The 4 qualities of
the best parasol fabric

Lots of people say that the fabric is the most important part of any parasol. Whether that’s true or not, it is certainly one of the key elements. It is the fabric that determines whether or not your parasol offers sufficient protection against the sun and the rain. Or keeps harmful UV rays off your customers’ skin. Do you want the name of your business printed on the parasol? Do you know if that’s possible with the fabric you have chosen? And do you want to prevent your parasols looking pale and washed out at the end of just a single season? If so, it is crucial to choose the right fabric.

Make sure your parasols are waterproof

  • Not every type of fabric is waterproof. Many parasols start dripping water once it begins to rain. This means your guests will get wet.
  • Ask your supplier to confirm in writing that his parasols offer protection against the rain.
  • The technical term for the water-repellence of a fabric is its ‘water column’. Insist on a water column of at least 35 cm if your parasol is sloping. With a flat parasol, it is not possible for the water to run off the upper surface. In these circumstances, you need a water column of at least 100 cm. A professional supplier will always have these details at hand.

Sun and rain

“I hate eating in the sun. And in the rain, of course. A parasol therefore needs to offer protection against both sun and rain. For me, both these things are just as important.”

Three-star chef Geert Van Hecke (De Karmeliet, De Refter, Zet’Joe)

Water resistance in figures

The water column measures how much water pressure a fabric can take before it starts letting through drips. These measurements are taken under laboratory conditions. A 100 cm-high cylinder (or column) is placed on the fabric. The cylinder is slowly filled with water until the first drops penetrate through the fabric. The height of the water in the cylinder at that moment is the water column. The higher the water column, the more water-resistant the fabric.

Protect yourself and your guests from the sun’s dangerous ultra-violet rays

The sun emits dangerous ultra-violet rays that can seriously damage your skin. Burns caused by UV-rays can even result in cancer. A parasol fabric of the right quality can protect against these rays. Dickson is a manufacturer of sun-resistant fabrics that tests each individual colour to establish its Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF: the extent to which a particular fabric prevents UV penetration and thereby protects the skin.

A professional expert can give you the right advice.

  • UPF12+ holds back 90% of all UV-rays.
  • UPF30+ holds back at least 95% of all UV-rays.
  • UPF50+ holds back 100% of all UV-rays.

Demand a 10-year guarantee against the discolouration of your parasol fabric

We’ve all seen them. Those dirty, washed-out parasols whose colours are no longer recognizable. They might once have been red (or blue or green) but after two seasons their colour has been bleached by the sun. This can ruin your carefully constructed business image. Shabby parasols create a shabby impression amongst your customers.

  • Most people think that every colour of every parasol loses its colour in the sun.
  • Not true: some colours fade more quickly than others. The type of fabric and the way the colour is applied is also crucial.
  • Dickson give a 10-year guarantee against the discolouration of their fabrics, even if your parasols are in the desert.
In classic textiles, the colorant is added to the surface of the threads or fibres. This means that the colour is restricted to the exterior and therefore fades or disappears in after a time. You can compare it to the colour of a radish.
Long-lasting quality parasols are usually made from mass-coloured acrylic fibre. This means that the colour pigments penetrate to the interior of the fibres during the production process, before the threads themselves are even made. As a result, the colour does not fade and cannot be washed out. You can compare it to the colour of a carrot.

Get noticed with your parasols

Your parasols are often the first thing that people notice about your terrace. They are big and can be seen from a long way off. An open parasol signals that your business is also open. This is the best kind of positive free advertising.

  • Choose parasols in a colour that stands out. Make sure that the fabric colour is different from your neighbour’s.
  • Big parasols are more noticeable than small ones.
  • An attractive logo or a fun slogan always gets people’s attention. Ask your supplier in advance if he can print texts on your parasols. It is not always possible.

Pick the right parasol
(and your terrace will be packed)

50 parasol tips for the catering world

The book of 'parasologist' Pierre Christiaens for the
catering professional who wants to get more out of his business.

Pierre Christiaans

"Parasologist" and author

How can you get more out of your terrace? Why can the right parasol help to make your terrace more pro table? And how do you choose the right parasol?

In this book, ‘parasologist’ Pierre Christiaens offers insights based on his more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the world of parasols for catering businesses. With dozens of awards, his company Symo Parasols is most highly acclaimed parasol producer under the sun.

Pierre is most proud of his honorary title as ‘Maestro dell’Artigianato’ (Master Craftsman) of the City of Rome.

Symo Parasols also created the famous Sywawa ‘Sunbelievable’ design parasols.

In 2007, Unizo nominated Pierre Christiaens as the most creative entrepreneur of the year.

This book allows you to benefit from that creativity and entrepreneurial skill.
Because with the right parasol you can get so much more out of your business.