Can You Replace The Fabric On A Patio Umbrella?

If you have your patio umbrella outside all year long, you know it gets a lot of sun. And with all of that sun exposure, the fabric can fade over time. Most patio umbrellas have the option of replacing the cover with a new one if this happens. But do you really know how to fix your faded umbrella? 

A high-quality patio umbrella is a fairly costly purchase and can last for many years if taken care of. But it can also be expensive to replace one and you may not have the resources on hand. If you find yourself with torn or destroyed fabric that needs to be replaced, you don’t need to go out and buy a new umbrella. You can fix the old one in moments if you have supplies on hand. 

Can you replace patio umbrella fabric? 

If you have an aging or tattered umbrella, you may be wondering if it’s possible to replace the fabric. The answer is a resounding yes – anyone can do it, and it’s affordable. 

While it is possible to replace your own umbrella canopy fabric, but it depends on the type of umbrella you have. While some are designed to be taken apart and reassembled, others aren’t so easy to take apart. 

Before you replace your patio umbrella, ask yourself if the umbrella is still in decent condition. A damaged umbrella won’t be worth spending money to replace it. It’s also important that your umbrella has a canopy and frame that are in good condition. Re-covering the frame will not bring it back to life again if it’s already bent or rusted. 

What are fabric types you can use for Patio Umbrella? 

There are several different type of fabrics used to make patio umbrella in the market today and it may be confusing to choose the right one that suit your need. The three most common fabric type you will see used in patio umbrella are Nylon, Polyester, and Pongee. Below is a comparison and description of the each fabric. 


Nylon fabric is the most common material used to make patio umbrella because of several reasons. The most obvious of them all is that it’s cheap. You’ll be able to get a decent outdoor parasol made with nylon a lot cheaper than the other varieties here. Nylon fabric is also really durable and will last you for years to come with minimal maintenance. 


Inexpensive, easy to clean, mildew resistant and low maintenance. Polyester is the most popular fabric used to make patio umbrella because of its strength and durability. Polyester is good choice when you are looking for a patio umbrella that is as affordable as they come while still giving you functional appeal of having an umbrella on your patio. 

It is a perfect for beaches, garages and patio areas that are constantly exposed to direct sun light or strong winds. If you are looking for an economical solution that can withstand the harshest weather condition and still be multipurpose at least buy you a year or two, then polyester is your answer. 


Pongee is a tight-woven material that made from cotton. This type of fabric is heavier and less flexible than nylon and polyester. Pongee the most weather resistance fabric and can be hold up very well in extreme weather condition. However, due to its weight, it’s not suitable for travel umbrella. 

A versatile fabric, pongee can be used to make both outdoor and indoor umbrella. It is lighter than most fabrics but also weaker too. Pongee is sometimes used to design the liner of umbrella, however it is not easily tearable and will endure harsh weather condition. 

How to replace your patio umbrella fabric? 

The winter season can be devastating to umbrellas. Even with proper storage, many umbrellas become worn and ripped. Replacing an umbrella roof is great news for the environment, because it keeps the frame out of a landfill, but it’s also good news for your home. Canopy replacement is a simple project that lets you customize your umbrella to match the patio set or color scheme of your home. 

You can watch this youtube video below, explaining the process: 

Step 1 

Once you’ve removed the cover and top finial, lay the umbrella flat on your table. Turn the umbrella so that it is resting with the underside up. Pull apart the seams at the end of each panel. You will now have a long strip of fabric from each panel laid out in front of you. These strips are your pattern for making a new canopy. 

Step 2 

Fold the umbrella in half lengthwise. Hold it on the 35-inch mark and cut along this line. To create a pattern for the new umbrella, lay the old panel on a piece of pattern paper with the 35-inch side on top of a seam line. Write “seam allowance” along the uncut edge to remember that it needs room for stitching later. 

Step 3 

Open the canopy from the centre by removing the plastic hook. Remove the old fabric. Fold the new fabric in half lengthwise. Align the pattern piece with the fold line of the fabric creating two folds on either side of the paper and along its width. Trace around the pattern to create a panel out of each fold. Create four-five panels depending on your desired size and shape. 

Step 4 

You need to sew the two panels together, and then sew the two double panel pieces together. I used a 3/8 inch seam allowance when sewing the panels together. 

Step 5 

Place the new canopy on top of the frame; you’ll want it to be facing out. The sewn-on sleeve should be placed over the top of the frame, and a hole should exist at the point at which the frame covers up a significant portion of the sewn-on sleeve. Sew the fabric around the frame’s top hole using an upholstery needle and thread. Replace the canopy on top of the frame, and secure each top point where your old canopy was attached to your new canopy with an upholstery needle and thread. Replace your umbrella’s top finial. 


Replacing a patio umbrella fabric is actually cheaper than you think. The challenge of doing so is knowing how to measure your umbrella’s fabric so that you can get the right fabric, once you get the right fabric it is a breeze to put it on.