Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 28

or something that's been around for thousands
of years-as far back as the Roman Colosseum,
if not longer-shade sails in North America have
a reputation as " the new kid on the block. "
While using tensioned sails to provide shade for both
commercial and residential structures has been a function of
fabrication shops in North America for at least a couple decades
and for much longer in Australia and other places with intense heat,
a number of factors-including, not surprisingly, the pandemic-
have significantly increased their popularity.
People needed more places to gather safely outdoors, and shade
sails proved in many cases to be the perfect way to block the sun.
But generally warming temperatures have also made sun blocking
devices necessary where they weren't before, and improvements in
fabric durability, allowing them to last longer while being exposed
to the sun, have also spurred the trend.
Amy Poe, owner of Wyckam Fabric Creations in Portland, Ore.,
spun her company off from North Sails Oregon a few years ago
as demand for fabrication outside the marine industry grew. One
product? Shade sails.
" When you have an industrial sewing machine, people start coming
in asking if you can do this or if you can do that, " Poe says. " So
if you've got the machine, the space and the time, you start making
other things. One day a few years back someone walked in and
asked if we'd ever made shade sails, not sails. We said, 'What's that?' "
" We'd never heard of them, " Poe says with a laugh.
" It took a couple of years before we actually made some for
anyone, " she explains. " We went to a seminar and got educated on
how to make them. Otherwise we probably wouldn't have gotten
there. They aren't difficult but they have their own unique quirks, and
you have to understand those quirks to make them successfully. "
This article highlights the recent projects of four shade sail
TOP: This colorful array of shade sails over a playground
in Keizer, Ore., a project of Wyckam Fabric Creations,
demonstrates two of the most appealing aspects of
shade sails-functionality and aesthetics.
BOTTOM: Shade sail projects can require the elaborate
planning of any fabrication project. One of the challenges
of this playground project was installing the shade sails
after the playground was already completed. Photos:
Wyckam Fabric Creations.
makers, including Poe. Each project encountered specific challenges
and the sail makers discuss how they responded to those challenges
and offer their thoughts on the shade sail industry's prospects.
Playground predicament
When Poe's shop was recently called upon by the city of Keizer,
Ore., to provide shade cover for the Big Toy Playground at Keizer
Rapids Park, she found an immediate challenge. " The place is
amazing, but they thought it would be easy to put in the shade sails
after the fact, which is not usually the way it's done. "
28 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / August 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 5
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 21
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover3
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