Most people picture shade cloth fabric when they think about shade sails, but the thing is you can also get shade sails made from other materials which makes them waterproof.

Rainbow Shade is one of the leading suppliers of shade sail fabrics in Australia, therefore, it’s fair to say we are specialists on this particular topic. Waterproof shade sails are and outstanding option because they not only provide protection from harmful UV rays, they keep your outdoor living and entertainment area dry, even when it rains.

In this article, you will find out more about waterproof shade sails, their benefits, and the fabrics used for this type of shade sail.

There is no doubt that shade sails are the most popular shade solution, as they are both an attractive and affordable solution for many, but they have one downfall – they generally are not waterproof. Standard shade sails are made from shade cloth, therefore, as soon as it rains, everything below will get wet which is why there was such a demand for an all-weather solution. Hence, waterproof shade sails were developed.

According to the Specialised Textile Association, the fabric used for waterproof shade sails, is generally a waterproof PVC fabric. It is the most popular material for the purpose, it is a composite of a woven polyester yarn, and it is coated on both sides with Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). Surrounding the polyester yarns, PVC delivers a protective weather barrier. Plasticizers are included, because they give flexibility to the fabric, which is why the fabrication, handling and installation are simple and easy. Usually, PVC manufacturers offer 5 to 6 grades of material, and the weight of the fabric ranges from 400 to 1500 gsm. When it comes to design criteria, among the most significant ones are tear strength, and tensile strength, and each grade offers different strength levels. Additional top coats, such as PVDF (polyvinyl-idene-fluoride), and Acrylic are applied to the fabric in order to keep it clean. A top coating will certainly enhance the fabric’s serviceability, but for some fabrics periodic cleaning may be needed. PVC fabrics last for a long time, usually 10-15 years, sometimes even more. These fabrics are available in different colours, and they have a warranty (5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years).

Fabrics best suited to Waterproof Shade

The fabrics that Rainbow Shade offer for waterproof shade sails are DRiZ and Serge Ferrari. DRiZ is available in a wide range of colours, and it delivers ultimate protection from the rain, wind and sun. It is designed to filter the harmful UV radiation, and to provide natural light transmission. DRiZ has high tensile strength, and it is also a long lasting and durable shade fabric. It is backed by a 5 year limited warranty. Serge Ferrari PVC shade fabric is UV resistant, and thanks to its unique technology, the fabric has superior stability and strength, even in highly demanding environments. It is backed with a 10-20 year limited warranty.

Waterproof shade sails are an outstanding solution. They provide protection from the sun, but that’s not all. They will keep the area beneath dry allowing you to enjoy the outdoors all year round regardless of the weather conditions. While waterproof shade sails can be used for a number of applications, they are excellent for walkways, commercial car parks and residential carports, so you can get to and from a destination without getting drenched.


Standard shade sails are an affordable and attractive solution, but these shade sails are generally not waterproof, because they are made from shade cloth. Waterproof shade sails however, do exist and are the perfect all-weather solution. Most commonly made from PVC fabric, waterproof shade sails are the perfect solution to keeping your outdoor entertainment area dry even when it rains.

If you are looking for waterproof fabrics for shade sails, contact Rainbow Shade, the leading supplier of shade sail fabrics in Australia. We distribute our high-quality shade fabrics to the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, and in between. Give us a call today!