Secrets for fabricating: Top 10 works of “Shade-scape” Sunshade Pattern Design Competition in the factory

Release Time 2018年3月19日

『 YoungBird, Value the Power of Design

Top 10 works of YoungBird “Shade-scape” Sunshade Pattern Design Competition 2017 which is organized by YoungBird and Sunbrella® have been fabricated. US-based professional team of Sunbrella® took charge of optimizing these patterns. Designers and technicians have poured a lot of inspirations and emotions into pattern adjustments, collage and weaving process. As a result, both the aesthetic and practical values of these design works are balanced. Let’s uncover the secret of fabrication process for you now!

Further adjustments of design

The practicability of design is absolutely important. To be more specific, the key point for standing out from all and winning is the ability to be executed in complete woven patterns.

During the process of selecting and fabricating Top 10 works, Sunbrella® values beyond fabrics to include the integration of design aesthetics and practicalities so as to implement its vision of “Design + Performance” and improve products with beauty, durability and flexibility.

Top 10 works

Greg Voorhis, Design Director of Sunbrella® Custom Fabrics has introduced us the whole adjustment and fabrication process of Top 10 works.

Greg Voorhis introducing Sunbrella® fabrics

YoungBirdplan: The Top 10 works have various styles, some are retro, abstract, and some are concrete. So what kind of challenges do you meet in the revision progress?

Greg Voorhis: They all have a little bit of challenges because something is different in these design works compared with typical umbrella patterns, such as stripe, or plain. Designers think outside the box and use multiple colors, which means that we should correspondingly use multiple layers in the fabric to show various colors. So, I try my best to keep construction no more than two layers to achieve better results whilst ensuring that we can still get different colors and certain repeats. 

Jacquard fabrics 

YoungBirdplan: All your patterns are woven by machine instead of being printed, so how did you match them with limited threads (color)? 

Greg Voorhis: We have a pretty large color palette to choose from. Sunbrella® applies dying technique for fabrics, and inevitably, there is a difference between a digital image they submitted and a woven product. Therefore, we will make some small adjustments without really changing anything according to different color schemes adopted in Top 10 works.

Colorful yarns

YoungBirdplan: What did you do to balance the aesthetic and practical values when revising pattern design works?

Greg Voorhis: That’s the same question for us during the fabrication process. We will make some small twigs to adapt it for manufacturing in both large and small scale production. Some works in the Top 10 shortlist can be delivered to factory directly, such as City Shadow, which is a highly customized work, designer is able to put the patterns of characteristic local buildings, cityscape or skyline on the sunshade. 

City Shadow

YoungBirdplan: We know that designers will make a few adjustments to the pattern by considering the realities, could you share us that which one has impressed you most?

Greg Voorhis: Sunburst. It is such a unique type of design, very cool. Every triangular unit boasts different patterns, which is aslo a challenge for technicians, they have to be very careful to weave the repeats and match them up to the correct size of that triangle. We cannot wait to see the final effect.


Fabrication process of sunshade patterns

Sunbrella® applies the most sophisticated machines around the world and Jomar system that records and monitors every process detail in all its factories. All production data can be found in Jomar system by searching the batch number, and traced to any specified process, including warp preparation, weaving, packaging, test, storage and delivery.

Inside the factory

Sunbrella®’s patented dying techniques and color formula evenly disperse the dye into fibers, which could last for a long time without fading. All yarns are strictly arranged on the warper and regularly placed in the required order, length and width according to technologic criteria. Warp yarns and fabrics feature stable strain and improved quality, with the application of constant temperature and humidity control system in the workshop.

Yarns on the warper

After the process of washing, drying, function-classification, finishing and/or trimming, grey fabrics are transformed to cater for different requirements from consumers. Fabric samples would be tested in thread per inch/stich density, skewing/slope, weight, color fastness, oil repellence, strength, abrasion resistance in strict accordance with American quality standards. Only qualified fabrics are allowed to manufacture afterwards. These samples would be delivered to fabric test workshop for future random rechecks in full adhesion to Sunbrella®’s principle of thorough appearance scrutiny . 


Watch the video to get a clear picture of 

how fabrics are manufactured


 Design + Performance


Sunbrella® has been widely recognized as a leader in performance fabrics, and this year it has released a new slogan, “Design + Performance”, showing its determination to explore uncharted waters in design aspect. It believes that design will be the center of future development while performance is the foundation.


MAKERS, a brand new collection that will launch soon, inherits entirely this value. It displays a dedication in craft of creators, and evokes emotion through storytelling, creating a feeling of connection to consumers. Balance is found in the preservation of the traditional element of craft while pushing it forward as new ideas and technologies emerge. Through collaborations, brands are maximizing the reach of their products by connection with experts in different disciplines to create functional product at multi levels and lead to creative and enriching ideas, thus making customers have much more personal experience and boosting the development of brand.