More than 3000 years ago the umbrella graced the world with its presence, and ever since there have been on-going advancements in technology which have allowed for the production of more and more umbrellas of varying shapes, styles, and grades.


A collection of Jollybrolly umbrellas for sale

Advancements in new materials, structures, and the development of intricate moving parts to allow for the opening and closing of canopies, to name but a few additions, have led to the stage that we are at in the umbrella industry.

But have you ever wondered what the main components of an umbrella are, and just how they are pieced together to make a traditional brolly? Step this way, we have all the answers, as well as an interesting video for you to watch:



Most commonly constructed using materials such as aluminium, wood, fiberglass, carbon fibre and other various types of plastic. If you own a collapsible umbrella then your brolly will possess a moveable shaft that enables telescopic lengthening or shortening of the umbrella, depending on if it’s in use or not.




Fabric for umbrellas canopies have altered significantly through the ages. Originally, cotton, linen, leather, and varieties of silk were replaced by something called Gloria- a weave of silk and cotton, or silk and wool- which was then later changed to acetate.


These days umbrella take advantage of microfiber fabrics that have previously been coated in a specific water repellent to protect you and the brolly from the elements. The canopy is not able to be fashioned from one piece of cloth, due to the fact that motion of opening and closing would not function correctly if it were. Special machines therefore cut each section of the canopy, typically 8, which are then able to neatly fold and unfold when stitched together and attached to the brollies ribs.


Ribs and Stretchers


Talking of ribs, these are the part of the umbrella that holds the canopy into its secure, fixed position on their structure. They are also the piece of the puzzle responsible for the action of the opening and closing of the canopy. Ordinarily made from steel or some other similar metals, the stretcher is most frequently connected to the shaft using a plastic connector, or runner.




The runner is the part of the brolly that plays a significant role, but is very understated due to the fact the canopy takes the limelight. However, the runner is the piece responsible for controlling the opening and closing mechanism of canopy, therefore, without it, whether you have ladies umbrellas or otherwise, you’d have a non-functioning umbrella!


Watch the ‘how it’s made’ video here:

Video courtesy of: YouTube under Creative Commons.