Friday, June 13, 2008

From Wagasa To Patio Umbrellas - Rihanna

By Kenny G Leichester

The umbrella has been an object of fascination since a long time ago. There is the song entitled "Umbrella" sung by Rihanna which became one of the largest hit in 2007. Umbrella is also used in fictional movie scripts as the Umbrella Corporation, a bioengineering pharmaceutical company which is responsible for developing a virus which turns the city and evidently the whole world into a zombie infested zone in the action thriller Resident Evil.

If you're living in the United Kingdom, you would definitely hear of a clothing retail line called Next. It is one of the largest retailers in England and it is only behind Marks and Spencer and Bhs and Arcadia Group. However, did you know that Next was originally a company called Kendall & Sons Ltd, a company which sells ladies wear, rainwear and of course, umbrellas. It was founded in 1870 and the company was quite reputable to the extent it supplied umbrella to the members of the Royal Family with certain specifications.

In Japan, the umbrella is part of their tradition. The japanese umbrella, commonly known as the Gifu Wagasa is made from paper and bamboo. Donned by women to show status, the Wagasa is made only by the skillful craftsmen and takes several months to complete. The paper is fixed onto the bamboo frame and then oil and lacquer is applied onto it so that it becomes waterproof; not that the Wagasa to be used in the rain or shine. A Geisha will be respected if seen holding the wagasa. Gone are the days where Japanase women are seen on the streets with this beautiful traditional umbrella. Today, the Japanese market is filled with the western type of umbrella. The usage of Wagasa is restricted to traditional ceremony such as weddings and tea ceremony.

You can be thankful that you now see market umbrellas that are not like the ones sold 20 years ago. Unlike the market umbrella you see today, the ones sold 20 years ago cannot stand on its own. This is why they would normally come with a fitted table which made it very hard for the umbrella to provide shade in the right direction. This rigidness of market umbrella has made outdoor activities rather inconvenient as people are not safely guarded from the dangerous sun rays. Today, not only can the market umbrella stand on its own, it can also rotate and twisted in any directions. With this new improvement, more and more are enjoying the benefits of outdoor activities and at the same time, making their patio, pool deck and gardens look stunning.

If you're looking for something that lasts longer, fade proof and stain resistant, you might as well go for familiar brands. The Sunbrella Umbrella is quite popular for the said requirement. Now you don't have to worry about your bright red umbrella turning pink just after a few years. Today, market umbrellas are so advanced that they are even equipped with lighting. Now you can even have outdoor parties at night. Raining is no longer an excuse not to be enjoying the outdoor. With patio umbrellas, you can enjoy the serenity of the sound of raindrops to your ears and not worry about getting yourself wet or catching pneumonia after that.

There are many other exciting features that we may see in the future such as umbrellas with mosquito net or a foldable one that fits into any back pack. Whatever it is, the future is looking clearer for the market umbrella.

Kenny Leichester is a foremost expert in the interior design industry specializing in the outdoor or patio settings using outdoor patio furniture, patio umbrellas, outdoor cushions, patio heaters, patio lighting and so on to create exquisitely beautiful layout. His articles and work for market umbrellas and so on are widely distributed and is a regular contributor to

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