New Standards for Shade Sail Fabric

Changes to Australian Standards for shade sail fabric and why they’re important

Shade sails are a great way to protect yourself and your family from the harsh Australian sun’s UV rays so you can enjoy the outdoors even in Queensland’s hot, humid climate. There is a huge variety of shade fabrics out there and it can be difficult to know how much protection they offer. In its latest review, Standards Australia has made some changes so it’s clearer and easier to compare shade fabrics and understand how much sun protection your shade sail will provide. Shade fabric is now classified 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 a shade sail will protect you.

Under test conditions, some shade fabric could get a high 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 in practice. The Ultraviolet Effectiveness scale takes this into account in order to rank shade fabrics into three categories: effective, very effective, and most effective sun protection. 

The new UVE ranking might affect Schools and Daycares

The Queensland government has a range of regulatory requirements and guidelines designed to ensure education and care providers are creating a sun safe environment and protecting children from overexposure to harmful UV radiation. These requirements cover a range of shade systems and the materials they’re made of including shade sails. Understanding the new Australian Standards for shade sail fabric and the UVE protection scale can help you ensure you are complying with state and local government policy.

These guidelines not only apply to schools, daycares and early learning facilities they can also apply to sports clubs and other community groups. The UVE rankings can also help you know which shade fabrics would be covered by sun safety funding and grants.

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. More than 80% of the Rainbow Shade Z16 colour range has received a UVE ranking of Most Effective or Very Effective. The broad range of modern and punchy colours means you can create a unique and stylish statement without compromising on protection. The Z16 range is one of Australia’s most popular shade cloth fabrics, known for its durability and quality.

The range consists of high-performance, low-maintenance shade fabrics that not only provide highly effective UV protection, they also reduce glare and heat. 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 patios, decks, outdoor retail and dining areas, commercial facades, playgrounds, sporting facilities and swimming pools.

Northside Shade Sails can help

At Northside Shade Sails, we custom-make shade sails to ensure they are the perfect shade shad solution for your unique needs. Our artisan shade sailmaker has been designing and hand fabricating shade sails for the Australian market, and Australian weather, since 1988. We are entirely Queensland owned and operated and our team of local experts have been manufacturing and installing shade sails for many years across North Brisbane. Our shade structures can also be designed specifically to promote airflow in and around your property to keep you cool even in the Queensland heat.

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, stable and long-lasting. Our unrivalled 10-year warranty covers the shade fabric and stitching so you can get on with enjoying the outdoors with peace of mind knowing you’re covered.