The Easy DIY Guide to Shade Cloth Installation

Pergola Shade Cloth

Shade Cloth is great for making shade under pergolas and other open structures, whether they’re standalone or connected to a building. Many homeowners choose to install shade fabric themselves instead of hiring a professional because it is simple and easy to do.

How to Select Shade Cloth

When choosing shade cloth for your project, be sure to insist on the highest quality fabric. Investing in a quality product initially can lead to financial savings over time. Materials of poor quality deteriorate and are damaged by sunlight and adverse weather conditions. You’ll end up spending more later when you have to replace the poor-quality fabric.

Good shade fabrics block 90%+ of UV rays and let air circulate to keep the shaded area cool. Don’t expect shade cloth to be completely waterproof, but it should be resistant to rot, mildew, and mold. It should also be able to withstand other harsh weather conditions, such as accumulated snow, ice, and brisk winds.

Shade cloth comes in various colors and is sold by the yard or in rolls. When installing this product on a pergola or other open air structure, it’s best to purchase the fabric by the roll. Having fewer seams during installation makes the process easier and improves the final appearance.

Installation Supplies

  • Rolls of shade cloth available.. Be sure you have enough fabric to cover your structure, plus 25 percent more.
  • Measure twice, cut once with tape.
  • Cutting tool such as a utility knife or similar sharp instrument.
  • Attachment hardware. Ideally, the attachment points will not be visible from underneath the structure. Select either screws, nails, or staples that are 1 inch in size.
  • Use a drill, hammer, or staple gun to affix your selected hardware.
  • Protective eyewear or safety goggles.

Installation Instructions

  • Unroll the shade cloth across the structure you wish to cover, and pull it loosely into position. Leave 8 to 12 inches or more of overhang on all sides.
  • Attach the shade fabric to one of the longest sides of the structure first using your chosen hardware. Start at one end and pull with medium pressure as you move along the edge. Pulling with medium pressure means pulling out the wrinkles and making the fabric slightly taut. Attach the shade cloth to the structure at approximately every 12 inches.
  • Finish attaching the outside edges of the fabric to your structure, continuing in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Ensure the knitted knot lines of the fabric stay straight as you progress.
  • When attaching the shade cloth, leave space between the attachment points and the outer edge of the structure. This space will make it easier to cut off any excess fabric. This will allow you to easily cut off any excess fabric. To do this, move your attachment points in from the edge of the structure in from the outside edge, beam, or post.
  • When joining the edges of two rolls of shade cloth, avoid overlapping them.
  • If necessary, secure the cloth to any interior beams. Use a utility knife or another sharp tool to trim the excess shade fabric.
  • Once installed, you can enjoy your newly shaded pergola or other open air structure immediately. To view photos of any step in this installation process, visit the Mighty Covers Shade Cloth Installation page.

Please feel free to contact one of our customer service agents at 1-888-246-6909

2 thoughts on “The Easy DIY Guide to Shade Cloth Installation

  1. Lindsay says:

    I would like to order a shade cloth with the following dimensions;
    26’ front, 16’ back with each side measuring 13’6”.
    You offer rectangles .. this is more like a trapezoid. I’d like it in a Navy blue or a gray blue fabric.
    Is this something you can do for me?
    Lindsay T Stroker

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