The Origin of Umbrellas

The word ‘Umbrella’ originates from the Latin word ‘Umbra’, which means shadow or shade. The original function of the umbrella was to provide shade in the sun – known as parasol, rather than protection from the rain. The word ‘parasol’ (Spanish or French) is a combination of ‘para’ which means stop or to shield and ‘sol’ meaning sun.

Origin of the basic umbrellas dates back to more than 4,000 years ago, indicated by ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece and China. The beginning of umbrellas stemmed from assembled leaves of eucalyptus and palm trees that acted as shelter from sunrays or the rain.

The collapsible umbrella is said to have been invented in ancient China and dates back to the year 21 AD, when Wang Mang had one designed for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage. In ancient times the frames of the umbrella were made of mulberry bark or bamboo.

Later on, the Chinese decorated paper parasols with hand-paintings, waxed and lacquered their paper parasols in order to use them for rain. Then, via the Silk Road, the Chinese design of umbrella spread to Persia and the Western World.

During 1700s umbrellas became widely used in Europe and were fashioned out of heavy woods and oil cloth. The parasols were popularized by women in 1800s to 1920s and were made with whalebone or metal frames, with fine silk and fringe attached.

Apart from providing protection, umbrellas also served as a symbol of status and works of art, especially those crafted by the Chinese. It was only during the last years of the 20th Century that innovation took off again for umbrellas. This trend managed to spread across and inventors have managed to improve its mechanical design and create numerous umbrella types with innovative styles and modifications designed to fold for convenience and portability.

With wide range of umbrellas– from classic to contemporary, vibrant to subtle colours and a knowhow that has been acquired through over 100 years of experience, we at Sun Umbrellas have set a tradition of trust and quality amongst Indian umbrella manufacturers. So, don’t just wait, place an order and pick up a Sun Umbrella today!

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