tension by applying a bit of pressure on it, to see if it gives. The sail cloth should move, but remain flat.
10. Again, double check your instruction manual, as there are several ways to assemble a sail cloth. Although the assembly we mentioned in this guide is the most commonly used one, the DIY kit you bought might include strap tensioners and extension cables.
11. Completely horizontal suspensions are actually frowned upon, because slightly curved installations are actually more stable. So remember to use various heights for your assembly. Curved sail cloths fare better against harsh winds, and there’s less chances of it accumulating water.
If after reading the installation process, you feel like you don’t have what it takes, or if you simply don’t have the time to work on it, calling a carpenter is always a good option. A skilled carpenter will guarantee a job well done for a fee. If you don’t want to go through all that trouble, there’s no shame in seeking professional help.
On the other hand, the project is definitely easy enough to do it on your own There’s just something fulfilling and satisfying from being able to complete your own DIY project successfully. You’ll also be saving money on professional fees if you do it on your own. DIY kits will have everything you need, and you only need to follow the instructions. Guides come with illustrations to make things easier for you.
If you can’t do it on your own, why not make it a family activity, or a project for you and your friends to try. To celebrate, you can even throw a backyard party, underneath the very sail cloth you just built.
If you decide to go ahead with your DIY sail cloth installation, the next step is to obviously find a sail cloth to install. If you don’t know where to begin, why not go with popular sail cloths? They’re tried-and-tested, and at the very least, you’re not going into your installation completely blind.
This sail cloth offers up to 90 percent sun protection, meaning it’s UV-resistant for the most part. The fabric is only available in the color black. One notable thing about this cloth is it has a heavy gauge knitted texture, as opposed to a smooth surface.
It has No. 3 grommets across its hemline, with 2 feet equal spacing between each grommet. The seams are enforced with a nylon webbing that’s 1.5 inches wide. The cloth is also water-resistant. The cloth sail uses reinforced double stitching to prevent tearing. According to customer reviews, the cloth fairs well against strong winds and extreme temperatures.
The Agfabric sunblock shade promises maximum shade while providing ample air circulation. It is made from pure UV-stabilized polyethylene, making the fabric extremely durable, yet lightweight. Tearing and unraveling is kept to a minimum with its custom lock stitch construction.
The sailcloth is prefabricated with a wide taped edge spanning 3 centimeters and 1-inch grommets. Grommets are equally spread across the hems of the fabric, with 1-foot spacing between them. The fabric comes in a variety of textures and colors. According to its manufacturers, the fabric is designed mainly for agricultural and horticultural uses.
This high grade sail cloth is made from pure high-density polyethylene, The knitted texture on the fabric gives it more strength and appeal. Because it is knitted, it can be cut into any shape you want and it won’t unravel at the seams. It not only provides up to 90 percent UV protection, it is also resistant towards degradation caused by UV rays.
For more stability, just take your sewing machine and create a makeshift seam all around. The sail cloth is water-resistant, but not waterproof.
This sail cloth is one of the most popular of SHAN’s third-generation products, which meld together aesthetics and technology. The fabric is made from 100 percent, premium high-density polyethylene. It provides up to 90 percent protection from UV rays, and is also resistant to degradation caused by UV rays.
The fabric is resistant to rot and cracking, giving it a longer lifespan and allowing it to withstand harsh weather conditions. The product’s dimensions measure 23 by 16 by 10 inches, making it perfect for patios and backyards.
This 70 percent black sail cloth is made from UV-stabilized polyethylene, meaning its material is resistant to degradation from UV rays. The material features a mesh design for more ventilation and perforation. Each corner has double grommets for more durability and stability.
The sail cloth uses No.3 grass grommets and 2-inch reinforcement tape is placed throughout the seam lines for more resistance to unraveling. It’s also very lightweight, making for easier assembly and disassembly. This sail cover is recommended for residential and agricultural uses.
This cloth sail also features a knitted design, which is resistant to fraying. The roll of cloth can be further cut down into custom pieces without it unraveling. It provides up to 80 percent UV protection for its occupants, and the fabric itself is resistant to damage caused by the sun’s rays. It holds up well against harsh winds and extreme temperatures.
The Yisin Green Shade Cloth offers 50 percent shade rate. It’s not as solid as other sail cloths because of its mesh design, but it’s intended to be more breathable and offer more ventilation. Made from high-density polyethylene, the material is extremely lightweight, yet sturdy.
All sides are fitted with a 2-inch reinforcement tape stitched into the material for more durability. The product makes use of no.3 brass grommets and a unique lock stitching to prevent unraveling.
Now that you’ve got your sail cloth set up, the bigger challenge is to keep it in top shape. Remember that your opponent is Mother Nature herself, and to lengthen your sail cloth’s lifespan, top-notch maintenance is necessary.
Hopefully, with the information we’ve presented here today, any doubts or hesitations that you might have in installing cloth patio covers sail assembly on your backyard will be put to rest. With the inclusion of DIY kits in the market, it’s now easy to have your very own sail cloth without having to spend money for additional carpentry services.
So what are you waiting for? Having your own relaxing space at your backyard doesn’t need to be a dream anymore. Get yourself some sun shade cloth patio DIY kits and enjoy uninterrupted backyard lounging today.