New Standards for Shade Fabric

What you need to know about the new Australian Standards for shade sail fabric

When you want to make the most of the great outdoors, a shade sail can be just the thing to help protect you from the Australian sun and its relentless UV rays. But not all shade fabrics are the same, and with the wide range of options, it can be hard to know how to compare them.

Standards Australia, in a recent review, 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. Shade fabric is classified using the new 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.

Using the UPF or UVR protection rating, some shade fabrics could have a great rating under test conditions but fail to deliver in the real world. This is because the old ratings didn’t consider a range of key variables including the design and installation of the shade structure. The Ultraviolet Effectiveness scale takes all this into account and more 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 New South Wales government has a range of guidelines and policies to ensure that schools provide enough quality shade to protect children from overexposure to harmful UV radiation. These regulations cover a range of shade structures and the materials they’re made from, including shade sails and fabrics. Understanding the new Australian Standards and the UVE protection scale can help you ensure you are complying with state and local government policy.

These rules not only apply to schools but also other education and care providers like daycares and early learning facilities. They can also impact sports clubs and other community groups. If you are looking to apply for funding or grants for your shade sail, the UVE rankings can also help you know which shade fabrics would be covered.

How Rainbow Shade Z16 fabric ranks

The Rainbow Shade 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. Rainbow Shade has over 25 years of experience, developing its shade products to provide the ultimate in solar protection. More than 80% of the Z16 colour range has a UVE ranking of Most Effective or Very Effective.

The Z16 range is one of Australia’s most popular shade cloth fabrics, known for its durability and quality. It also comes in a range of modern and fashionable colours so you can make your shade sail a seamless addition to your property or make a stylish statement. They are an ideal choice for a range of shade solutions including for carports, boat shelters, patios, outdoor retail and dining areas, playgrounds, sporting amenities and private and commercial swimming pools.

Newcastle Shade Sails can help

At Newcastle Shade Sails, we custom-make shade sails to ensure they are a stylish, durable addition that perfectly fits your area. We have been manufacturing and installing shade sails in the local region for many years, so we can help you find the shade solution that will work for you.

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 weather up and down the Central Coast. Our shade sails are made to last, so we back them with an unrivalled 10-year warranty that covers the shade fabric and stitching giving you the ultimate in peace of mind.