How to Buy Quality Patio Shade Sails That Last!

June 26th, 2019 · Published to Shade Sails by Steve Lewis

patio shade sails

Patio shade sails – manufactured by Global Shade and installed by Ashadya Shade Sails & Blinds (Sydney)

If you’re going to invest in patio shade sails, then please take my advice; as someone who has been in the shade sail industry for more than 20 years, it pays to buy quality patio shade sails – like those we make here at Global Shade!

While they may be a little more pricy than standard shade sails that you can pick up off the shelf from your local hardware store, quality patio shade sails will last considerably longer – as much as 5 – 10 years longer! Therefore, you will definitely get your money’s worth.

But how can you tell quality patio shade sails apart from standard shade sails? Well, continue reading this article and I will tell you.

Webbing and cables

Something a little less covered with patio shade sails is the webbing and cables used in the installation. To identify quality, look for marine grade polyester webbing and well-sized catenary edge cables that won’t cut through the fabric.

Ensure the weave of the webbing is very strong and tight with low elongation. Black or white offers increased UV resistance and are good choices. For the cables, the best system is PVC coated wire running through a reinforced edge pocket with 8mm outer diameter.

UV Protection

Always opt for the highest possible UVR block rating in your patio shade sails. Domestic-grade fabrics offer between 50% and 99% UVR block, however, it is recommended to not go below 94% UV block.

The fabrics we use at Global Shade in the manufacturing of our patio shade sails are of the highest quality and offer up to 99% UV protection. Click here to view our fabric options.

Stitching and threads

In terms of the fabric thread, UV resistant multi-filament threads are best for quality patio shade sails. Look for PTFE or PVDF thread, double (if not triple) reinforced connection points and zigzag stitching on all seams. Threads of a 210 size are best as they prevent UV break down.

Coated polyester sail making thread is also an acceptable thread, but not as high in quality as the PTFE or PVDF thread. Avoid normal lock/chain stitching as this can often break under heavy loads.

Codes and standards

Certain codes and standards need to be met in the design of patio shade sails. The most important codes to ensure your patio shade sails adhere to are:

  • 2:2011 – Stipulates general principles, wind loading codes and structural design actions,
  • AS4100:1998 – Steel structures code Building Code of Australia


Perhaps the easiest way to identify the quality of patio shade sails is by the warranty that is offered. Keep in mind that there will be two warranties; a warranty for the shade sail fabric (and stitching) and a separate warranty from the shade sail installer.

A good quality shade sail fabric will offer a 10 or 15-year warranty.


In terms of installation, the wire, fittings and shade posts also need to be looked at for quality. 316 marine grade quality stainless steel wire cable and wall fixings should be used. Ensure the posts are made from galvanized steel and are primed and powder coated to prevent rusting.


Want more tips on buying quality patio shade sails? Then be sure to check out one of my earlier posts, ‘4 mistakes to avoid when buying patio shade sails’.


If you’re going to buy patio shade sails, be sure that you’re buying quality patio shade sails. To know that you’re buying quality, look at the following elements; the webbing and cables, UVR block rating, stitching and thread, codes and standard, and the wire, fittings and shade posts.

For quality patio shade sails across Australia, then you’ll find no better in quality than those we manufacture right here at Global Shade. Whether you’re in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide or anywhere in between, get in touch with us for a free quote on your patio shade sails. We can also put you in touch with a local installer.

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