Why pair your outdoor furniture with a parasol?

We’re taking an in-depth look at our parasols - From why you should pair our outdoor furniture with one to how to best clean and maintain them.

This month we’ve already looked at our Outdoor Furniture Cushions, so as a nice sister piece to that post, we thought it would be nice to look at why we think you should pair our outdoor furniture with a Parasol too.

Why pair your outdoor furniture with a parasol?

The weather has definitely taken a turn this past week or so, and while the rain is providing some much welcome relief to our gardens, we’re still hopeful we can maybe eke out a few more sunny weekends of al fresco meals at our Lazy Susan Outdoor Furniture.

The Lazy Susan Parasol Collection

Wikipedia defines a parasol as:

“An umbrella or parasol is a folding canopy supported by wooden or metal ribs that are usually mounted on a wooden, metal, or plastic pole. It is designed to protect a person against rain or sunlight. The term umbrella is traditionally used when protecting oneself from rain, with parasol used when protecting oneself from sunlight, though the terms continue to be used interchangeably.”

They go on to say about the etymology of the term parasol:

“The word parasol (originally from French) is a combination of para, meaning 'to shield from' derived from the Latin parare, and sol, meaning ‘sun'. Parapluie (French) similarly consists of para combined with pluie, which means 'rain' (which in turn derives from pluvia, the Latin word for rain). Hence, a parasol shields from sunlight while a parapluie shields from rain.”

The Lazy Susan Parasol Collection is basically designed to do both of those things, sun and rain... 

The Lazy Susan Parasol Collection

Their primary function is shade and they are highly effective at protecting those sitting at our garden tables from the sun's UV rays. 

The heavyweight fabric gives you a high degree of protection from the sun's UV rays and provides shade which will significantly reduce the temperature on a hot day. 

Not only that, they can be tilted to keep the sun out of your eyes as you enjoy a bite to eat.

However, that fabric is also waterproof, so if there’s a passing shower (highly probable at this time of year), then our parasols will also keep your table and guests dry.

We offer a range of sizes and colours that coordinate with both our Cast Aluminium Outdoor Furniture and Outdoor Cushions

All our 4 to 10-seater Garden Table & Chair Sets (plus some of our larger 2-seater Bistro Tables) and our range of revolving Lazy Susan Turntables feature a centre hole cut for our parasols. 

The parasols themselves feature a crank handle for ease of opening and closing and a tilt mechanism, plus, we provide a range of cast iron bases to keep them secure and safe from sudden gusts.

Lazy Susan Parasol Sizes

The Lazy Susan Parasol Collection parasol collection is available in 2.5-metre, 2.7-metre and 3.5-metre diameter umbrellas, so you can purchase the right size for the table set you are looking to purchase.

We also offer our parasols with a significant discount off the separate purchase price if you purchase them as a gift bundle with our garden table sets.

Lazy Susan Parasol Sizes

For example, if you purchase our popular June 6-Seater Set in Antique Bronze (pictured above), you can save over 50% if you add one of our recommended 2.7-metre parasols at checkout.

2.5 Metre Parasols

2.5 Metre Parasols

Our 2.5m diameter parasols weigh just 5kg and are the perfect accessory for your Lazy Susan garden table set.

We recommend you pair our 2.5m parasol with our 4-seater sets and they are available with our Grey, Stone, Green, Blue and Terracotta fabrics.

2.7 Metre Parasols

2.7 Metre Parasols

Our 2.7m diameter parasols feature all the same design specifications and materials as our 2.5m but the large size ups the weight to a still light at just under 6kg.

We recommend you pair our 2.7-metre parasols with our 6 and 8-seater garden table sets and they are available with our Grey, Stone, Green, Blue and Terracotta fabrics.

3.5 Metre Parasols

3.5 Metre Parasols

Our largest parasol is 3.5m in diameter, which only weighs around the same as our 2.7-metre at just over 6kg, so it too is easy to pick up and position in the base.

We recommend pairing the larger 3.5m parasols with our 10+ seater sets and they are available with our Stone, Green and Blue fabrics. 

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Our collection includes a carefully selected range of fabric colours all tailored to fit the shapes and contours of our comprehensive range of garden chairs benches and sun loungers.

