What makes a Waterproof Shade Sail, Waterproof?

March 13th, 2019 · Published to Shade Sails by Steve Lewis

waterproof shade sail

When it comes to finding a waterproof shade solution, nothing beats waterproof shade sails. Really! They’re affordable, versatile and durable. And besides offering excellent sun protection, waterproof shade sails obviously offer protection against the rain. With so many benefits to offer, waterproof shade sails are becoming more and more popular for commercial applications on the Gold Coast.

However with their increasing popularity, I still find many potential customers questioning whether waterproof shade sails truly provide 100% weather protection. Today, I’ll tell you more about our waterproof shade sails, and the fabric that we use to manufacture them. When you’re done reading this article, you’ll see why waterproof shade sail on the Gold Coast are becoming a new trend.

What makes waterproof shade sails waterproof?

Waterproof shade sails are made out of specific shade cloth fabrics, and it is the fabric that makes a shade sail waterproof. The most popular fabrics used in waterproof shade sails are PVC fabrics and PTFE fabrics.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fabrics are composite fabrics that consist of woven polyester yarns (think standard shade cloth fabric) that are coated with PVC and plasticisers. These fabrics vary in grade and fabric weight ranges from 400gsm to 1500gsm. PVC fabrics have a typical life span of 10-15 years. Additional topcoats are usually added to PVC fabrics to help keep the material clean and to prolong longevity.

PTFE (poly tetra fluoro ethylene) fabrics are used in high-end waterproof shade sails. These fabrics are non-combustible, self-cleaning and offer excellent longevity. As with PVC fabrics, the grade of PTFE fabrics varies, and fabric weight ranges from 640gsm to 1600gsm. These fabrics offer a lifespan of more than 30 years.

One important factor that determines the grade of a waterproof shade fabric is the tensile strength and tear strength. The tensile strength for PVC fabrics ranges from 248/225 daN/5cm to 1000/800 daN/5cm, and 400/350 daN/5cm to 875/831 daN/5cm for PTFE fabrics. The tear strength for PVC fabrics ranges from 16/11 daN to 160/140 daN, while the tear strength for PTFE fabrics ranges from 18/18 daN to 71/80 daN.  

Best fabrics to choose for waterproof shade sails

At Global Shade, we make use of industry-leading shade fabrics to manufacture our waterproof shade sails. The fabrics we use include Ferrari 502, Polyplan 680 and Valmex 580S.

Ferrari 502 is a dimensionally stable and durable waterproof fabric available in 40 designer colours. It is a heavyweight fabric that offers excellent resistance against all-weather elements. A limited 10-year warranty covers the Ferrari 502 fabric.

Polyplan 680 is a stylish and versatile waterproof fabric available in 30 contemporary colour options. It is a UV-stabilised heavyweight fabric backed by a 5-year warranty.

Valmex 580S is a high-value waterproof fabric that is suitable for use in commercial applications. It is a heavyweight, flame-retardant and UV-stabilised fabric and is also treated with fungicides for added longevity. A 10-year limited warranty backs this fabric.

For high-quality waterproof shade sails, always trust manufacturers who use industry-leading waterproof shade sails – such as Global Shade.


It is the shade cloth fabric that makes a shade sail waterproof. Waterproof shade sails are usually manufactured using PVC fabrics or PTFE fabrics.

At Global Shade, we use industry-leading waterproof shade cloth fabrics to manufacture our waterproof shade sails. These include Ferrari 502, Polyplan 680 and Valmex 580S. These fabrics offer 100% all-weather protection, and warranties back them.

If you’re looking for a high-quality waterproof shade sail on the Gold Coast, look no further than us at Global Shade! Get in touch with us for a free quote on our waterproof shade sails on the Gold Coast today!

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