Top 3 Most Stylish Modern Monarchs | Fulton Umbrellas

It’s no secret that over the centuries, British monarchs have used fashion as a tool of power to influence decisions and to convey diplomatic messages to both their own subjects and people around the world. As a company that holds a Royal Warrant, we thought we’d take the opportunity to discuss some of the most stylish monarchs in history. Find out who made our list below!

Queen Elizabeth II

Ascending to the power in 1952 following the sudden death of her father, Elizabeth II has become the longest reigning monarch in British history at the age of 92. Although fashion trends have notoriously changed since her coronation, The Queen is known to only adopted those that suit her personal style.

As she took to the throne at the young age of 25, her wardrobe has been the most documented for a royal and as a result, has highlighted a great shift in royal fashion throughout her years as sovereign.

During her initial years as Head of State, The Queen didn’t drastically change her style and stuck with the former choice of attire she had as Princess Elizabeth. The monarch identified with popular female fashion during the 1950s and often wore feminine dresses that were cinched at the waist to create a gracious flow with any movement. This type of look was often accompanied with by a pearl necklace, pearl earrings, elbow-length gloves, signature hair-pieces and of course, a petite handbag.

The 1960s found The Queen encounter more formal occasions than usual — with her trip to Malta and President Nixon’s visit to London highly anticipated around the world. Throughout this time, she occasionally wore sleeveless silk dresses which was deemed unusual for someone in such a position, but she intended to remain youthful as Queen and achieved just that. This look slightly changed depending on circumstance though, a fur over-jacket was sometimes paired with the dress if the event was held outside of a royal household. However, both occasions would use an elegant tiara to draw the entire look together.

The Queen was approaching her 50s when she started to adjust her appearance and opt for a more formal look that continued to stun crowds. Depending on the affair, this was the period where The Queen was known to become more adventurous with her gowns. Take the Royal Film Performance of ‘Funny Lady’ in 1975 for example, she wore a pastel pink dress which was embellished with golden and blue features. The Queen’s jewellery became extravagant too and was better coordinated with her chosen attire.

When entering the 80s, we seemingly moved away from pastel hues and women shifted their looks to bright and bold tones, including Queen Elizabeth. You can probably picture Her Majesty on the balcony of Buckingham Palace wearing that iconic blue dress at Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981. As well as this, when the Queen carried out a state visit to Australia in 1986, she was spotted wearing a padded-shoulder dress in bright yellow that also had black dots. This was accompanied by a patterned scarf, black gloves and a slimline hat – this decade was great for women’s fashion.

The 90s and 2000s have been plain sailing for Queen Elizabeth, and her current style isn’t afraid to be influenced by previous looks. Today, you will see her wrapped up in a colourful coat and a matching hat that has become her signature style – and when the weather permits, you will see her use one of Fulton Umbrella’s birdcage umbrellas.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria wasn’t always confident with her fashion decisions, but it’s believed that she paved the way for modern monarch fashion and has influenced many royals today. Reigning from 1837 to 1876, Victoria’s early diary entries suggested that she had a key interest in women’s fashion from a young age.

It’s thought that the monarch used fashion to minimise her husband Prince Albert’s insecurities – as he would always one station below her as Prince Consort. To show her appreciation and love to her husband, she hosted a ‘costume ball’ at Buckingham Palace in 1842 where they dressed as Queen Philippa and King Edward III, allowing him to wear an actual crown.

Victoria was ahead of her time and used fashion to align with the values of the people she met, especially when carrying out her duties across different countries. For example, when she visited Scotland, she wore tartan and when she visited Ireland, her clothing featured shamrocks.

As photography became more mainstream during her sovereignty and her image became more widespread, Victoria used this as an opportunity to show herself as a more relatable public figure. For photoshoots, she often wore clothes that normal woman would wear – such as cotton dresses and bonnets.

However, one of Victoria’s most notable fashion choices was to never wear colour again following her husband’s death and even insisted that her ladies in waiting dressed the same. Images have shown that she tended to wear black dresses, black stockings, handkerchiefs that were embroidered with monograms and a black fan.

