New Australian Standards for shade sail fabric and why you should know about it

A shade sail is a great way to protect yourself from the harsh Australian sun’s UV rays and help ensure you make the most of the great outdoors even in Adelaide’s hot and dry climate. There is a huge variety of shade fabrics out there and it can be difficult to know how much protection they offer and how to compare them.

In it’s latest review Standards Australia has made some changes to make it clearer and easier for you to understand exactly what kind of sun protection you’ll get out of your shade sail. One of the key changes is that shade fabric is now ranked using the Ultraviolet Effectiveness (UVE) scale.

Why the Ultraviolet Effectiveness scale?

Unlike the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) and Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) protection ratings UVE takes into account the strength, weave and colour of the sail. This provides a more accurate rating of how much sun protection you’ll actually get from your shade sail on a day-to-day basis.

Under test conditions, some shade fabric could get a great UPF or UVR protection rating but due to a range of variables including the design and installation of the shade structure, you might not get those same results. The Ultraviolet Effectiveness scale takes all this into account and ranks shade fabrics into three categories: effective, very effective, and most effective sun protection.

The new UVE ranking might affect schools and daycares

The South Australian government has a range of design standards for shade structures that apply to education and early childhood facilities. These standards are to ensure the structure is safe and there is enough quality shade to protect children from overexposure to UV radiation. It’s important to understand the Australian Standards and the UVE protection scale to ensure that you are complying with state and local government requirements.

These rules can apply to not only education and care providers but also sports clubs and other community groups. The UVE protection rankings can also tell you which shade fabrics can be covered by shade sail grants and funding programs.

How Rainbow Shade Z16 sails rank

Rainbow Shade has over 25 years of experience, developing its shade products to provide the ultimate in solar protection. The Rainbow Shade Z16 range is one of Australia’s most popular shade cloth fabrics, known for its durability and quality. More than 80% of the Z16 colour range has a UVE ranking of Most Effective or Very Effective so you have a range of modern and fashionable colour options to help make your shade sail a seamless addition to your property or make a stylish statement.

The Z16 range consists of high-performance, low-maintenance shade fabrics that not only provide highly effective UV protection, they also reduce glare and heat so you’re comfortable and protected all year round. Rainbow Shade Z16 fabrics are proven to outperform other shade cloth fabrics for UV protection over a 15-year lifespan. They are an ideal choice for a range of shade solutions including for carports, decks, patios, outdoor retail and dining areas, playgrounds, sporting amenities and private and commercial swimming pools.

Adelaide Shade Sails is here to help

At Adelaide Shade Sails, we custom-make shade sails to ensure they are a stylish addition that perfectly fits your area. Our sails are built for Australian conditions, by Australians here in Australia. Our combination of high quality, hard-wearing fabric, durable shapes, high-strength stainless steel fittings and perimeter cable means our shade sails are highly resilient and stable in every kind of weather.

Our shade sails are a long-term investment that will last for many years to come, that’s why our shade sails come with an unrivalled 10-year warranty. We cover the shade fabric and the stitching, so you can relax and enjoy the outdoors knowing you’re covered.

Read about the new Australian Standards for Shade Fabric