The collection is available in a choice of our garden-friendly green, terracotta, navy, stone and grey colours. 

However, please note some styles are not available in some colours, so please speak to our Customer Service Team if you have any questions

Stone Parasols

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Green Parasols

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Blue Parasols

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Terracotta Parasols

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Please note our Terracotta Parasols are currently only available in our 2.5 and 2.7-meter diameter umbrellas.

Grey Parasols

Lazy Susan Parasol Colours

Please note our Grey Parasols are currently only available in our 2.5 and 2.7-meter diameter umbrellas.

Lazy Susan Parasol Bases

Whilst the parasol umbrellas themselves are lightweight for ease of use our Parasol Bases are constructed from hefty cast iron to withstand any sudden gusts of wind.

Our bases are available in our 3 primary metal finishes so they coordinate perfectly with our cast aluminium furniture.

Weighing in at around a substantial 10 kg, tech dimensions are shown in the illustration above and they all feature a screw knob to secure the pole in place.

Antique Bronze Parasol Base

Antique Bronze Parasol Base

Slate Grey Parasol Base

Slate Grey Parasol Base

White Parasol Base

White Parasol Base

Parasol Spec & Materials

Parasol Spec & Materials

Our collection of Parasols is designed to keep the sun's harmful rays off those sitting at your garden table.

Available in a range of different sizes from 2.5 to 3.5 metres in diameter they pair with our different sizes of garden tables. 

Parasol Spec & Materials

All our parasols feature a crank handle (pictured above) for ease of opening/closing and can be tilted (via the tilting mechanism pictured below) so you can angle to keep the sun out of your eyes. 

Parasol Spec & Materials

The parasols umbrellas are constructed from quick-drying waterproof acrylic fabric, so if you do encounter a few showers at your next garden gathering, which is inevitable during a British summer, they’ll provide a dry place to shelter from the rain.

Parasol Spec & Materials

The inner ribs are made from fibreglass (pictured above) which gives it the flexibility, and strength to withstand strong winds.

Parasol Spec & Materials

The poles are made from our trademark cast aluminium while the bases (pictured above in Antique Bronze) are constructed from the heavier cast iron to keep the umbrella safe and secure.

Parasol Spec & Materials

Lastly, they have a breathing vent (shown above), which does three things:

  1. Allows air to escape through the opening which helps keep the parasol secure if there is a sudden gust of wind
  2. Helps the parasol to dry quickly if it does get caught in the rain (the layers overlap each other so that the rain won't get in).
  3. Provides ventilation as warm air rises in the summer to make it cooler underneath the parasol.

Parasol Care & Maintenance

Parasol Care & Maintenance

In terms of general care, there are a couple of things we advise:

  1. If you are not using your parasol, we recommend you put it down and remove it from the table or base and place it in storage.
  2. Alternatively, if you want to leave it in place during the summer months, cover it with a waterproof parasol cover just to keep it clean.
  3. During the winter we would strongly advise that you store your parasol in a dry and safe environment, preferably a shed or a garage.

Whilst our parasols are made from a fast-drying waterproof acrylic, they are susceptible to bird droppings and tree sap when open. 

The fabric itself is soft to the touch but is easy to clean and is designed not to easily fade in the sun. That said, it is not an infinite amount of light hours, leave it up for several months in direct sun and it will damage the fabric.

Outdoor acrylic fabrics are a little more heavyweight than those you’d find inside the home and have an almost canvas-like or jacquard-style feel to them, which is woven for durability. 

The range features a small choice of garden-friendly colours due to the nature of the production process, which is achieved by solution or over-dying the fibres before they are spun into the actual umbrella shape.

It is this process that helps to significantly reduce fading from the sun. It also ensures that our parasols have a much higher abrasion resistance than indoor fabrics. Meaning the fibres won’t break or mark as easily if you were to say accidentally drop them on a stone patio.

That said, we wouldn’t advise you to test this and, whilst they are weather-resistant, we would always advise you to store them indoors when not in use to keep them clean and looking like new for longer.