King Edward VIII

Recognised as the man who gave up the throne for love, King Edward VIII abdicated from his position in 1936 to marry his American sweetheart, Wallis Simpson after 12 months as sovereign. Just like his decision on giving up the crown, Edward often liked to challenge convention and rebel against the rules that society had set out for him – and this was often reflected in his fashion and lifestyle choices.

The now Duke of Windsor was known for his bold sense of style and had his clothing made with comfort in mind, regularly referring this to ‘dressing soft’. Photographs from the royal collection have shown that Edward was very confident with pattern designs in his suits and fashion experts have claimed that he was able to carry this off due to cutting techniques. This included high jacket waists that were able to create a longer leg look.

Although he spent most of his time in France, Edward was extremely fond of Scottish tweeds and Fair Isle sweaters and had them used for his wardrobe as opposed to modern fabrics that were dominating Europe’s fashion scene. So much so that he continually used the same tailor – Scholte of Savile Row – who designed with the Duke’s personality in mind. Often, his outfits were made with larger pockets to hold his cigarette case and elastic waists, so he didn’t have to wear suspenders. Adding to the modern look, he always preferred a zip fly rather than buttoned.

12 years before his death in 1972, an inventory of his entire wardrobe was taken. It was discovered that Edward owned 15 evening suits, 55 lounge suits and three formal suits.

To accessorise like a monarch, check out our range of premium umbrellas before you go, including men’swomen’sdesignerchildren’s, and sport styles.

Royal Wedding Rundown: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

It doesn’t feel like too long ago that we were celebrating the spectacular wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle — which drew in millions of viewers and gathered people from around the world to a small town just west of London.

Last Friday, we revisited the same location to see Princess Eugenie wed her sweetheart of eight years, Jack Brooksbank. Although the wedding didn’t capture the same attention of Prince Harry’s, who is sixth in line to the throne, ITV reported that there were around three million viewers who tuned in to watch the ceremony unfold.

As a company who holds a Royal Warrant, there’s no one better than us to give you a royal-rundown of what happened on the day so that you can relive every single moment.

The Guests Arrive

The happy couple invited 850 guests to St George’s Chapel for the ceremony, and they appeared to arrive between 8:30am and 11:00am. Just like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — who are now expecting their first child together — Princess Eugenie and Jack allowed 1,200 members of the public to join them in the grounds of Windsor Castle to celebrate the day; all of whom were selected through ballot proceedings.

However, crowds weren’t just limited to the castle itself. An additional 3,000 people reportedly gathered in the streets of Windsor to catch a glimpse of the royals in action.

The event wasn’t short of a few famous faces either. Public figures such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Ricky Martin, Stephen Fry and Robbie Williams were all in attendance. Did you know that the former Take That star and current X-Factor judges’ daughter, Theodora, was a flower girl for the wedded couple? Not only that, she asked the Duchess of York if she was the Queen!

Members of the Royal Family were last to arrive and started making their way into the chapel at around 10:40am. This included the Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Duke and Duchess of Sussex and of course, the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mother of the Bride Sarah, Duchess of York, and her daughter, Princess Beatrice, who was Maid of Honour, later arrived at the venue and made an effort to interact with crowds before entering the chapel. Following this, Bridegroom Jack Brooksbank and his brother, Best Man Thomas Brooksbank, were seen entering.

Princess Eugenie and her father, the Duke of York, were last to arrive and entered through the West Steps of St George’s Chapel. Guests caught their first glimpse of Eugenie’s wedding dress which was designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos as she walked down the aisle.

Keeping in line with tradition, Eugenie wore a white portrait-neckline gown with a wide train. However, the princess broke convention when she decided not to wear a veil and instead take pride in her back scars which were left from surgery when treating scoliosis at age 12. For the ceremony, the Queen loaned Princess Eugenie the Grenville emerald tiara which belonged to the Queen Mother before her death.

The Ceremony Begins

Jack Brooksbank watched in awe as his soon-to-be wife made her way down the aisle in a radiant dress that stunned the world. You may not have spotted this, but Jack was wearing his spectacles as Eugenie headed to the alter — making sure he had clear vision and didn’t miss a moment of the most important day of his life; he later removed them for the rest of the ceremony.

