How to be a Modern Gentleman in 2018 | Fulton Umbrellas

Language is constantly evolving, with new words entering the vernacular everyday to keep up with changes in technology and society. But, what happens to established terms that simply tweak their meanings?

The noun ‘gentleman’ has been around since the late Middle Ages and has changed drastically in definition. So, in 2018 when society is driving modern ideals and looking to improve how people in society behave and interact with each other; what does it take to be a modern gentleman?

Here, Fulton Umbrellas looks at the ‘old-fashioned’ idea of a gentleman and how you can modernise the best elements of the word to become the perfect modern gentleman.

What is an ‘old fashioned’ gentleman?

By definition, a gentleman is a ‘chivalrous, courteous or honourable man’, and traditionally, this moniker was used to refer to wealthy men who were of good social standing.

Members of the landed gentry were ‘gentlemen’ by birth in the past, as were those who worked within certain occupational areas, such as the Church of England, the army and Parliament. However, generally, people of lower class who had not had a public education and did not work in a ‘gentlemanly’ job, were not gentlemen — regardless of morals and characteristics.

By the end of the Victorian era and the early 20th century, the definition of the word changed. A gentleman was not simply someone of noble birth and good education; he could also be a man of good virtues and manners.

How to be a modern gentleman

For some, the idea of being a gentleman might seem out of date at a time when equality for all and liberation of stereotypes appears to have global support. However, being a modern gentleman simply means taking care of your appearance, being mindful of your behaviour and maintaining a polite, respectful and considerate manner — what’s wrong with that?

How to dress like a modern gentleman

To be a modern gentleman, you should embody a sense of confidence and finesse — which means wearing what you want but keeping it classy. Nobody expects you to be in three-piece suits all the time, but taking pride in your appearance and dressing appropriately is a good sign of an assured and sophisticated man.

Every now and then, switch a slouchy t-shirt and jogging pants for a checked buttoned-up shirt and slim-leg jeans — still relatively casual, but so much smarter. Treat yourself to new formal footwear, such as brogues and Oxford shoes, and invest in accessories like watches, pocket squares, umbrellas, and ties for a well put-together outfit when the occasion calls. Good tailoring and close fits will instantly smarten up your entire look, making you appear self-assured and prepared.

How to take care of yourself

Part of being confident and prepared will also come from how well-groomed you feel. Beards are very popular today and there’s no reason to change this to be a modern gentleman. However, making sure that your facial hair is kept under control is important if you want to exude a polished and poised aura.

Use beard combs and oils to keep your facial hair smooth and groomed — and make sure you keep on top of trimming it! Always spraying a nice-smelling cologne or aftershave on yourself before leaving the house — whether you’re going to work or meeting friends — is another good shout.

How to behave

When we think of gentlemanly behaviour, many of us will use words such as: chivalrous, honourable and gracious — and these traits still apply today. But, how should you act in order to embody the modern gentleman?

To behave like a modern gentleman, it’s crucial that how you treat others is always respectful. Be bold and assertive to make sure your point is understood — especially in the workplace — but never be overbearing or condescending. Thoughtfulness is essential; never forgot those who have done favours for you and always strive to be on time for meetings and dates. Paying attention is also a trait of the modern gentleman, so make a note of birthdays and anniversaries. This way, you can make sure to show others that their important life events are important to you, too.

Even chivalry, often now associated with the traditional way a man may treat a woman, can be part of a gentleman’s life in 2018. Simply be courteous and polite to everyone you encounter.

How to speak

A modern gent should try his best not to swear. Instead, expand your vocabulary by reading more — and we don’t mean poring over a dictionary for hours. You can peruse anything that takes you interest, from sci-fi and crime to thrillers and biographies. Even picking up a magazine in a subject that interests you will help to concentrate your mind, improve your vocabulary and present you with plenty of extra, interesting topics to kick-off small talk the next time you’re stuck in the communal area at work with nothing to say.

How to show how you feel

Merging the modern man with the traditional gent has been the aim of this article. So, forget the stereotype that men shouldn’t express their emotions. In 2018, a gentleman is in tune with his feelings and isn’t afraid to show those around him — family members, friends and partners — that he cares.

 

And this goes for negative sentiments, too. It’s important not to bottle up emotions, as this can lead to anxiety and stress. If you have a problem at work, sit down and discuss the issue calmly and directly. Don’t allow yourself to get worked up or let others dismiss what you’re saying. If you express it with confidence and tact, you’re more likely to be listened to and taken seriously while retaining your confident, gentlemanly persona.

How to spend

Having a good relationship with money is important. Be careful but never stingy, particularly with your friends and family. Being generous — whether that means buying the extra round of drinks at the bar for your friends, offering to treat your partner to a nice meal one evening, or buying a few gifts for no reason — is a true sign of a contemporary gent.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about being the ideal modern gentleman. Before you go, check out our range of women’s, children’s and designer umbrellas — they make excellent, useful presents!

Men’s SS18 Fashion and How to Dress for Spring | Fulton Umbrellas

Men’s SS18 fashion and how to dress for spring

Spring is here and it’s time to get rid of our winter clothes for some new styles. But, what’s in fashion for men this season?

Here at Fulton Umbrellas, we’ve taken the best spring-summer 2018 (SS18) styles to help you get ready for holidays, garden parties and warm-weather excursions! Read on for top tips on the next big fashion trends and how to wear them…

Vertical stripes

Forget Breton stripes this spring, men’s fashion is currently all about vertical stripes — whether these feature on your shirt, jacket or trousers.

To pull off the trend, stick to one striped garment per outfit. Either go for a dark and light-blue striped t-shirt with a pair of shorts when the day is fine or opt for a cream blazer with black pinstripes and jeans for the ideal formal summer party outfit. You can even prepare for a spot of bad weather with an automatic stripe umbrella, too.

