Garden shade is the best way to keep you cool (or dry) in the summer. If you’re looking for a guide on how to set up your sail shade, don’t worry, we have you covered in our sail shade installation guide! If you’ve already set up your sail shade, read on to find out how to get the most out of your shade cloth.

Let’s suppose you’ve just installed your favourite sail shade in your lovely little enclosure. It’s set up just the way you want and now you’re ready to invite guests over for a get-together. Before you do however, have you checked if your sail shade is fit for purpose?

Why tension a Sail Shade

Ensuring your sail shade is nice and tight is critical to getting the best out of it. A draping sail shade is only going to make your garden enclosure look uninviting to your guests. Worse still if rain is pouring down and your sail shade is collecting water as it’s not angled properly. This could potentially cause wear and tear in the fabric - which we want to avoid at all costs!  

In this guide we will take you through how to avoid this by ensuring your sail shade is properly taught and flat. Shade sails perform their very best when under tension. 

To tighten your sail shade we have two primary methods: the strap tensioner method and the turnbuckle method. 

Tensioning a Sail Shade Using A Turnbuckle 

This is a fairly easy process. Find the turnbuckle located between two snap hooks at each corner of the sail shade. You can turn these by hand or using a tool, such as an awl or screwdriver. Then, simply tension the sail shade by turning the turnbuckle clockwise at each fixing point. Ensure it is tightened to the point that you can no longer turn it at each fixing point.

Tensioning A Sail Shade Using A Tension Strap

With a strap tensioner, you will want to wrap the tape around the perimeter of the shade cloth and then feed the tape through the strap to bring the sail cloth taut.

It really is as simple as that! If you require the fittings to tension your sail shade, we provide a range of kits perfect for the job. 

To ensure that your sail shade performs its best year-round, follow these tips:

  • Regularly tighten the turnbuckles of your sail shade once a month to prevent gradual sagging 
  • Ensure to oil the stainless steel fittings once every one or two months to prevent galling. 

Now you know how to tension a Sail Shade, you can shade safe and sag-free!