Lead by Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Corner, and the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable John Sentamu, the ceremony lasted around an hour. This included hymns, prayers as well as speeches from the likes of the Princess Beatrice, who read from The Great Gatsby and of course the exchange of vows and rings.

The Ceremony Concludes

After the ceremony ended, the newly married couple exited the chapel as husband and wife and showed a kiss on the West Steps. As they departed for carriage procession, page boys and flower girls, which included Prince George and Princess Charlotte, also made an appearance.

The wedded couple then took a short carriage ride in the Scottish State Coach which was pulled by four Windsor Grey horses named Plymouth, Milford Haven, Tyrone and Storm. There were two outriders also, Claudia and Sir Basil!

The Wedding Receptions

To begin the celebrations, the Queen’s reception luncheon was held at St George’s Hall at around 1:00pm but was not televised. At around 7:00pm, after the midday reception, guests partied at Royal Lodge in Windsor until the early hours of the morning. The location was decorated with an autumnal theme with fall-inspired flower arrangements to create a loved-up atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Princess Eugenie wore a long sleeve, silk gown designed by Zac Posen which included its own built-in cape. The bride and groom commented in a statement: “Mr. Posen was inspired by the beauty of Windsor and the surrounding countryside. The choice of colour reflects the blush of an English rose. Mr. Posen took his inspiration from the White Rose of York. The pin-tucked plissé is cut on the bias and mixed with signature drapes. The White Rose of York is subtlety embroidered on both the shoulder and back which hold together the cape. The silk for the gown comes from the British Mill, Biddle Sawyer Silk.”

However, the party did not end on Friday night or the early hours of Saturday morning. The couple were more than happy to let guests celebrate for a second day and opened their own fun fair on the grounds!

That was our round-up of Princess Eugenie’s and Jack Brooksbanks wedding. But before you go, make sure to browse our range of women’smen’schildren’sdesigner, and sport umbrellas!

Fun & Cheap DIY Tips for Halloween | Fulton Umbrellas

Halloween is definitely growing in popularity for families across the UK. But with sweets, treats, costumes and activities to pay for, the event can prove costly for some of us!

So, how do you make sure your family has a fun and memorable Halloween without breaking the bank? Instead of buying new things online, repurpose clothes and accessories from around your home. Not only will you save money, but this is also a great crafts activity you can enjoy with the kids…

Ghost ornaments

If you’re having a party, you need to deck out the house appropriately. Instead of forking out cash for decorations, make your own! Start with ‘mini ghosts’. Simply keep hold of your drinking bottles instead of recycling them and spray paint these white. Once dry, draw ghost eyes and mouths on each with black marker pens and place them around your home.

Scary bingo

There are plenty of games to buy online, but if you want to get creative, do your own. One great idea is ‘Scary Bingo’ — just like the regular game, but you use spooky images instead of numbers.

Get several pieces of paper — enough for everyone at the party — and mark out a grid of four-by-four squares. In each, draw a picture of a Halloween image — like a witch, spider, black cat, pumpkin, ghost, and monster. Kids can then use pennies to mark off when each image is called out — make sure there’s a prize at the end for the first full ‘haunted’ house!

Halloween can game

Another easy game to create at home before a party, the ‘Halloween Can Game’ is great fun for kids. To start, keep your used cans of soup, baked beans and other food. Remove the labels and paint faces of ghosts, witches and pumpkins.

Then, make a mummy-themed papier-mâché ball by using black felt-tip pen and paint to mark out bandages and two yellow eyeballs. Once dry, create a tower and let the kids use the mummy ball to knock down the tins. (You can also use papier-mâché to make a Halloween-themed piñata filled with sweet treats!)

Bat costume

Of course, kids love dressing up for Halloween. So, why not make them the perfect bat costume out of a simple umbrella? All you need are:

  • A black umbrella.
  • Scissors.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Tape.
  • Two metres of black ribbon.

Firstly, open the umbrella upside down on a workbench. Take your scissors and cut two triangles of material opposite each other — make sure one of the triangles is a bit smaller than the other. This is for recognising the top and bottom of the wings.


Use your wire cutters to cut the metal supports — for safety, take off as much metal as you can to eliminate sharp edges. Then, cut the metal handle off the umbrella before cutting the joiner from all the umbrella arms. Next, remove the support arms from either side of the larger triangle of your bat wings — this lets your youngster move their arms!

