A patio umbrella is a simple and effective way to provide shade on your patio or in your backyard. Patio umbrellas are readily available at most big box stores, but often they aren’t made from the most durable fabrics. If your patio umbrella is looking shabby, give it a refresh with new fabric. Today we’re going to show you how to sew your own umbrella canopy.
The key to a great, long-lasting umbrella is the quality of fabric you choose. Look for a fabric with high UV and fade resistance, so it won’t wear out or look faded after a year in the sun. We chose a Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric, which offers excellent fade resistance and great color options. If you wanted extra water resistance, Sunbrella Marine and Awning fabrics are also a great choice.
The canopy, or fabric, of a patio umbrella is made up of two parts: the gores, which form the body of the canopy, and the vent. In the video, you will hear us refer to the gore, which is a technical term for any triangular piece of fabric used in three-dimensional fabrication. So this refers to the triangular segments that make up the main canopy of the umbrella. The vent is the small circular part at the top of the umbrella. The vent is important because it allows air to escape, which prevents heat build-up and keeps your umbrella from acting like a kite and blowing away.
In this video, you will learn how pattern the gores and vent, sew the main canopy, create pockets for the ribs, add the vents, and make an umbrella tie. Plus, you’ll also learn how to use Sailrite’s Fabric Calculator to quickly and easily determine how much fabric you need for your umbrella.
- Sunbrella Fabric (we used Sunbrella Canvas Tuscan 54” Upholstery Fabric)
- Outdoor Thread (V-69, V-92 or Tenara)
- Seamstick Basting Tape for Canvas
- #2 Nickel Spur Grommet
All the materials needed to sew your own patio umbrella canopy are available at www.sailrite.com.
Do you have an umbrella that needs replaced? Have you ever sewed your own umbrella panel before? Share your thoughts, tips and advice on this project in the comments!