Straight leg, light-wash denim

Denim never goes out of fashion — but it does evolve with each new fashion season. One of the stand-out trends in last year’s global SS18 fashion week events was the drive towards no-fuss denim. But, what does this mean?

To get in on this trend, look for jeans that are straight-leg, free of frays and embellishments, and light-wash in colour. This season is all about merging style and comfort, so forget about skinny jeans that wrap around your legs and go for a cropped jean with a pair of plimsolls or simple straight leg with a pastel-colour shirt for those warm spring evenings.

Checks

This season will revolve around checked clothing. If you’re wondering when this print ever went out of fashion, you’re right: it didn’t. However, you should forget about the standard gingham shirt that many men throw on for a night out. Instead, go for enlarged checks or a heritage design to style up your SS18 look.

Similar to wearing vertical stripes, limit your outfit to one check garment per outfit. A grey and black checked jacket looks great over a pair of black jeans and a charcoal t-shirt. Or why not suit-up with checks? There are plenty of check blazers and formal trousers out there that will make an ideal outfit for any summer wedding you have scheduled this year. If you like the pattern but want to keep it subtle, a simple check umbrella — like our window pane or navy plaid designs — will do the trick

Tie-waist jackets

Even though the weather is warming, we still have plenty of showery and cooler days. When it’s too chilly to go without outerwear, opt for a suave tie-waist coat to stay warm and on-trend this season.

Whether you prefer longline or mid-range jackets, making sure you have a tie-waist design will help you create a formal and flattering figure — plus, you can get these in a range of patterns and colours to suit the formality of an event and your personal taste. Pair with brogues or loafers to finish off the look.

Stylish, weather-proof jackets

While we’re on the subject of outerwear, another top SS18 trend will also help you beat any bad weather we have coming up in spring.

Technical jackets — think anoraks and windbreakers — played a major part in the latest SS18 global fashion weeks. Get yours in a block-colour design and wear with plain jeans and a hooded top or go for a long style in a cool grey to go over your shirt and trousers for heading to the office. If it’s a particularly bad day, polish of the weather-ready look with a wind-resistant Cyclone umbrella.

1980s revival

The decade of power suits, big money and bigger hair is back. From London to Milan, international fashion weeks were pushing the 1980s trend and bringing its best looks into spring 2018.

This season, look out for boxy shirts, creased trousers and light-wash denim. Then, bring them stylishly into your current wardrobe by pairing your ‘80s-inspired choice with brogues, trainers and bomber jackets.

Tropical shirts

This trend is ideal if you have a beach holiday coming up. The eye-catching style of a Hawaiian shirt is roaring back into fashion this season, so make sure you don’t forget to pack a couple in your suitcase.

Just don’t go over the top. Keep colours similar in tone and opt for pastel shades that look subtle — but great — in the sunshine. Pair with slim-leg chinos, combat shorts or ankle-length jeans for the ideal holiday-prepared outfit.

Shoe trends for SS18

But what are the big shoe trends for men this season? If you have a wedding or special event to attend this spring or summer, upgrade your formal footwear wardrobe with quirky-detailed formal footwear. Go for black derby shoes with a contrasting-colour panel or try a subtler design — such as a brown brogue with white trim.

Looking for something for days at the beach? The sporty sandal with wide straps and Velcro fastening is going to be the shoe-of-choice for many on-trend men in 2018, while ‘amplified styles’ — like pumped up soles and chunky boots — is going to be another big trend to get on board with this season.

 

Dress to impress throughout spring and summer 2018 with these style tips and check out our ranges of men’s, women’s, children’s, and designer umbrellas to keep you dry from April showers.

Our Best Fashion Accessories Designers | Fulton Umbrellas

At Fulton Umbrellas, we take great pride in our range of designer umbrellas. However, there’s a lot even we don’t know about some of the UK’s most respected and iconic fashion brands.

From the quirky styles of the renowned Cath Kidston to the vintage motifs of the pioneering William Morris, we’ve delved into the lives of our best fashion designers to discover their signature styles, interesting careers and key life moments! Read on to find out more…

Cath Kidston

Born Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston in 1958, this English designer, entrepreneur and author is most famous for her floral patterns, animal prints, vintage designs, and fun use of colours.

Cath Kidston, the daughter of a former Bentley racing driver, was raised in Hampshire and attended several boarding schools before moving to London at age 18. In a recent interview, she said that her cousin, a dress designer, was a major role model for her during her formative years. But, it was working for decorator, Nicky Haslam, that gave Kidston the confidence to launch her iconic range.

Kidston opened her first shop in 1993 in London’s Holland Park, originally selling items of homeware and furniture. However, she claims that her designs were originally “out of sync” with the fashion of the time — so much so, that she had to run an interior design business alongside her Cath Kidston brand! Eventually, the world caught on to Kidston’s beautiful creations and now, the brand is a respected name in the fashion industry with more than 130 outlets in the UK and abroad.

Today, Kidston has an MBE and is a keen publisher of several books. Although, you may remember one of her most recent successes — the adorable tank top that Prince George wore featuring the Queen’s Guards in 2014!

Find Cath Kidston on Twitter and Instagram.

Lulu Guinness

Lucinda Jane Guinness OBE, better known as Lulu Guinness and born Lucinda Rivett-Carnac, is one of the UK’s leading fashion designers and, like Kidston, Guinness also calls Hampshire her home county. Although a respected fashion designer with decades of success, her childhood life aspiration was actually to become a glamorous entertainer — such as a singer, actress or ballerina!

The Lulu Guinness brand is famed for its sense of quirkiness and use of powerful prints. Beginning in 1989 with a focus on handbags, accessories and the famous ‘lip motif’, Guinness has always infused her collections with her sense of originality and humour. In fact, the designer cites anyone who doesn’t have a sense of humour as her choice for a real-life villain!

