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Shade sails - Advice to choose the right sail 



What is a shade sail ?


voiles ombrageA shade sail (or shade canvas) is a canvas tightened between walls or poles that protects from the sun by creating a shaded area.

Directly inspired from the marine world with a conception similar to boat sails, it constitutes a design and modern alternative to parasols and other traditional shade options.

Its trendy and elegant aesthetic and its ability to adapt easily to different environments makes it an increasingly appreciated choice to create a welcoming and cozy living space on a patio or in a backyard.

Dress your outdoors and give it a whole other stature with sail shades !

For what needs ? What advantages ?


australe 340

  • To bring effective protection from harmful UVs (up to 97%) and limit the risks of sun burns, sunstrokes... 
  • To bring a visual comfort for relaxing times or outdoor meals by suppressing blinding effect 
  • To create a multitude of different atmospheres according to your wish by playing with colours, shapes, and materials 
  • To protect from rain with specific water repellant fabrics ! 
  • To create a genuine natural conditioner by suppressing sun rays on picture windows and other surfaces that heat the house during the summer. Shade sails bring cool without completely occulting the luminosity of the room. 
  • To create a visual barrier or windbreak by positioning the sail vertically  

Shade sails have the advantage of being able to adapt to each individual’s project with the different size, implantation, and fabric possibilities that they allow. You have the possibility to shade almost any place, according to the size of your shade sail and its type of fixture.

The sizes / shapes:


voile ombrage moderneA shade sail can present sides ranging from 2 metres to 8 metres and can more easily be custom made than other shading options.

The surface of a shade sail is very variable, ranging from approximately 5m² to 30m² for standard dimensions.

All shapes are possible: The triangle is often preferred, for its aesthetic aspect that will give a unique design to your installation. The square and the rectangle allow, however, the coverage of a greater surface and are to be favoured to shade large areas.

Each shape will bring a different aesthetic and shading, do not hesitate to make simulations with many shapes to find the one that suits you the best !

You also have the possibility to associate different sizes and shapes in order to find a good compromise between the covered surface and the design you wish to bring to your setup.

Shade sails have incurved sides: by juxtaposing 2 sails without overlapping them, there will thus be space between the two. A good idea consists in slightly overlapping many sails by installing them at different heights, in order to bring a consistent shading (without “holes” between shades).

voile ombrage australeA successful installation brings out the “aerial” feel of the sail shade. It must be well tightened and not present a “pouch”.

The secret is to preserve enough space to tighten the shade sail: it is preferable to have a smaller rather than larger shade sail because otherwise the sail will not be well tightened.

This is all the more important since shade sails tend to loosen over time.

Create colour and shade effects according to your taste !

Please note: If you want maximum efficiency of shade and protection from rain, it is recommended to opt for a rectangular shade sail instead of many triangular shade sails because water will likely flow between the shade sails.

The types of fabric:


tissu voile ombrage Shade sails can be separated in 2 main categories: water repellent sails (on the left), and openwork, micro perforated sails (on the right).

According to your use of the sail and the restrictions due to wind exposure we will choose the fabric quality best suited for your needs.

To protect you from the sun while eating on a patio or to enjoy a relaxing time in the shade for example, a perforated shade sail is best suited. It will allow to protect from the sun while permitting air circulation with its “aerial” fabric. UV filtration is very effective and the wind resistance of these sails is excellent.

If you wish to protect yourself from the sun as well as from passing rain, a water repellent shade sail is recommended. Water repellent shade sails filter UVs and overly bright luminosity efficiently. The blinding sensations are thus diminished. However, they do not allow as much air circulation and have a greater wind load. It is also necessary to create a 20% incline between the different fastening points to allow rain water to flow naturally and avoid creating a pouch on the shade sail.

If the shade sail installation is well done, it can stay in place during the majority of the year. It is simply recommended to disassemble the shade sail in strong winds (+ 80km/h for perforated sails and + 60km/h fr water repellant sails) and during the winter to avoid any damage due to the weight of the snow on the sail.

Which colours do I choose ?


coloris voile ombrage

Create a custom atmosphere by choosing your colours !

  • Bright and cozy colours will create a welcoming atmosphere under the shade sail and will liven your exterior. 
  • Soft colours will create a “cocooning” and natural atmosphere in your yard or on your patio. 
  • Darker colours will create a design and elegant atmosphere. 

You can play with contrasts by associating different colours and creating your custom made project !

Filter luminosity:

The colour chosen for your shade sail will bring a more or less intense filtration of luminosity and thus change the feeling under the sail.

If you live in a particularly sunny region and your shade sail is often exposed, avoid very light colours as they can create a blinding sensation by reflecting light.

However, if you live in a less sunny region, opt for lighter shades that will liven and brighten your exterior.

Bring more or less cool:

Take note that dark shades slightly decrease the temperature under the shade sail. They bring a fresher atmosphere.

Create an extension of your house

Choose the colour of your shade sail according to the colour of your house walls, your shutters, your yard furniture, or any other outdoor decorations in order to create a harmonious yard of patio.

Shade sails can thus become a natural extension of your house that will integrate themselves perfectly to your environment.

The types of installation:


There are multiple types of setups for shade sails. Those are:

voile ombrage entre murs

Tightened between 2, 3, or 4 walls. This solution implies piercing holes in each supporting wall to be able to insert the fixtures (plug or chemical sealing + threaded rods and wing/eye nut) on which the sail shade will be hanged with snap links.

voile ombrage adossée

Another possibility consists in propping the shade sail on one side against a wall and on the other against poles. This solution is very often used to shade a patio faced with a yard. You can tighten the shade sail even without walls available on all sides of your shade sail.

voile ombrage entre poteaux

Finally, it is possible to create a completely personalized and free implantation. We will then exclusively use poles to tighten the shade sail. This solution allows to position the shade sail wherever you wish.

Please note: In the case of a water repellent shade sail, it is necessary to create a difference in height of 60cm minimum between the shade sail fixture points in order to create an incline for water evacuation during strong rain.

Otherwise, the creation of a  water pouch can damage the shade sail due to its weight.

The types of fixtures:


It is important to take into consideration the type of stand on which the shade sails or poles will be fixed: different fixtures are used for wood, stone, concrete, or grass.

For soft surfaces, opt for anchors such as large pegs, sealed fixtures are more adapted to hard surfaces (stone, concrete…).

For walls, distinguish wood from other materials (concrete, stone, brick…).

Many types of materials can be used to install your shade sail: Stainless-steel or aluminium poles. Stays with ratchet or rope straps. These solutions depend on your personnel taste, there is no “better solution”.

Adjustable poles: Poles that are seal directly into the ground. Requires a hard ground such as concrete. If you wish for a fixed pole and your surface is not concrete, it is possible to create a concrete slab in your surface (for example in the ground of your yard) and to fix a pole onto it.

Poles with stays: Pole simply set on the ground and stabilized with a stay that is rooted further away in the ground (possible for all surfaces).

Snap links: Metallic buckle allowing a fast set up and dismantling of your shade sail.

Bolt with peg: To be fixed in a brick, stone, or concrete wall. Allows the use of a turnbuckle or a set of ropes and pulleys.

Turnbuckle: Device that allows to tighten the sail. Short scope.

Rooting: Allows to fix in the ground the stay of a pole.

Rope and pulley: Device that allows to tighten the sail. Wide scope.

Ratchet buckle: Standard buckle that allows to just the traction of the sail with a stainless-steel ratchet.