Pergola Sun Shade

Pergola Sun Shade

Pergolas add a nice definition to a garden space, but they are not as effective for providing shade as having something overhead. This can be accomplished with a variety of materials from shade cloth to curtains and even awnings.

This pergola in Chicago makes good use of quaking aspen trees to create a custom screen that reduces temperatures and UV exposure under the pergola. Mismatched fabrics lend a laid-back boho vibe to the setting, and they pair nicely with rattan garden furniture.


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One of the most common ways to add pergola sun shade is to use a fabric cover. This option offers great protection from UV rays and allows some natural light to filter through. However, it may not provide as much privacy as a canopy.

There are a number of different types of fabric available for pergola shades including mesh and acrylic canvas. Mesh fabrics are breathable and allow hot air to escape while blocking harmful UV rays. Acrylic fabrics are highly durable and can withstand harsh sunlight. They are also easy to clean and have a crisp appearance that complements any outdoor decor.

Another popular option for pergola sun shade is to use side curtains. These are hung, similar to curtains, from railings that are fitted just below the perimeter of the roof structure. They can be matched with the canopy fabric to create a cohesive look or you can choose a separate color or pattern to suit your personal taste. In addition to adding a pop of color and texture, side curtains can also be used to block low evening sun.

Other options for pergola sun shade include awnings and canopies. These can be either free standing or attached to your home and are often designed to match the style of your pergola. Awnings can offer more coverage and privacy than a fabric cover and are usually made from a waterproof material like polyester. They are also more expensive than fabric covers.

For a more rustic or natural look, some people prefer to use lattice for pergola sun shade. This is a fast and pergola sun shade easy way to add privacy to your space and can be created with a variety of materials including wood, vinyl and plastic. Many manufacturers sell lattice panels in a crisscrossed slat pattern that can be easily attached to a pergola.

Shade Cloth

Shade cloth is a fabric that is available in many different percentages to reduce the heat and harmful UV rays while allowing some natural light to filter through. It is an economical option that can be matched with curtains or awnings to add privacy and visual appeal. It is ideal for any patio, pergola or outdoor living space.

It is suggested that shade cloth is attached to the underside of a structure rather than the top as this will dramatically reduce the rubbing and friction that causes the fabric to deteriorate over time. This also means that it can be quickly removed for cleaning or to allow plants to grow over the structure in winter and again re-tensioned easily when needed.

When installing shade cloth on a pergola it is important to start at one of the long edges first and work your way around the structure. Make sure that the fixings are 12’’-18’’ (30-45cm) apart and apply a moderate amount of tension (not stretching the fabric) to the cloth between fixings. If possible, use an assistant to help provide ‘even’ tension across the width of the cloth.

The color of the shade cloth also impacts on plant growth and you should discuss this with a shade specialist when making your purchase. This will ensure that you are getting the correct fabric to meet your needs.

Another option is a sun sail which are stylish and cost effective shade solutions that can be attached to any pergola or other structure. They are popular in courtyards, pools, gardens, car spaces and children’s play areas. They are made from a heavy-duty Polyethylene material that will keep you cool and out of the sun. They are lightweight, easy to install and offer a great balance between sun coverage and privacy.


Pergolas are beautiful and useful backyard structures, but they can’t protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays without a canopy. Luckily, there are plenty of options available for shaded pergolas – from simple fabric coverings to more substantial solid roofs.

The most common type of canopy for a pergola is made from a metal frame and lattice-like fabric that lets in light but blocks out the sun’s rays. It’s a popular pergola sun shade choice for homeowners because it offers good protection with a soft, laid-back aesthetic.

For a more upscale look, consider using sailcloth as the canopy for your pergola. This durable, water-resistant material is a favorite among do-it-yourselfers who build their own pergola canopies because it comes in many colors and is easy to sew. Sailcloth is also inexpensive compared to other canopy materials.

Another option for a pergola is to plant fast-growing climbing plants over the structure’s roof. These plants will provide shade as they grow and can be trimmed to keep them under control. Examples of suitable plants include clematis, honeysuckle, grape, trumpet vine, black-eyed Susan vine, morning glory and more. This method of shade will cost you time and effort, but it’s a natural option that will give your pergola an attractive look and feel.

Another way to add a pergola canopy is to make one out of wood. If you choose this option, be sure to use weather-resistant wood to avoid mildew and other problems. You can find pre-made wooden pergola shades at garden centers, or you can build a custom one. If you plan to build your own, you’ll need some basic carpentry skills and woodworking tools. You can use standard construction lumber, but you might want to invest in a treated wood if you plan to use it for a long time or live in a moist climate.

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