Selecting an Outdoor Umbrella
There are two basic styles of Umbrellas in the Outdoor Patio Industry...Drape or Market. The Drape style is also known as "Garden" and the fabric drapes/hangs down on the sides with almost a table cloth appearance. On the other hand, the Market style of umbrella is a more crisp look which became the popular standard in the 1990's.
The majority of the umbrellas we offer are Market style, since this is the preferred look of the industry. Market style umbrellas generally range in sizes 7.5', 9' an 11' with 90% of customers selecting the 9' option. Within each size there are many options to choose from:
Wind Vent - The purpose of a wind vent is to allow air to escape without ripping the umbrella up and out of your patio table. A single wind vent is sufficient to avoid this scenario, however, a double wind vent does add additional style creating a multi-level decor to the umbrella.
Crank vs. Pulley - Crank is standard for residential use, where pulley is standard for commercial use. These choices are referring to the way the umbrella is opened. Crank style has all of the ropes and pulleys internally and an external handle is attached to the pole mid way up to allow ease of use.
Auto Tilt vs. Manual Tilt - Manual tilt is the standard in the industry because the difference in pricing between manual and auto tilt usually makes the decision for the typical customer. The tilting options are a useful feature to block the sun from different angles. The manual tilt offers a push button at the top of the umbrella hub, while auto tilt allows one to continue turning the external handle which opened the umbrella canopy to tilt the umbrella on an angle.
Fabric Choice - The fabrics we offer for umbrellas are Solution Dyed Acrylic, Olefin and Polyester. Solution Dyed Acrylic fabric is the best fabric selection for outdoor use as it is strong, does not fade, and is completely bleachable. Olefin fabrics are improving rapidly and are being used more as their strength, fade resistance, and structure improve. Polyester fabrics are the starting point since they are the least expensive option.