How architects find building-products.

Sunbrella Contour, Sunbrella

Sunbrella® Contour Provides UV Protection and Durability Outdoors

The non-directional fabric is highly flexible, made for optimized cutting and fabrication.

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

Can fabric technology protect us from the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun? Can a simple shading system provide more than just an aesthetically pleasing cooling environment? Can it be long lasting even as it is subject to the outside elements?

Thanks to Sunbrella, the answer to these questions is a resounding yes. With modern advances in the textile industry, it is possible for basic awnings, massive umbrellas and intricate outdoor shading structures to provide the highest level of UV protection available while also withstanding long-term wear and tear.

Sunbrella Contour, Sunbrella Fabrics

The strong fabric gives way to a seamless design featuring high-performing materials.

Sunbrella Contour — a rich, textured shade textile with the utmost flexibility and durability — is revolutionizing the potential of such shade fabrics. It delivers the ultimate in UV protection and color uniformity, along with long-lasting performance and style. It’s created with a patent-pending construction that emphasizes its rich colors and striking appearance once installed.

This kind of seamless look, combined with high-performing materials, is increasingly what architects and spec writers are searching for today when designing safe outdoor spaces. Sunbrella’s line of products, including Contour, is at the heart of this solution.

“Architects and designers are looking for new ways to create built environments in harmony with nature’s forces,” said Vince Hankins, industrial business manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. “Shade structures are increasingly beginning the design conversation and providing more options to create unexpected outdoor environments.”

Sunbrella Contour, Sunbrella Fabrics

The design was inspired by the traditional shade sail fabrics found in horticultural greenhouses.

Contour came to fruition after the team at Sunbrella noticed the limitations of traditional shade sail fabrics usually used by the horticultural industry in the design of greenhouses. The modern shade sail textile by Sunbrella would amplify the performance standards of these fabrics, which originally protected plants from the damaging sun.

Contour is able to  provide further protection and offer design flexibility thanks to the way it is engineered. The product is detailed as a nondirectional fabric comprised of 100 percent Sunbrella acrylic and HDPE, created for optimized cutting and fabrication. It’s also super supple and less abrasive than other shade fabrics, making it easier to install in any environment. The fabric can fit any distinct shape or angle and has a high resistance to color fading and strength loss from sunlight or chemical exposure. In addition, it offers optimal light transmission, filtering just enough light into a space while still allowing water to pass through.

“Contour’s specially  engineered construction allows fabricators the ability to utilize Sunbrella fabrics as they never have before,”  Hankins said. “When developing a product suited to shade sail applications, engineering the stretch and flexibility necessary to yield expertly tailored installations is critical.”

Sunbrella Contour, Sunbrella

The fabric can be used on a wide variety of outdoor shade structures.

A variety of end products can be created using the material because of its design versatility. Shade sails, fixed awnings, windscreens, umbrellas, cabanas, pavilions and even designs made for marine applications can be specified with Contour. Fabricators can create any custom structure they desire with the help of Sunbrella’s in-house experts.

“We wanted to create something that provided better shade for consumers,” Hankins said, “which also improved UV protection and provided a beautiful fabric selection. We realized we had an opportunity, and the ability, to create a truly premium, high-performance shade sail fabric.”

The Contour line was styled to be complementary to a wide variety of exterior building materials, especially other furnishings potentially featuring Sunbrella fabrics. Size and color options are also extensive — Contour is available at a 120-inch width and in 15 colors from Sunbrella’s bold palette.

Sunbrella Contour, Sunbrella Fabrics

Contour is available at a 120-inch width and in 15 colors from Sunbrella’s bold palette.

It’s clear that Sunbrella understands the value of strong relationships with customers, fabricators, architects and designers. Founded on the belief that fabrics should be both beautiful and functional, the company has been producing tactile and durable products for over 50 years. They’ve provided expert shading structures for major custom residential and commercial projects worldwide and developed innovative designs and fabrication methods within the company’s R&D department.

The beautiful and flexible Contour fabric exemplifies the best of what Sunbrella can do. It shows the company’s commitment to bringing out the best superpower capabilities in a singular product while also paying close attention to its aesthetic quality. Not only is Contour extraordinary in its ability to shield against harmful UV rays, it’s also a simply stunning addition to any outdoor environment.

All images courtesy of Sunbrella