Now, tape down the other loose support arms — making sure to cover sharp edges. From here, measure and cut two pieces of ribbon. How long? Just enough to tie the wings to your child’s wrists. Afterwards, cut two longer pieces of ribbon — these must go across their shoulders and chest, as well as under their arms, and tie together at the back. Next, attach the ribbon to top of the wings.

And you’re done! Now all you need is a headband with black, pointed ears and plain black top and trousers.

Spooky dinner party pieces

Throwing a dinner party to celebrate the event? Then you need Halloween treats that can sit on the table. To start, you can use plastic vampire teeth as napkin rings, then add to the effect by putting red food colouring on the white cloth.

For a centrepiece, take a glass vase you already own and fill it with spare Halloween pieces the kids have left over from across the years — like plastic spiders. Pull apart cotton wool balls to create a cobweb-like effect. Then, sprinkle some discoloured, browning leaves from the garden over the top for the ideal Halloween-themed centrepiece.

Cut the cost of Halloween with these repurposing craft tips for Halloween 2018! Browse our ranges of men’s, women’s, kids’, sports and designer umbrellas before you get to work!

London Fashion Week: The Top Trends | Fulton Umbrellas

London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the biggest events in the calendar for designers, models and trend-lovers alike. At Fulton Umbrellas, we love keeping our eye on the next big thing in fashion to make sure our collection stays on-trend and in vogue. So, what were the highlights from September’s LFW?

Browse our run-down of the event right here — and get a head start on what’s going to take fashion by storm…

Dare to diversify.

Anyone who was even slightly interest in fashion was eager to watch the Burberry show at the latest LFW. Why? Because this was the debut of Riccardo Tisci, who was appointed chief creative director of Burberry in March. Fortunately, onlookers weren’t left unentertained.

Tisci sent his models down the runway in a perfect blend of classic and contemporary outfits — ensuring this traditional British brand showed its power as a modern fashion powerhouse. Learn style tips from Burberry, which focused on both ends of the style spectrum — demure pussy-bow blouses, pleated midi skirts and elegant gowns at certain intervals, and bold graphic t-shirts with leather bottoms and overstated make-up at the other! Basically, go classic British — whether it’s chic and feminine 1950s or punky and rebellious 1980s! Our William Morris collection is ideal if you want the vintage vibe.

 

Keep it minimal

2018 is Victoria Beckham’s tenth year in the fashion industry — and she celebrated it in style with her stand-out collection at LFW. Beckham was applauded for her stunning range of loose-fit, beautifully chic and minimalist designs that looked effortless, but packed a real punch among critics and the audience.

 

Using block colours set to be big in spring and summer next year — like baby blue and rust — she showed us how a simple pair of tailored trousers paired with a plain blazer and long t-shirt can work wonders. To enhance the simplistic-yet-powerful look, pair with a sleek black umbrella to stay on-trend in all weather.

The ruche appeal

If Molly Goddard’s collection is anything to go by, next season is all about ruffled clothing. Breathing life into a classic 1980s trend, ruffles on everything from skirt hemlines to shirt cuffs will be hugely popular.

Wonderfully feminine and adding a touch of fun to an outfit, fill your wardrobe with ruched tops and pair them with tapered trousers to highlight the ruched outline. Or, go for a long, ruched skirt and wear a fitted blouse on top so you don’t go overboard on the ruffles! A retro, floral umbrella from Joules will look great with this style of outfit, we think, too.

Layers of embellishments

Layering and embellished clothing were other top trends found across multiple catwalks at September’s LFW. Take show, which featured models dressed in boxy jackets decorated with shiny metallics, dresses enhanced with tulle layering, and skirts featuring bird and leaf patterns.

Sequins, shapes and colour reigned supreme at the Temperley London show — so why not bring the look into your style? Instead of plain shirts and tops, go for something with beaded embellishments or nature patterns in a lime green, electric blue or tangerine orange for a stand-out outfit that’s ideal for SS19. And when it comes to choosing a skirt or dress, keep your eye out for mesh and tulle — a satin maxi skirt with a cream netted fabric over the top looks beautiful. Since colour is an important part of this look, choose an umbrella from our Cath Kidston collection.