This designer’s eye for fashion has struck a chord with people and organisations from all pockets of society. For example, in the 1990s, the Victoria and Albert Museum placed a Lulu Guinness handbag in its permanent collections, which is a moment that Guinness describes as life-changing.

More recently, in 2017, Guinness announced the launch of her first clothing collection. Featuring her signature palette of red, black and white, the designer’s ready-to-wear collection is designed with all women in mind — regardless of size or age.

Find Lulu Guinness on Twitter and Instagram.

Orla Kiely

Irishwoman, Orla Kiely, was born in 1963, and started her illustrious career studying textile design in Dublin. She then went to New York to work in wallpaper design, before moving onto Esprit in London and choosing to focus her career on designing hats — which were eventually picked up by Harrods.

Since forming the Orla Kiely Partnership with her spouse, Dermott Rowan, in 1997, Kiely’s designs have been worn by a stream of famous faces — from the Duchess of Cambridge to Hollywood star, Kirsten Dunst. Her dedication to her industry also earned Kiely an OBE in 2011.

In 2015, Kiely’s company won Premium Brand of the Year at the Drapers Awards for her use of patterns and colours, and today, she creates four clothing collections every year — which can include bags, dresses, watches, furnishings, and homeware — with stores in London, Tokyo and New York.

Kiely is most highly regarded for her stunning prints, while her love for colourful retro and quirky motifs makes her brand instantly recognisable and effortlessly iconic.

Find Orla Kiely on Twitter and Instagram.

William Morris

William Morris was born in 1834 and is commonly associated with the British Arts and Craft Movement (spanning from approximately 1880 to 1920).

Morris studied Classics at Oxford University before training as an architect and then later founding a decorative arts company. Within his role at the firm, Morris designed everything from fabrics and wallpaper to furniture and stained-glass windows.

Although his designs and poetry became famous across Victorian Britain, Morris was also well-known for his political views. He became a revolutionary socialist activist in his later life and even helped to found the Socialist League in 1884.

Morris was a firm believer that the creative and production sides of designing should be intertwined. In fact, he even felt that designers should also manufacture their own products, and took time to teach himself how to embroider and expertly dye his creations. Morris’ collections take inspiration from medieval fabrics and the natural world, and he is regarded as a major advocate of environmentalism.

If you browse William Morris designs, you’ll spot a palette of leaf motifs, floral prints and animal images with a captivating vintage aesthetic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about some of the UK’s leading designers. Discover a selection of beautiful products in our designer umbrella range today.

The World’s Most Bizarre Weather | Fulton Umbrellas

In the UK, we tend to get pretty grim weather. However, when you take a look at some of the planet’s most bizarre meteorological conditions, you’d probably count yourself lucky!

Here, we’ve pulled together a list of the oddest and even most frightening weather scenarios in the world. Read on to find out about a selection of bizarre occurrences…

Animal showers

Flightless creatures falling from the sky may sound like something from the Bible, but many people across various cultures throughout history swear that the strange weather phenomenon truly occurred.

Although the most commonly reported animal to descend with the rain is fish, there have also been claimed sightings of frogs and toads (in Japan, Hungary and Uruguay), spiders (in Brazil, Australia and Argentina) and worms (USA). Even in Bath, England, residents were certain that they spotted jellyfish plummeting from the clouds in 1894!

So, if the phenomenon is to be believed — and there have yet to be any recordings of it — how does it happen? The truth is, nobody knows, and almost all theories — from waterspouts that suck up sealife into the clouds, to very strong winds that blow creatures into the sky before gravity takes effect — have been debunked. However, the fact that some of these airborne critters drop to the ground alive makes the event even more enigmatic…

Mega hailstones

During winter, there’s always the risk of hailstone. Where snowflakes are soft and pretty, hailstones are often hazardous and painful. However, nobody can complain about a hailstone shower as much as the citizens of the Gopalganj district in Bangladesh.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest hailstones on record — weighing around 1kg — fell here in April 1986, reportedly killing 92 people. While these were apparently the heftiest hailstones, the widest ever recorded was discovered in the US. Here, the US National Weather Service found that one of the hailstones dropped during a storm had a diameter of 20.3cm, circumference of 47.3cm and impact pit of 25cm across the terrain!

Hailstones are essentially balls of ice that are usually between 5mm and 150mm in diameter. To form, hail needs a thundery weather environment that includes a strong, upward motion of wind, high water content in clouds and below-freezing temperatures.

Strongest wind

We all know tornados can pick wind speeds up, but do you know where in the world has experienced the fastest wind not related to a twister? According to an automated weather station, the strongest gust of wind was recorded on Barrow Island, Australia, in 1996. Here, the wind reached 253mph — or 113 m/s — and the recording was later checked and deemed accurate by the World Meteorological Organization’s Evaluation Panel.

Various weather factors can affect wind velocity, including pressure gradient (air pressure differences between two points), Rossby waves (strong gusts that move worldwide from west to east in the upper troposphere), local conditions, and jet streams. The fastest wind speed found in the UK — 173mph — was officially recorded at Cairn Gorm, Scotland in 1986.

Waterspouts

Waterspouts are a mesmerising weather phenomenon to witness — at one time; nine were sighted at once on Lake Michigan! A waterspout is a rotating column of condensation that connects a body of water to a cloud that is essentially a type of ‘over-water tornado’. They are made by developing rain clouds and sometimes called ‘water devils’, although, they’re usually weaker than land tornados and certainly don’t suck up liquid — a common misconception.
Most commonly, water tornados form in tropical climates, but sightings have also been recorded in Europe, Australia, Antarctica, New Zealand, and the US. According to the National Geographic Society, waterspouts fall into two categories — tornadic and fair-weather — and the phenomenon occurs when condensation descends from a cloud in a vortex formation, connects with the water and creates a spiralling ring of spray.

