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Choosing the Right Shade Color for You

Taylor Bailey

If you're in the process of purchasing a shade membrane, but you're finding it difficult to settle on a color, the following tips may help you to narrow down your options.

All of our fabric colors do a great job providing shade and blocking ultraviolet radiation, as is evident in the data* below:

UVR Blocking and Shade Factor by Color

In that regard, shade sail color choice often comes down to the look you want. Often, customers aim to match colors in the environment around their shade sail. Sometimes that means the color of structures around the sail, like this blue and green playground, or the sails over the windows of the shopping center below. Other occasions call for matching the natural environment, like the khaki, desert-themed shade sails Taliesin West Library, or the forest colored sails at the Audubon Zoo.

Blue sails on a blue and green playgroundShades over shopping center Khaki shade sails at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZShade sails over Sea Lion exhibit at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, LA

All that being said, some colors do actually suit particular applications better than others, beyond aesthetics. Due to the high shade factor of some of our darker colors, they are often used in areas where maximum sun blocking is desired, like this patio in Arizona.

Black shade sails in Paradise Valley, AZ

Alternatively, our lighter colors tend to allow more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to pass through, which plants need in order to grow. While we are not botanists, and do not recommend shading plants with our shade cloth, if you do intend to grow plants underneath your shade membrane, be sure to choose a color with a high PAR transmission, such as ivory or yellow.

PAR transmission chart

Notice how the customer below used ivory fabric to create a lighter shade and allow a higher transmission of PAR for their garden.

Ivory garden shade sails

While neutral colors do tend to resist fading better, all of our fabric colors are UV stabilized in order to stand up to the degradation of the sun for years.

When deciding on a color for your shade sail, roman shades, or shade panel, keep in mind that all of the colors are going to provide good shade protection and significantly decrease the ambient temperature beneath. For more specific information about our fabric, and specifications by color, please reference the fabric data sheet linked below. Contact us about getting two or three color samples or purchase a sample book with all fifteen colors to help you along in your decision. 

*data acquired from fabric data sheet



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