Shade sails are a way of providing comfortable shade in modern landscapes. Each sail is a strip of fabric that’s been specially-designed to withstand an incredible amount of pressure. Each sail is mounted to steel posts and tightened so it won’t flap or move even in wind speeds as high as 100 mph.

When to choose a shade sail

Since shade sails have the swooping, geometric look of a modern art installation, they look best with contemporary architecture.

Shade sails are one of the few ways of getting shade in the landscape that can be taken down each winter if desired. If you want to let as much light as possible into the house during the winter, a shade sail will work better for you then a pergola, which can’t be moved.

You can choose the color and size of shade sail you prefer, so if your landscape has a lot of creative touches or bold use of color, a shade sail will fit right in with that artful style. Of course, they’re available in neutral colors as well if your style is more laid-back.

Colour Selection.

As for color, SBF suggests sticking with neutral tones. “Over time, certain colors can go out of style, but neutrals always look good,” she says. That’s not to say that a carefully-chosen palette can’t work, but since quality shade sails are guaranteed for 10 years and last for 20, make sure you won’t tire of the theme.

When not to use a shade sail

Shade sails will block 80-90% of UV light, but they don’t keep rain out.

If the architecture has a lot of detail, it doesn’t go as well with a shade sail.

A simple wooden pergola with a lattice roof can run quite a bit less than a professional-grade shade sail. There is a deceptive amount of engineering and work involved in shade sail manufacture and installation.