Tensile Fabrics: 10 Reasons to Invest in Premium Quality

Tensile Fabrics: 10 Reasons to Invest in Premium Quality

tensile fabrics

Is investing in high-quality tensile fabrics for your shade sails worth it? Yes, and here are our top 10 reasons why. 

Shade sails have become the number one choice when it comes to effective shading in the summer, and an absolute must if you are looking for proper UV protection for your outdoor space. 

If you are looking for a shade sail for your swimming pool, patio, deck or garden, you may be wondering: is it worth investing in high-quality tensile fabrics, or are store-bought options just as good? In this article, we will answer this question – as well as many others, to help you make the best decision for your residential or commercial outdoor area.

Let’s take a look:

1. Longevity

One of the most important reasons to invest in high-quality tensile fabrics is because they extend the longevity of your shade sail. 

Depending on the manufacturer, a shade sail may last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, but a huge factor when it comes to its actual longevity is the quality of the materials that were used in the manufacturing process.

Quality tensile canopy fabrics are usually made from more resistant materials, which means that they are less prone to fading, tearing, or deteriorating over time. 

This increases the longevity of the shade sail, allowing you to enjoy its benefits for years to come without the need for frequent repair or replacements.

2. Durability

Along the same train of thought, high-quality tensile fabrics also tend to be more durable. As opposed to cheaper, store-bought options, they are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions, including storms and strong winds

In fact, a good shade sail manufactured with quality materials is capable of withstanding up to 110 km per hour, allowing you to make a greater use of your sail without having to take it down constantly. Of course, it’s still advisable to take it down if the wind is too strong, unless you have purchased a shade sail for extreme weather conditions

Premium tensile fabrics are also stronger and more durable under the effects of harsh UV radiation and heavy rainfall. This durability ensures that your shade sail will remain functional and visually appealing for an extended period of time.

3. Aesthetic appearance

Whether you are looking to purchase a shade sail for your residential or commercial area, aesthetic appearance matters. 

On one hand, it increases the value of your commercial space, which is especially important for restaurant patios, public swimming pools, hotel gardens and other businesses that are interested in attracting as many people as possible. 

On another, a visually appealing shade sail adds a warm, cosy touch to any residential area, enhancing the comfort and well-being of the people who live in it. However, low-quality fabrics aren’t able to achieve the same aesthetics as premium ones.

4. Vibrant colours

On top of having a better aesthetic appearance since the start, premium tensile fabrics also have the ability to retain it for longer, ensuring that your shade sail remains an attractive addition to your outdoor space.

The colours stay vibrant, and the fabric remains smooth and wrinkle-free.

5. Better UV protection

Superior tensile fabrics also offer enhanced UV protection (up to 98% blockage) when compared with low-quality, store-bought options. 

This is extremely important, and one of the main benefits of canopies and shade sails in the first place. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to sunburn, premature ageing (wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots), and an increased risk of skin cancers like melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

UV rays can also cause the fading, discoloration, and degradation of fabrics, plastics, artwork, furniture, and other materials. This effect is particularly pronounced in outdoor items exposed to direct sunlight.

6. Enhances safety

Safety should never be underestimated, and cheaper tensile fabrics definitely don’t provide the same safety as premium, high-quality options. 

Because premium fabrics are engineered to withstand various stresses, including wind, tension, and environmental conditions, they have the strength and durability needed to reduce the risk of tearing or structural failure – ensuring that the sail is securely anchored and intact over time.

On another hand, premium tensile fabrics are specifically designed to handle tension forces. They have well-defined tensile strength ratings, indicating their ability to maintain their shape and tension even under stress.

tensile fabrics

This prevents the fabric from sagging or becoming unstable, reducing the risk of accidents caused by loose or flapping fabric.

Quality fabrics are also less prone to fraying, ripping, or developing weak points due to friction or abrasion. This resistance prevents the fabric from weakening over time and reduces the chances of accidents caused by sudden fabric breakage.

7. Compliance with the regulations

While we are on the topic of safety, another reason why you should invest in high-quality tensile fabrics is because they comply with the safety regulations and standards established by relevant authorities in the construction and textile industries.

Using compliant materials contributes to the overall safety of the shade sail installation. In contrast, cheap options don’t always comply with the regulations, which means that there are increased risks in harsh conditions and other situations.

8. Quality control 

Reputable manufacturers of high-quality fabrics, such as SD Sails, follow stringent quality control processes. 

They subject their fabrics to rigorous testing for factors like strength, fire resistance, UV resistance, and other safety-related properties. This testing ensures that the fabric meets industry standards and can be trusted for safe installations.

9. Less maintenance

As opposed to store-bought alternatives, shade sails made with premium tensile fabrics usually require less frequent maintenance and replacement, saving you both money and time in the long run.

That’s because they are treated with UV-resistant coatings or additives, preventing the fabric from deteriorating, becoming brittle, or losing its colour due to prolonged exposure to the sun. 

High-quality fabrics not only maintain their structural integrity and vibrant colours over time (as we also saw earlier in the article), but they are less prone to wear and tear. They also have higher stain resistance which makes cleaning easier and prevents stains from setting in.

In addition, with high-quality fabrics, maintenance procedures can be less frequent and less intensive. Regular cleaning with mild detergents, gentle brushing, and occasional inspections for any signs of wear or damage are usually sufficient to keep the shade sail in excellent condition.

10. Professional installation 

Shade sails made with high-quality tensile fabrics are often installed by professionals who understand proper tensioning, anchoring, and installation techniques. Correct installation reduces unnecessary strain on the fabric and ensures that it remains secure and taut over time.

About SD Sails

If you are looking for a bespoke canopy made with premium tensile fabrics, SD Sails offers a wide variety of high-quality options ready to cut and manufacture to your order. 

With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, we have developed an end-to-end solution to perfectly fit your requirements every time. Get a quote now with our proprietary Free Form canopies technology, which allows you to customise your shade sail quickly and easily.


Do high-quality tensile fabrics require less maintenance than other materials?

Yes, high-quality tensile fabrics typically require less maintenance due to their UV resistance, durability, and resistance to fading, tearing, and environmental stressors.

Can tensile fabrics provide effective UV protection?

Absolutely, tensile fabrics offer excellent UV protection. Their specially designed materials and coatings block harmful UV rays, shielding you from sunburn and reducing the risk of skin damage and related health issues.

How do I choose the right fabric colour for my shade sail?

When selecting a fabric colour for your shade sail, consider the environment and purpose. Neutral tones blend well with surroundings, while vibrant colours can make a bold statement. 

Factor in aesthetics, sun exposure, and surrounding structures. Test samples in the space to ensure the chosen colour complements your setting.

Can I get waterproof fabrics for shade sails?

Yes, waterproof fabrics are available for shade sails. They are designed to repel water and provide effective rain protection. 

However, keep in mind that fully waterproof fabrics may limit air circulation and create heat buildup underneath. Consider your specific needs, climate, and potential trade-offs when choosing between waterproof and breathable options.

Do shade sail fabrics block heat effectively?

Yes, shade sail fabrics can block heat effectively by reducing direct sunlight exposure. They create shaded areas that are cooler than open spaces. 

Choosing a fabric with a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) and considering the fabric’s opacity can enhance its ability to block both heat and harmful UV rays, creating a comfortable outdoor environment.

Can I customise the shape and size of my shade sail fabric?

Absolutely, shade sail fabrics can be customised in various shapes and sizes to fit your specific space and design preferences. Rectangular, triangular, and even more intricate designs are possible. 

Working with professionals ensures accurate measurements, proper tensioning, and secure installation for a tailored shading solution.