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Are the sides of a shade sail straight or curved?

The sides of a shade sail are curved to ensure proper tensioning. The amount of the curve (catenary curve) depends on the shape of the shade sail and can be adjusted when ordering a custom shade sail.

A standard catenary curve is 7%; this percentage relates to the distance between attachment points. If—as shown in the diagram below—the distance from A to B is 10 feet, a 7% catenary curve is 8.4 inches (7% of 120 inches). This is the distance—shown in white—from the midpoint between the two attachment points (A & B) to the midpoint in the curve of the shade sail (C).

Curvature is not solely for tensioning purposes, it can be increased (to go around a tree or other obstruction) or decreased in some cases. Our design software automatically optimizes the catenary curve for each design.  Please get in contact with our design team for any unique requirements.

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