The average waterspout has a diameter of around 50 metres and lasts around five minutes. However, some recordings have shown waterspout diameters of as large as 100 metres and lasting for up to an hour!

Fire whirls

There have been plenty of recent reports on the issue of wild fires, particularly in California, which recorded its most destructive fire season ever last year. However, many people in the UK may not have heard of the terrifying but captivating fire whirl phenomenon.

A fire whirl — also called a fire devil or fire twister — is a whirlwind of fire that is formed when dry, rising heat meets with strong winds to create swirling eddies of air that then whips up a fire into a column. Wildfires can be exceptionally destructive and have the ability to produce updrafts that can have serious effects. For example; Canberra, Australia witnessed a real tornado — like the ones we see in the US — created by the strength and veracity of a wildfire.

Ball lightning

As if normal lightning wasn’t bad enough, you may even have to contend with balls of sky-borne electricity.

Even today, experts aren’t entirely sure how ball lightning occurs, and these sphere-shaped objects of lights have often been mistaken for UFOs. What we do know is that ball lightning usually happens during standard thunderstorms and is thought to occur when microwave radiation, emitted when a bolt of lightning strikes, gets ‘trapped’ within a ‘plasma bubble’.

Unlike a flash of fork lightning, ball lighting can last several seconds and spookily, they have also been spotted in closed rooms and aircrafts (as they apparently come from microwaves, they can pass through glass). An exploding ball of lightning is said to leave behind a disgusting smell of sulphur, and they have been known to kill people and set buildings on fire.

Clearly, there is some weird weather in the world. Keep yourself protected from the typical British climate with our ranges of men’s, women’s, children’s, and sport umbrellas.

How to Make Paper Umbrellas at Home | Fulton Umbrellas

Versatile, colourful and fun to make, creating your own paper umbrellas is a great activity to do with the kids or as a home improvement task!

Making paper umbrellas is straight-forward and fun, but there are some tricks and tips you should bear in mind if you want to give it a go. To learn how to craft the perfect paper umbrella, read our step-by-step guide…

What you need

• Pencil.
• Colourful card or craft paper.
• Floristry wire.
• Plasticine.
• Double-sided sellotape.
• Pliers.
• Scissors.
• Hot glue gun.
• Coaster or tin (anything to trace a circle).
• Thread (optional).

Step 1
Once you have everything you need, take whichever object you’ve chosen to trace a circle (approximately the size of a baked beans tin). Now, use it to draw a circle on your craft paper/card with a pencil. Aim for ten circles).

Step 2
Cut out each circle and fold each one neatly in half. Then, fold them in half again so you get a triangular shape with an arch, instead of a third straight line.

Step 3
Put a small piece of your double-sided tape in the middle, so that your paper or card retains its arched triangle shape. Now, fold and tape each of your ten circles.

Step 4
Once you’ve finished, attach each of the ten arched triangles by using your tape. You should do this by lining up all the folded edges.

Step 5
Now, gently pull the two ends of your paper chain together to make a full circle and use your hot glue gun to attach them. You should begin to see your paper umbrella taking shape here.

Step 6
Think of that as the canopy. Now, you need an umbrella stick. Take your floristry wire and make an approximately 10cm cut.

Step 7
Then, make a small loop at one end of the wire using your pliers (less than the width of the tip of your little finger) and form a larger loop at the other end (this will be the paper umbrella handle).

Step 8
At this point, take a very small piece of plasticine and form an egg shape. Taking the bottom — or handle — part of your wire, press it into the plasticine.

Step 9
Nearly done! Now, simply push the top end of your wire into the centre of your paper umbrella canopy and make sure it doesn’t fall out by carefully applying your adhesive using the hot glue gun.

Step 10
Your paper umbrellas are all finished. Using different coloured plasticine and paper, you can make a rainbow of designs if you wish. Or, why not use your thread to hang them around the house straight away? Simply, tie the thread to the top wire loop and create a beautiful umbrella- scenery!

If you prefer, you can put your paper umbrella to alternative use by using them as a drinking accessory! We advise using a wooden skewer or long toothpick instead of floristry wire, and you should leave out the plasticine attachment at the bottom!

For real umbrellas to keep you safe and dry outdoors, browse our selection of men’s, women’s, children’s, and sports designs before you go.

Customising AW18 Trends with an Umbrella | Fulton Umbrellas

London Fashion Week has just closed and we’ve seen some incredibly creative fashion filling our capital’s runways. From next season’s in vogue colours to its on-trend prints, you can spend hours looking over fashion inspiration for AW18.

At Fulton Umbrella’s, we always keep up with new ideas in fashion to make sure our umbrellas stay stylish. So, which trends from London Fashion Week AW18 promise to be the most popular, and how can we customise these with the perfect brolly? Let’s take a look…

For ladies

Vintage chic

London Fashion Week AW18 breathed life back into vintage fashion. From high-neck dresses to bow embellishments, Victoriana stylings are set to make an elegant comeback in 2018. Take Simone Rocha; her show was illuminated by the gentle light of a chandelier while her models walked in pearl-decorated flat shoes and beautiful, ruffle, lace dresses.

If you’re a fan of vintage fashion, you can get the look too by opting for lace, tulle and silk clothing with long hemlines and Edwardian scoop necklines. Accessorise with the perfect umbrella by opting for our Vintage London design from National Gallery or carry on the trend for traditional fabrics by bringing this Navy Brocade umbrella into your outfit.

