Sail Shade Types: A Comprehensive Guide

sail shade types


Sail shades, also known as sun shades or shade sails, are an excellent way to add shade and style to any outdoor space. They come in various sail shade types including different shapes, sizes, and materials, making it easy to find the perfect shade sail for your needs. In this article, we will explore the different types of sail shades available on the market today and help you choose the right one for your space.

What are Sail Shades?

Sail shades are large pieces of fabric that are suspended between two or more anchor points to create shade. They come in various shapes, such as triangles, squares, and rectangles, and are made from various materials, including polyester, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). We use Commercial 95 for our standard sail shade type and Ferrari 502 for our waterproof sail shade installations.

Sun sail shades can be used in a variety of settings, such as patios, decks, gardens, and even parking lots. They are a cost-effective alternative to traditional pergolas, umbrellas, and canopies and can be easily installed by homeowners themselves.

Sail Shade Types

1. Triangle Sail Shades

Triangle sail shades are one of the most popular types of sail shades on the market. They are versatile and can be used to create shade in small or large areas, depending on their size. They come in various sizes, including small, medium, and large, and are available in a wide range of colors.

2. Square Sail Shades

Square sail shades are another popular option for those looking to add shade to their outdoor space. They are perfect for creating a modern, minimalist look and are available in various sizes and colors.

3. Rectangle Sail Shades

Rectangle sail shades are perfect for larger areas, such as pool decks or patios. They come in a range of sizes and colours, making it easy to find the perfect shade sail for your space.

4. Custom Sail Shades

If you have a specific vision for your outdoor space, custom sail shades may be the perfect option for you. Custom sail shades are made to order and can be designed to fit any space and style.


Sail shades are made from various materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common materials used for sail shades:

1. Commercial 95

Commercial 95 Sun Sail Shades is the default industry standard shade material we use.

Durable and versatile, it can be used outdoors or indoors on any flat surface. The shade material is available in a variety of colours including black as well as bright vibrant shades to make your graphic message stand out.

2. Ferrari 502

For our waterproof sun shade installations we use a material type called Ferrari 502.

Ferrari 502 is a PVC-coated polyester fabric that has excellent tensile strength, UV resistance and waterproofing properties. It is also very easy to clean – you can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.


Installing sail shades is a straightforward process and can be done by most homeowners. Here are the steps to install a sail shade:

  1. Determine the size and shape of the sail shade you need.
  2. Choose the anchor points for your sail shade. These can be trees, posts, or even the side of your house.
  3. Attach the sail shade to the anchor points using hardware such as turnbuckles, snap hooks, or eye bolts.
  4. Adjust the tension of the sail shade using the hardware to ensure it is taut and not sagging.


Sail shades are an excellent way to add shade and style to any outdoor space. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, making it easy to find the perfect shade sail for your needs. Triangle, square, and rectangle sail shades are popular options, while custom sail shades allow you to create a unique look for your outdoor space.

When it comes to materials, although still robust, Commercial 95 is the most affordable option, while Ferrari 502 is more durable but also more expensive. Whichever material you choose, sail shades are a cost-effective alternative to traditional pergolas, umbrellas, and canopies.


  1. What is the difference between sail shades and traditional pergolas or canopies? Sail shades are made from fabric and are suspended between anchor points, while pergolas and canopies are usually made from wood or metal and have a fixed structure.
  2. How long do sail shades last? The lifespan of a sail shade depends on the material and how well it is maintained. Commercial 95 sail shades may need to be replaced more frequently than Ferrari 502 sail shades.
  3. Can sail shades be used in windy conditions? Sail shades are designed to withstand moderate wind conditions. However, if you live in an area with strong winds, you may need to take your sail shade down during windy weather.
  4. Can sail shades be used for commercial spaces? Yes, sail shades are a popular choice for commercial spaces such as restaurants, cafes, and parking lots.
  5. How do I clean my sail shade? The best way to clean a sail shade is to use a mild detergent and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow the sail shade to dry completely before storing it away.