Did you know that umbrellas became a popular tool in the western world in the 16th century? These umbrellas were made of wood or whalebone and covered with alpaca or oiled canvas.

Umbrellas are an essential accessory and tool that we use throughout the year, but have you ever wondered about their history and their future?

Keep reading to find out more about umbrellas, including the history of umbrellas and the evolving technology that are improving umbrellas.

History of Umbrellas

It is believed that umbrellas were around over 4,000 years ago in places such as Egypt, China, Greece, and Assyria. These were basic umbrellas compared to what we have nowadays. However, some were waterproof, such as those found in China, as they used to wax and lacquer the paper parasol of the umbrella.

At first, umbrellas were considered to be an accessory for women. That is until Jonas Hanway, a Persian traveler and writer, started publicly carrying an umbrella in England. More and more men started carrying umbrellas after and some of them even referred to them as a Hanway.

The first steel ribbed umbrella design was created by Samuel Fox in 1852. Following this umbrella invention, the next major innovation was compact collapsible umbrellas over a century later.

Umbrellas have always been changing and adapting over the years. Inventions that you think might be fairly recent, might just surprise you. For example, as far back as 1880, umbrellas have been crafted into hats.

In the present day, umbrellas are used for a whole range of things. For example, you can get beach umbrella rentals, waterproof umbrellas to protect you against rain, and you can even get an umbrella for your pet!

How to Make an Umbrella in 6 Easy Steps

Unfortunately, there aren’t many umbrellas that are both wind and rain resistant. So, if you live in a particularly wet and windy part of the country then you might experience problems with your umbrella. But you shouldn’t just throw away your umbrella if it breaks, there are ways you can fix it and personalize it.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is carefully remove the canopy from the umbrella mechanism. To do this, you need to open it up and unscrew the top of the umbrella. On your new material, mark out where the loops need to go, so you can attach the fabric.

Step 2

Using a pair of scissors, cut the fabric loops on the old material that connect the canopy to the ribs of the umbrella. Measure the old canopy and ensure that the new fabric is the right size. To do this, you can cut out a triangle of the old canopy and use it as a template for the new one.

The best fabric to use is a 2.2-ounce nylon taffeta and a 2.5 ounce Supplex with UV protection. These fabrics will help to protect you from the sun and the rain.

Step 3

Then trace around the old canopy triangle that you cut out on the new fabric you want to use. Remember to leave a little extra fabric for the seams too, around 1cm. When you’re satisfied, cut out the triangles.

Step 4

After this, you need to sew the triangles together. You should use a small stitch technique for the ultimate hold. It might be easier to sew your triangles together with a sewing machine. Sew triangles together in pairs first, then together as groups of 4, and finally sew together the groups of 4.

Step 5

Place the new canopy on the floor facing upwards, with the patterned side facing the floor. Insert the umbrella mechanism in a hole at the top of the umbrella and stretch out the ribs across the canopy. Connect the canopy to the ribs by sewing them in place, ensuring you loop the thread several times for added security.

Step 6

Once you’ve securely attached the canopy, re-attach the top of the umbrella. Check that the umbrella opens and closes without any difficulties and voila, you have a new umbrella!

What is the Future of Umbrellas?

Most recently, several companies have been looking into developing umbrellas. For example, a company in Holland created an umbrella invention that when tested could withstand winds of up to 62 mph. The umbrella was designed in a lop-sided way so that it is more aerodynamic.

The same company has also invented umbrellas that can open and shut automatically and of course, in the true Dutch style, can be attached to bicycles.

It is possible to buy an umbrella that has lights on the inside, so you can look stylish and still keep dry. It’s also possible to get umbrellas in a range of shapes, sizes, and ones that have more than one purpose. For example, you can get an umbrella with knuckle duster as the handle and as such it doubles up as the perfect way to protect yourself.

If you want to head to the beach, you can even get a transforming suitcase parasol lounger.

There has been an abundance of technological advancements that have allowed the basic umbrella to be transformed into whatever you want it to be. There are no shortages of where designers might next take umbrellas, so in the near future, you might get to see and use some weird, wacky, yet wonderful umbrella inventions.

Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Innovative Umbrellas

Umbrellas have come a long way since when they first came about. Similar to most inventions, over time they have adapted to the needs of the people and can do many wonderful things. Hopefully, this article has helped you learn a thing or two about umbrellas and even inspired you to make your own or create a new technologically advanced umbrella yourself.

Check out some of our other articles all about beauty, business, fashion, health, technology, and travel.

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