Rainbow colours

Over at the Burberry show, guests were dazzled by a spectrum of colour. From blush pink sweatshirts and technicolour puff jackets, to violet dresses and rainbow capes; the brand’s now former creative director, Christopher Bailey, brought the catwalk to resplendent life.

Fancy getting in on the multi-coloured trend, too? Don’t shy away from wearing bold, contrasting colours in the same outfit — try donning a forest-green trench coat with bright-blue jeans. For the perfect matching umbrella, we recommend the Rainbow Check or Spot the Dot designs!

Animal prints

From zebra-print, cold-shoulder tops at Halpern’s London Fashion Week show, to leopard print coats on the Tom Ford catwalk; animal patterns are going to be big in autumn and winter this year. Pick out a staple, creature-inspired piece and then work your outfit around that next season. Since it’s for autumn and winter, why not go for a snakeskin-print jacket? Or, if you prefer to keep it subtle, simply opt for a chic, tiger-print clutch bag.

We have plenty of animal-patterned umbrellas in our collections, but two of our favourites are the Bob Cat pattern and Acid Leopard design.

For gentlemen

Off-duty workwear

The gents also have plenty of stylish new trends to get started on for AW18. In London Fashion Week, we noticed a lot of fashion pieces inspired by traditional work clothing. Think cargo trousers, hardwearing fabrics, reflective embellishments, and clothes with a work-ready palette of navy, grey and khaki. Comfort and practicality are two words to live by when dressing for AW18 as a gentleman, but which brolly matches?

If it’s durability and efficiency you’re looking for, few umbrellas have the work ethic of the Cyclone. Able to withstand wind speeds of up to 78mph and possessing a super-strength construction, this design will make sure you get to and from work with ease.

Plush appeal

One of the most luxurious materials in the world, velvet will be a fabric-of-choice next season. Opt for a velvet tailored blazer to spruce up a formal outfit, or why not try velvet trousers with a work-prepared white Oxford shirt for the ultimate on-trend look?

For the perfect umbrella complement, we recommend a designer design, such as the Raining Dog brolly from Joules Kensington.

Checkmate

There are a lot of patterns and prints that promise to play an in vogue role in autumn and winter this year, but few will make an impact quite like the check design. Whether subtle and neutral or bold and contrasting, check clothing is a top trend to incorporate into your AW18 wardrobe. How about going for a few new checked shirts, or a check-patterned tie for work? If you’re already a fan of the print, checked and tartan trousers look great with a plain polo top!

Of course, you may just want to give a nod to the check trend. If so, treat yourself to a Window Pane Check or Charcoal Check umbrella.

We hope you’ve found some styles you’re looking forward to flaunting next season. Browse our range of men’s, women’s, children’s, and sport umbrellas before you go.

 

Umbrella History and Evolution | Fulton Umbrellas

In the UK, we spend around ten million pounds on umbrellas every year. But with the typical British weather pattern, the accessory is almost a necessity if you want to stay dry, warm and protected.

Although the umbrella, or brolly, is a commonly used item today, that has not always been the case. At one time, only the most high-ranking of civilians used an umbrella — and even then, it was not for rain protection. So, where does the brolly come from? How was it used? And in which ways has it transformed to become the accessory we use so much today? Read about the evolution of the umbrella here…

4th century BC

The world ‘umbrella’ comes from the Latin word for shade — umbra — and at first, nobody used them for rain protection. Apart from scant evidence to the contrary found in China, the use of the umbrella as we know it today was solely to safeguard humans from the sun — a product we’d call a parasol today. In fact, the term parasol is derived from the Spanish words for stop (para) and sun (sol).

Although some believe that umbrellas were used in China as far back as 2,000BC, most claim that it was around 400BC that the design became a widely used accessory. The ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and civilizations in India and the Middle East all reportedly used the umbrella as a parasol, and sculptures have even been found depicting the use of umbrellas in various locations across Egypt around this time. Most commonly, parasols were mainly used by high-ranking women, members of the clergy, and other powerful public figures. Unlike today, it was a clear symbol of rank and superiority.

With regard to its design, many predict that the umbrella (i.e. the canopy) was influenced by large trees due to its original use as a shading implement. Early umbrellas and parasols were often made from leaves, feathers and branches — but interestingly, the overall form appears very similar to modern designs.

After several centuries, the umbrella began to spread across the connected world. Some even think that it was in 1066 that the Normans brought the umbrella to England. However, nobody has found a way to prove this yet, and others claim that it was King Charles II’s wife, the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, who introduced the country to the brolly in the mid-1600s.

17th century

But when did we start using the umbrella for rain protection? Most people place the date that we started using the umbrella to keep us dry in the 1600s, and according to accounts, English society — along with France and Italy — pioneered the trend!

During this time, most umbrellas were made from silk and didn’t offer much in the way of water resistance. However, apart from the difference in fabric and the fact that only privileged people owned one, the outline of the 17th-century umbrella mirrors what we see today. Thankfully, by the very end of this century, designers were beginning to hone waterproofing techniques…

18th century

A rising trend in sociable coffee houses and the need to shelter people as they walked from venues to their carriages added pressure on the umbrella industry.

For the first half of the 1700s, umbrellas remained strictly a female accessory, although, they grew rapidly in popularity. Around 1750, a gentleman named Jonas Hanway took it upon himself to launch a trend in men’s umbrellas, protecting himself with a rain umbrella as he traversed the streets of London. He put up with intense ridicule for his daring style at first, but eventually, men came around and the trend took off. By the turn of the 19th century, the rain umbrella became a common accessory for both men and women. It was also during this era that the term ‘Hanway’ was used as another name for an umbrella!

What were 18th-century brollies made from? We’ve already noticed that the general form and canopy shape appear unchanged from today’s designs, however, the materials used to construct them certainly have. Throughout the 1700s, umbrellas were created from whalebone mounted atop a long stick and then covered in a heavy cotton fabric doused in oil or wax to ensure a more waterproof product. It would take a few more years yet before improved fabrics and materials would be used in umbrella construction.

