Shade Cloth: A Natural Way to Shade Your Patio and Garden Spaces

Invest in a Shade Cloth for Affordable Solar Protection

With summer quickly approaching, you will need to invest in a product that will block the unwanted and powerful sun rays from damaging your garden as well as you skin. Shade cloths are special applications that are designed to protect outdoor areas from the sun. A shade cloth can be used to cover a patio, garden, or greenhouse. If you are looking for solar protection and you do not want to spend the money or energy of building or installing a hardtop cover on your patio, consider the benefits of installing a sun shade cloth as an affordable alternative. You might want to investigate the more popular shade sails to use in your backyard space.  They are both contemporary looking and leave you with more shaded space over fairly large areas.

Various Uses

shade cloth

Here are two pieces attached to one another with the right shade cloth fasteners or hardware to keep them taught.

A sun shade cloth is used for shading in a variety of ways. While the primary purpose for use on your patio is greater comfort and protection, it can be used in inventive ways to protect various areas of your yard or garden, too. Homeowners can shade UV-sensitive plants, livestock and poultry, outdoor work areas, greenhouses, play areas and more.

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In addition to shading, a quality cloth can be used as bird netting, temporary fencing, truck tarping, and erosion control. If you are looking for one material that can be used for a variety of different purposes, look no further than patio shade cloths.

Different Types of Cloths

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Shade cloths are made out of a variety of different materials depending on your need and your budget. These materials differ in some ways from solar shades, but do have similar functions.  Many of the same technologies to develop the shades are used in making the cloth as well.  Woven shad cloths are about 30 percent heavier than knitted cloths and will cost approximately 30 percent more per square foot. When you are comparing sun shade cloths you will need to consider

shade cloth_pergola

This shade cloth covered pergola is a common application of this flexible material.

what type of material the cloth is made of. Polypropylene materials are very durable and will hold up under the most extreme temperatures. While polypropylene materials are durable, they only come in black and are not the most attractive choice on the market. Other common colors are green and shades of brown (sandstone, khaki, tan). If you want a shade that will add style to a patio or a garden, consider investing in a brand name product.  You can learn more about these in the ‘where to buy’ section below.  When you are comparing different materials consider the percentage of protection. When a material is rated 70 percent this means the cloth blocks UV rays by 70 percent.

Installation

shade cloth attachment

Here is a classic example of how a shade cloth or sails are attached to a stationary anchor point.

Installation is extremely easy and will not require assistance from a professional. If you are shading an existing foundation you can use the support beams to harness the cloth with screws.

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If you’re installing garden shade cloth or covering an existing area without an adequate support system, you will need to take the time to install posts or other anchor points to hold the cloth firmly in place. Measure the size needed for any specific area and attach the cloth to the support and you are done.

Shade Cloth Prices

Where Do You Buy Them?

The cost of sun cloths very significantly depending on the type of materials you are investing in. Knitted fabrics are priced between $2.50 and $3.50 per square foot whereas a Coolaroo shadecloth will cost between $5 and $6 per square foot. Most home improvement stores sell shade cloths in 6 foot rolls. If you want to find the best deals, shop the brand names online.  Click on their names to learn more about them:  Sunbrella and Coolaroo.  In fact, there are online stores dedicated to selling this fabric alone.  Check out ShadeClothStore for ideas.





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