How to quickly clean the acrylic fabric our parasols

In terms of a light cleaning after they’ve maybe been outside for a weekend or two during the summer months, then the following is our tried and tested go-to method:

  1. Pop the umbrella up and drop it down low.
  2. Give the fabric a gentle run-over with a soft bristle brush to remove any loose particles.
  3. Then with the garden hose rinse it off with cold water on a gentle spray setting.
  4. Fill a bucket with a solution of warm water and a splash of laundry detergent (you don’t need much, just enough to freshen up).
  5. With a microfibre cloth, give the fabric a wipe-down.
  6. Rinse with the garden hose in a spray/shower setting.
  7. Leave it up to dry in the sun.

This won’t remove any heavy staining but it will get rid of any loose dust and dirt that is inevitable when sitting outside, especially if placed under trees, etc.

If you do get any sun-baked on bird droppings, then just let a wet cloth sit on them for a few minutes. The warm water will often be enough to soften so you can wipe away but never scrub as you can damage the fibres

How to deep clean the acrylic fabric on our Parasols

When it comes to keeping our parasols clean, we find that the method above on a regular basis is the way to go. Little, often and storing in a cover or inside when it is not in use will help to stop dirt from building up to the point where it becomes a problem (or at least noticeable).

If the fabric on your parasol has say been left under a tree without a cover for a few months and is looking a little worse for wear, then the following is our deep clean method:

  1. Mix 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar with a quarter of a cup of washing-up liquid in a bucket of warm water.
  2. Open the parasol up fully so the fabric is tight and drop it down as low as it will go or carefully rest it on its side.
  3. Using a soft bristle brush apply the solution and gently scrub the fabric in a circular motion.
  4. Make sure you scrub all the fabric not just the areas with stains as if it is mould or mildew forming, then it can still be lurking but not seen. The vinegar will stop it in its tracks.
  5. Gently rinse with the garden hose. Avoid using a pressure washer as they are just too powerful and you could damage the parasol.
  6. Leave it open to dry fully in the sun before you use it or put it away.

The pole and base can be cleaned like our garden furniture. Just wipe it down with warm soapy water and leave it to dry in the sun.

A little WD40 on the moving parts once dry will protect them and keep them moving smoothly, just be careful to avoid any contact with the umbrella fabric.

Why purchase a Parasol?

Why purchase a Parasol?

1. Block out the sun

I suppose you could argue we don’t get a lot of sun in the UK, and you’d maybe have a point. However, joking aside, we have seen some scorching weather this summer, and prolonged spells of 21 degrees plus means you have to be super careful.

Shade, just like a high-factor suncream, is important, especially if you have young children or pets, and a parasol is a perfect solution. 

If you have a Lazy Susan outdoor table set, then you’re going to want to use it in summer. 

You can’t beat a meal or BBQ on the patio when the weather permits. A parasol will keep the sun out of your eyes, especially early evening when it drops low.

It will also keep the direct sun off your food and drinks. And maybe just as important… 

If there is a summer shower, a Lazy Susan parasol is constructed from water-resistant acrylic fabric. No need to pack up and dash inside.

2. They look good

The second advantage to purchasing a parasol to pair with one of our garden tables is, well, they look good.

The customer photographs we’ve included in this article show that better than we can put it in words. 

They just help to frame our tables and finish the overall look, adding a splash colour and helping to create that all-important outdoor living feel. 

Pair them with some parasol lights and a patio heater you’ve got the perfect little cosy spot when the sun goes down too.

3. Provide extra privacy

This is one many people overlook but they will also offer a degree of privacy if your garden is overlooked. 

And because you can tilt them you can angle it towards that nosey neighbour if need be.

4. When the weather takes a turn for the worse

Pairing our garden tables with a parasol will extend the amount of time you can use it. 

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, which let’s face it a sudden summer downpour is not uncommon in the UK, you are afforded shelter. 

Our parasols are made from a quick-drying waterproof acrylic fabric, no need to rush all that food inside. 

Safely pair with a fire pit, chiminea or gas patio heater and you can extend the summer from mid-spring into autumn.

Shop our full Parasol & Parasol Base range.

If you’ve got any photos of our furniture with a parasol in your garden, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign!

You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].

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