19th century

Once umbrellas established themselves as a genderless accessory, we started to see a divide in their construction. Men’s umbrellas were generally far heavier and weighed around four pounds, while women’s brollies were still often made using silk materials and to a smaller size. Although there was an option to have your umbrella made from split cane rather than whale bone, this made the product cheaper and lower in quality. Positively, this helped more people afford the once-luxury accessory.

The umbrellas of the Victorian Era were sometimes made from wood — which were hard to fold — until the 1850s, when Samuel Fox created the steel-ribbed brolly.

 20th century

By the early 20th century, ladies from privileged backgrounds began to lose interest in using parasols as a fashion piece. Eventually, these disappeared from fashion around the 1930s, as more women became inclined to favour a tanned, glowing complexion.

In 1928, Hans Haupt pocket umbrellas came on the scene and the foldable umbrella market took off in Europe!

 21st century

From the bones and feathers of the past to the treated nylon and fibreglass of today, umbrellas have had an interesting transformation over thousands of years.

Now, we’ve returned to treating the umbrella — both men’s and women’s — as both a fashion accessory and a weather-resistant necessity — from patio umbrellas large enough to protect a garden table, to compact brollies we can fit perfectly in our handbags. Today, you can find aerodynamic canopies designed to withstand intense rain and wind without turning inside out — a major bugbear of the brolly user — as well as tech umbrellas enhanced with gadgets, like GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth! With a wide array of sizes and shapes in a spectrum of colours and designs, the question is: what’s next for the brolly?

Browse our selection of designer, children’s and sports umbrellas before you go

Top 7 Designer Umbrellas | Fulton Umbrellas

Looking to buy a new umbrella and want to treat yourself to something special? At Fulton Umbrellas, we have a wide range of beautiful umbrellas from the world’s best fashion designers.

Featuring a range of colours, images and patterns; browse our list of the top seven designer umbrellas to find the perfect accessory for you…

7. Orla Kiely: Rhododendron Graphite

Orla Kiely is one of our favourite designers. Starting off her career by designing hats before moving onto bags, homeware and, of course, umbrellas; this Irish fashion designer has created incredible styles over the years.

We love this Kensington-2 Rhododendron Graphite designer umbrella by Orla Kiely for its monochromatic aesthetic. The dark grey shading contrasts interestingly with the floral pattern, making this design ideal if you want something understated but quirky.

6. Cath Kidston: Kingswood Rose Charcoal

Opening her first store in 1994, Cath Kidston launched just under 140 outlets in under three years, both in the UK and overseas.

As she’s most famous for her floral patterns, we’ve chosen this Cath Kidston design to feature in our list. If there’s a motif that rivals floral in popularity, many people would say it’s polka dot — which is why we love how Cath Kidston combines these two opposing patterns in the Kingswood Rose designer umbrella.

5. Lulu Guinness: Rainbow Lips

Appointed an OBE for her services to fashion and born Lucinda Jane Guinness, Lulu Guinness is a leading British fashion designer who specialises in accessories.

The bright motifs on a plain black canopy gives this design an ideal balance of colour — perfect if you’re planning on taking the accessory to work and formal events! What’s more, the special star-shaped design makes this umbrella stand out against the rest, while the lip outline is a signature emblem for Lulu Guinness. All in all, the Rainbow Lips umbrella is worth the investment if you enjoy this designer’s range.

 

4. The National Gallery: Thames Below Westminster

Founded in 1824, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is one of the most visited art museums in the world and is home to more than 2,000 paintings dating from the mid-1200s to around 1900.

An emblem of British culture, this National Gallery Thames Below Westminster design offers a creative view of an iconic London scene. With Big Ben towering across the canopy and a palette of sepia-style colours, this umbrella offers a beautiful watercolour effect that perfectly complements rainy weather!

3. Lulu Guinness: Diagonal Stripe

In third place, we have another entry form Lulu Guinness. The amazing contrast of bold colours infuses this umbrella with an eye-catching appeal that makes it just as much a fashion statement as a necessity!

Featuring a bright red outer canopy with black and white bands underneath, the Bloomsbury Diagonal Stripe design offers a mesmerizing appearance that looks elegant and contemporary for fashion-forward ladies. We recommend matching it with red boots and a black coat for a complementary, flawless look!

2. Cath Kidston: Dino Stamp

Cath Kidston is famous for her children-inspired fashion pieces. The designer loves using fun motifs, such as polka dots and flowers, in her products, which makes them perfect for youngsters.

We particularly like this Cath Kidston Dino Stamp umbrella and think it’s a great purchase for youngsters who love being outside whatever the weather. Whether you’re sending them off to school on a rainy day, or heading out to the park when there’s drizzle in the air, kids will love the multicoloured dinosaur pattern — which features the brachiosaurus, stegosaurus, triceratops, and tyrannosaurus. Even better, this umbrella’s canopy is clear to help highlight the colour and shape of the creatures!

Young boys and girls look especially adorable when you team this dinosaur-themed design with a bright pair of wellington boots!

Winner — Lulu Guinness: Lovebirds

There’s so much we love about this umbrella from Lulu Guinness. The fabulously fashionable dome shape is not only very on-trend, but the gorgeous imagery and clever birdcage effect make this design unforgettable.

Often, the issue with dome umbrellas is that sometimes the user doesn’t have as much visibility as with other designs. Getting around this usually means making the canopy transparent, and therefore less interesting. However, the Lulu Guinness Lovebirds umbrella gives you a beautiful and distinctive design while providing excellent visibility.

