You’ve probably seen a shade cloth hanging on a piece of patio furniture many times before. Poolside, they are used to keep plastic lounge chairs from burning your skin. At sea, they are unfurled as boats are anchored on sunny days. As simplistic an invention it is, they have been used as a modern convenience as well as an agricultural necessity. The real marvel is in their basic design. A simple piece of fabric that can be used in so many ways with so many purposes is an uncommon occurrence. Finding a good one is based upon what it is to be used for.
A good shade cloth will woven from a tough material. The idea behind their design is to have a fabric that is both breathable and heat resistant. The tiny holes encourage the heat to escape while simultaneously protecting whatever it is covering. Some are made with pre-made holes so that they can be hung up. Special grommets can be used to hang up fabric with no holes. The size of the holes can vary greatly. Some knits use very large holes, but this does not necessarily effect the amount of protection it gives. Shade cloth is made with built in sun deterrents that reflect UV rays. Although most are mainly used as a way to shield the sun’s rays, some are used as decoration. You have probably seen these flapping in the wind off of verandas. They also come in a wide variety of colors.
Besides protecting people from the sun, some shade cloth is made for commercial reasons. Farmers may use them to keep moisture inside greenhouses, others will use it to protect livestock. They can be used to irrigate crops and provide a more pleasant work area for farmers. In many areas of the world, they are absolutely necessary to keep certain crops alive. Every year, thousands of farmers depend on them to assist crops during uncommonly dry months and repel the sun during unrelenting summers. A large number of otherwise sheltered farm animals seek refuge from snow and ice storms. Without them, a large number of harvests would never have happened.
The uses of shade cloth are endless. From personal usage to commercial projects, they really are one of the best ways to protect against the elements. Altering them is made easy with grommets, and they can also be used as a simple decoration. Keeping the environment in mind, many are made from earth friendly materials such as bamboo. Staying cool has never before been so simple.