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Fiberglass Commercial Patio Umbrella FAQ's

Why should I custom print my patio umbrellas?

Patio umbrellas provide an opportunity to create a larger presence, attract attention, communicate a message and/or extend your brand look and feel.  Unprinted patio umbrellas are like having empty billboards sitting out front of your restaurant, café or bar!  Depending on your brand identity, you can print large and bright, or simple and subtle…the options are endless.

How does your frame compare to others on the market?

In a commercial environment (restaurant, bar, café or hotel), patio umbrellas are put through the wringer…they are put up and taken down many times over, they are left outside for long periods of time in a wide variety of weather conditions, and they are handled by employees that may or may not treat them gently.  So, what we’re saying is…durability is really important!   Not all patio umbrellas are created equal, and here are the reasons we’ve chosen the frame that we have:

  • Fiberglass frame (pole and ribs): We chose a fiberglass material over wood because fiberglass is stronger and more weather-resistant, and we chose fiberglass over metal because metal frames can rust or pit, and do not have the flexibility of fiberglass (metal ribs snap instead of flex in the wind).  Also, please note that not all fiberglass ribs are equal either!  Our fiberglass ribs are a hollow oval shape, making them lightweight but stronger than solid fiberglass ribs.  The reason can be explained scientifically - the same reason bones of humans and birds are hollow!
  • No tilt: Tilting function is very prone to breakage so we have not included it.
  • Pulley and pin open: We chose a pulley and pin system over a crank open it is less prone to breakage and it locks the umbrella in an open position so it can’t accidentally close.
  • Replaceable ribs:  Ribs are the most susceptible to breakage so we have designed our frame with replaceable ribs which allows you to easily repair your umbrella easily in case it does have an unfortunate accident.

What fabric should I choose for my patio umbrella?

Both the Spuncrylic and Sunbrella fabrics that we sell are solution-dyed, which means the fibers were pigmented before the fabric was woven together, giving it longer colourfastness than if the fibers were dipped/painted after the fabric was woven together.  Both fabrics are durable, stain and water-resistant and mold and mildew-resistant.  The main difference between the two is the length of colourfastness.  Spuncrylic offers a two-year no-fade warranty and will typically last 3-5 years before needing replacement.  Sunbrella offers a five-year no-fade warranty and can last 6+ years, but is more expensive.  Our advice is this:

  • Choose Sunbrella fabric if you want the longest life possible for your umbrellas and you don't plan on changing patio colours or branding/logos for a long time.
  • Choose Spuncrylic fabric if you think you might want to change fabric colours or logos in a few years, or you have a lower budget. Remember that if your covers reach the end of their life and your frames are in good condition, you can always buy replacement covers from us!