We hope you’ve found something you love from our top-seven list of designer umbrellas. Browse our other men’s, women’s, children’s, and sports options for more choice.

Top 10 Wettest Places in the World | Fulton Umbrellas

The Top Ten Wettest Places in the World

In the UK, we think we have it bad when it comes to rain. But it turns out, we don’t make it anywhere near the top in the list of the world’s wettest places!

Ever wondered which parts of the globe receive the most downpours every year? Here, the team at Fulton Umbrellas has brought together the ten rainiest locations in the world — and the reasons behind their disproportionate showers. Take a look to find out which countries should be investing in brollies — we’re sure there’ll be a few in here that will surprise you…

Mawsynram, India

The village of Mawsynram in the state of Meghalaya, north-east India, currently holds the Guinness World Record as the wettest place on Earth. With an average rainfall of 11,872mm, Mawsynram experiences regular landslides and residents devote hours of their time to making a shell-like cover to keep rain off their heads and legs.

According to meteorologists, Mawsynram’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal and the inability of clouds to climb over the neighbouring Himalayas are to blame for the rain. So, there’s not much the village can do about it, apart from carry on soundproofing their roofs from the torrential downpours.

Cherrapunji, India

Following very closely behind Mawsynram with a history of disputing its Guinness World Record claim is Cherrapunji. Only 15km from Mawsynram, the villagers believe that they should hold the title. However, the annual rainfall of Cherrapunji is 11,777 — painfully close, but not enough to clinch the top spot.

Like Mawsynram, the unusually high rainfall in Cherrapunji is reportedly due to monsoon winds from the tropical Bay of Bengal, which come from both the north-east and south-west. Oddly, during winter when the monsoon season is over, the residents of Cherrapunji often have to prepare themselves for drought.

Tutunendo, Colombia

With an average rainfall of 11,770mm, the town of Tutunendo in northern Colombia has two rainy seasons and is found in the state, or department, of Choco.

Tutunendo’s climate is best described as a tropical rainforest: hot and humid with a very little wind and incredible precipitation. Rainfall is year-round, but the driest months are February and March — although, rain still happens 20 days in each of these months, on average.

Cropp River, New Zealand

The place with the highest rainfall in the southern hemisphere is believed to be the 5.6km-long Cropp River in New Zealand.

Although its average annual rainfall stands at 11,515mm, an incredible 1,049mm of rain fell in this area in December 1995 — a country record. Interestingly, most of the rain in this country lands in the mountains, not the plains, with Cleddau Valley — also on New Zealand’s southern island — being another popular place for rain clouds.

San Antonio de Ureca, Equatorial Guinea

This village in the African country of Equatorial Guinea is the wettest location on the continent with an average annual rainfall of 10,450mm.

Found 32km from the western coast of Africa, the best time to visit if you want to dodge the rain is between November and March. At any other time of year, you’ll probably have heavy downpours to handle.

Debundscha, Cameroon

The next rainiest place in Africa lies on the coast at the bottom of Mount Cameroon. Debundscha receives 10,299mm of rainfall every year, on average, and sits on the Atlantic coast.

Experts believe that the location’s heavy rainfall is due to three factors: the coast, the equator and the nearby mountain. Lying on the equator gives Debundscha its hot and humid climate, while the combination of the neighbouring ocean and 4,095 peak means that rain clouds can’t pass over the area.

Big Bog, Hawaii

The most aptly-named entry in the list, Big Bog on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is considered the wettest place in the US with an average annual rainfall of 10,272mm.

Found at the edge of Haleakala National Park, it wasn’t until 1992 that scientists installed a rain gauge to check if their rainfall estimations of the location— which stood at only 4,572mm per year — were correct. They were proven wrong and the 1994 data showed that there was precipitation at Big Bog of 14,224 over the year!

Mount Waialeale, Hawaii

With an average annual rainfall of 9,7363mm, Mount Waialeale in Hawaii just misses out on the title of wettest US destination.

The summit of Mount Waialeale (1,544m) on the island of Kauai was once believed to be the nation’s soggiest place before the experiment we looked at above proved this idea incorrect. However, the reason for the immense precipitation in this area is the same for both Big Bog and Mount Waialeale.

There’s a constant easterly wind that picks up moisture from the Pacific Ocean and blows it straight onto the steep Hawaiian peaks. These cool as they rise up the mountain, causing rain. Conversely, the larger peaks of Mauna Loa (4,169) and Mauna Kea (4,207m) are among the driest parts of the island state — but this is due to their greater height.

Kukui, Hawaii

The third wettest place in the US, and ninth in the world, goes to Kukui (another, but final, Hawaiian entry). In fact, the greatest precipitation ever recorded in the US in one month happened here — 2,565mm in 1942 — as well as the biggest downpour over one year — 17,902mm in 1982.

Currently, Kukui on the island of Maui has an average annual rainfall of 9,293mm.

Mount Emei, China

Just making it into the top ten is Mount Emei, located in China’s Sichuan Province. With an average annual rainfall of 8,169mm, Mount Emei is a popular tourist attraction — despite its weather — and you can visit ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries around the area.

One of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains, Mount Emei experiences so much rain due to being partly enclosed in a broad, double blanket of clouds that collect here and cause frequent downpours.

 

We hope you’ve found this article entertaining! Browse our range of men’s, ladies’, children’s, designer, and sport umbrellas before you go to make sure you’re prepared for a heavy downpour at home.

Advantages of Fibreglass Umbrellas | Fulton Umbrellas

Benefits of fibreglass umbrellas

Fibreglass is a hugely lucrative and in-demand material that is used by multiple industries for countless products. But why is it so popular, what are its specific advantages and why should you consider it when choosing an everyday item, like an umbrella?

In this article, we’ll establish how fibreglass is made, what it’s used for and how it’s the perfect material to construct premium umbrellas.

