After a downpour, you'd think it rained umbrellas with all the spiny skeletons poking out of trashcans... Good umbrellas, though, can last a lifetime, says Glen Flader, the only umbrella maker left in Canada.
Here is some advice from Glen on umbrellas...
You can save money in the long run by putting a few extra dollars into a good umbrella in the first place. We buy materials and imported umbrellas with an emphasis on quality and durability. I try to replicate the quality my grandfather and father have brought to the
company's reputation.To avoid mildew and rust spots, you should always leave your umbrella open to dry after a day of use.|
Any umbrella bought at the Umbrella Shop is guaranteed and can usually be repaired for a $5 service charge for as long as you have it.
|A conventional stick umbrella is much stronger than a folding one. Each joint enabling an umbrella to fold down to purse size is a point of weakness. For convenience, you sacrifice strength. Look for umbrella ribs with a coated finish. These are better protected from rust and corrosion. Avoid spring loaded automatic openers which exert heavy pressure on frames and are more costly to fix. Expensive designer-name umbrellas are not necessarily built for strength. Look for "Fox Frame" or "Paragon" labels on ribs from Sheffield, England. We have seen some of these 100 years old and still coming in for minor repairs.
|Teflon-coated cotton coverings make a nice change from nylon and polyester. Count on paying between $25 and $45 for a good folding umbrella and between $30 and $75 for a full length one. Look for brands carrying quality guarantees. |
We stand behind all the umbrellas we sell and are able to repair each one for a very minimal fee - if it is not the fault of the manufacturer. For example, faulty sewn tips are repaired for free on all of our umbrellas.
|Folding Umbrellas - Choosing a folding umbrella can seem as difficult as choosing a new pair of shoes! Here are some facts for you to consider before you make up your mind: the smaller the umbrella, the more times an umbrella folds. Each fold compromises the umbrella's strength when fighting wind and wear and tear. A folding umbrella can be manual (hand), automatic (spring loaded), or automatic open and close (spring and pulley system). Generally, quality is compromised by convenience.
House Brand 2 Fold
Although most frames are now made in China, quality is usually determined by the price paid for the frame. Although we usually recommend an umbrella will last for two to five years, it is not unusual for our customers to use a manual or two fold automatic for ten or more years. As with all umbrellas, if you take care of it, it will keep you covered for a long time. Italian made folding umbrellas are for high fashion customers. They sometimes require greater care as the luxurious fabrics are not as durable as simple nylons. Stainless steel frames are much stronger than aluminum. Aluminum frames are lighter. Both will rust if not left open to dry.
Cell Phone Sized 3 Fold
The automatic open/close feature must be automatically closed or it will malfunction. We are not able to repair this. Umbrella frames are built to be either wind resistant or wind proof. A wind resistant umbrella is built for its strength against the wind. We recommend our auto two fold models for this. A wind proof umbrella is manufactured to go inside out in the wind and not break when pulled back into shape. Look for fiberglass reinforced ribs to ensure this feature.|
All Umbrellas Need to be Held TOWARDS the Wind, Not Against It.
Windgrinder with Vent
|Parasols - Historically, women used parasols or cloth sun umbrellas to protect their skin from the sun. With modern day concerns of the sun's damaging rays, parasols are very much back in fashion with stunning styles fit for wedding parties or an afternoon stroll in the park. Umbrellas will provide different levels of protection depending on the type of materials used. The denser the weave, the higher the Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF. If the material is plastic coated, it will provide a higher UPF as plastics generally absorb ultraviolet radiation. The umbrellas we sell as sun parasols have been specially treated to block the sun. Many of these styles will also work for rain protection.
Irredescent 3 Fold
|Factors that affect the level of sun protection provided by a fabric include weave, color, weight, stretch, and wetness. Shiny, double lined fabrics and metallic finishers are generally good indicators of high UPF fabrics, although most umbrellas which are waterproofed will provide some level of protection.
Follow all sun-safety recommendations. Using an umbrella, parasol, or a hat does not mean that you can go without sunscreen - the sun's rays bounce off water, glass, and other surfaces.
Our UV Sun Parasol