What is fibreglass?

Fibreglass also goes by the name ‘glass reinforced plastic’ (GRP) and is created by joining a collection of very thin fibres of glass with a binding solution. The main ingredients of fibreglass are silica sand, soda ash and limestone. Each glass fibre is often flattened into a sheet and can be constructed from various types of glass, and after, the fibreglass can be moulded into multiple shapes while not compromising its strength and durability. The major types of fibreglass are:

 

  • A glass: chemical-resistant and similar to window glass, it’s sometimes used to make processing equipment.
  • AE glass: resistant to alkali.
  • C glass: this chemical glass has high resistance to chemical impacts.
  • E glass: a good insulator of electrical currents.
  • S glass: a structural glass used for its mechanical properties.

The use of fibreglass began in World War II, after glass fibres (invented by Russel Games Slaytor) and polyester resin (used since 1935) were combined to create the strong, long-lasting product. Fibreglass was an excellent alternative to metal during wartime and currently, two million tons of unsaturated polyester resin is produced across the globe.

Due to its malleability and tenacity, fibreglass is used across a wide variety of industries to make everything from kayaks and ladders, to bathtubs and circuit boards.

Beneficial properties of fibreglass

Fibreglass is an extremely versatile material which allows it to benefit multiple manufacturing sectors. But what are the main advantages of this popular material?

 

  • Non-rotting and won’t corrode.
  • Excellent thermal conductor.
  • Exceptionally strong with a resistance that is better than steel.
  • Great electrical insulator.
  • High slip resistance.
  • Easily combines with other synthetic resins.
  • High impact resistance.
  • Non-conductive.
  • Holds its shape and won’t expand or contract with heat/cold easily.

Application of fibreglass across industries

This material is commonly used by a variety of sectors, and the global fibreglass market is predicted to reach a net worth of $18.75 billion by 2022, according to a forecast report by MarketsandMarkets. The reason fibreglass is such a popular product is due to its range of abilities. Not only does fibreglass offer longevity, versatility and safety, but it also provides high thermal insulation. This makes it one of the preferred materials for industrial gaskets, which means it’s used in machinery employed by multiple industries. Here are some of the main sectors that rely on fibreglass:

 

  • Aviation
  • Boating and marine
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Food and drink
  • Housing
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Military
  • Mining
  • Motoring
  • Paper
  • Power
  • Telecommunications

From planes and boats to insulation and enclosure, fibreglass is relied on throughout manufacturing to improve safety and lower production and maintenance costs. Currently, China is the largest manufacturer of fibreglass in the world, followed by North America and Europe.

Benefits of fibreglass umbrellas

It’s clear that fibreglass offers many manufacturing advantages. But how are these relevant to protecting you from wind, rain and stormy weather?

Durability

If you want an umbrella that will last, fibreglass offers excellent longevity. Fibreglass is tougher than carbon fibre, as it has a higher breaking point when flexed, as well as the ability to bend without compromising its structure. Since it’s incredibly difficult to break fibreglass and it has such a high resistance to impact, an umbrella should last you a long time if it’s constructed from this material — no matter how often it’s used or where you store it.

Being non-conductive, fibreglass is an excellent choice as an umbrella material. A fibreglass umbrella also won’t absorb moisture and, unlike steel and aluminium, fibreglass won’t corrode. This means you can use it in heavy downpours or in places with high salt content in the air without worrying that you’ll have to replace it.

Tenacity

Pound for pound, fibreglass is tougher than sheet metal, which is why it’s used for products such as wind turbines and car bodies.

Fibreglass umbrella frames are excellent for withstanding high winds and powerful downpours. Less prone to cracking and denting than other materials, you don’t have to worry about the structure of your brolly in very bad weather. Plus, you have a far lower chance of it breaking if you pack it into a bag or keep it in the back of the car.

Many umbrellas are classed as windproof when they aren’t. However, fibreglass umbrellas are sure to offer incredible strength, which helps to lower the chance of them turning inside out during high winds. For example, the spring above the runner provides a supportive, ‘buffer’ role that works to keep the brolly’s shape, while the suppleness of the material helps the frame restore its structure without damage.

Weight

Fibreglass has an incredibly low strength-to-weight ratio — hence its use in computers, TVs and mobile phones.

Generally, fibreglass weighs about half as much as aluminium and a seventh as much as steel. So, not only is fibreglass extremely strong, but it’s also comfortably lightweight. Fibreglass is significantly lighter than wood or steel too, so it’s ideal for those days when the rain won’t stop and you need your umbrella over your head for hours.

Cost-effectiveness

Fibreglass racks up fewer maintenance costs than alternative materials such as carbon fibre, which makes them a cost-effective purchase for consumers. Fibreglass has a material cost of approximately $2-$3, while graphite racks up a price of $9-$20 and aluminium sheets carry a fee of around $4-$10.

Due to its long-lasting features, you also won’t need to replace a fibreglass umbrella as often as other types, and the materials in general is less expensive than carbon composites.

 Flexibility

While materials such as carbon fibre also have their advantages, fibreglass wins outright when it comes to flexibility.

Fibreglass is the perfect material for making umbrella ribs due to its ability to handle extreme flex patterns — such as high winds in stormy weather. You also don’t need to be concerned about your umbrella changing shape during hot and cold seasons. Fibreglass has the least contraction and expansion when compared to wood, plastic and metal. So, it maintains its shape and structure well in a wide range of temperatures.

While fibreglass often competes with materials like carbon fibre, there’s no denying its advantages. With lower retail costs, exceptional tensile strength and incredible flexibility, a fibreglass umbrella promises to keep you dry in adverse weather for potentially many years.

 

This article was researched and created by Fulton Umbrellas — a UK provider of premium birdcage umbrellas.