Edwardian styles

Our final top trend of LFW is the revival of Edwardian fashion. From lace dresses featuring chic high necklines to double-breasted blazers with a check pattern, Edwardian styles took over at the Erdem show.

If you fancy following suit, keep your eye out for trouser suits, long skirts, frilled embellishments, puffed sleeves, and ultra-feminine frocks in soft, demure shades. Pair with simple court shoes and an umbrella from The National Gallery featuring a scene of a former, quintessentially British way of life and your style will be flawlessly in vogue!

These are our highlights of September’s London Fashion Week. Browse our collections of quality men’s, women’s and kids’ umbrellas before you go.

The Craze for Umbrella Art | Fulton Umbrellas

 

At Fulton Umbrellas, we offer a wide range of designs and colours to create our collection of umbrellas. So, we know how attractive a brolly can look! But how are umbrellas used in art? Can they help create timeless pieces and do they inspire people when used in public displays?

Here, we look at the influence of umbrellas in public displays, films, songs and paintings to find out how important the everyday, essential accessory is in art…

Public displays

Recently, there’s been a huge trend for incorporating the umbrella in public art displays all over the world. In Salisbury, a technicolour canopy of brollies was put on display in the city centre in July — which included 90 umbrellas hanging over the High Street — while in Florida, a pedestrian promenade is the latest location for the Umbrella Sky Project, which is an internationally renowned public art exhibition launched in Portugal years ago. Visitors to these exhibitions are also encouraged to upload pictures of the display on social media and use hashtags to help spread the umbrella-enhanced art around the world!

These are just a couple of examples of how innovative public art displays can be, and it’s clear that seeing a network of umbrellas suspended — as if by magic — above ordinary locations can really draw in the crowds. But, can umbrella art also help our high streets by attracting greater numbers of visitors and tourists?

Apparently so. A canopy of colourful brollies was implemented in the name of art in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland earlier this year, which Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Paul Reid, claimed was a fantastic example of how an area can “attract people into town centres and develop a more vibrant atmosphere”. Similarly, an exhibition of hundreds of painted umbrellas was used to help build on the city of Da Nang’s tourism success in 2017. The Vietnamese city was named one of the top ten holiday destinations in Asia in the previous year and this garden of colourful brollies was a large part of its effort to retain its status as a leading tourist destination! It seems that, regardless of culture, everyone has an affinity for umbrella-inspired art exhibitions — but what about other art forms?

Paintings

Even in paintings, the umbrella can play an iconic role. Most people will recognise The Singing Butler oil-on-canvas painting that was created by Jack Vettriano in 1992. It features a man and woman dancing in their finery on a damp beach, flanked by their maid and butler who both hold up a black umbrella each in an attempt to protect the couple. Clearly, this painting meant a great deal to someone, as a private collector bought it for £744,800 in 2004 — a record sum of money for a Scottish painting at the time!

If you don’t recall Vettriano’s masterpiece, you’ll surely know A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Created in 1884, this work of art displays a crowd of elegantly dressed Parisians relaxing by the River Seine, using umbrellas — or parasols — as chic shields from the sunshine. Currently, the masterpiece is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, which reportedly paid $24,000 for it in 1924.

Film

As umbrellas are handy — arguably must-have — items, it’s no surprise that they feature significantly in the world of cinema. Who can forget Jiminy Cricket’s most famous prop, a red umbrella, which featured in Disney’s 1940 version of Pinocchio? And of course, there’s the 1952 smash-hit, Singin’ in the Rain, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. This classic would never have been the same without the renowned scene where Kelly dances in the street with his black umbrella as the rain pours down all around him.

Then there’s Julie Andrews’ character in Mary Poppins, who flies in and out of London using an umbrella, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which features Hagrid lighting a fire with a spark from a brolly, and My Fair Lady — a film that depicts its leading character, played by Audrey Hepburn, using a beautiful white-lace parasol that has now become one of Hollywood’s most iconic and sought-after props.

Music

Even in music, the umbrella is a popular lyric and prop. Most recently, global star, Rihanna, had massive success with her song Umbrella in 2007. Reaching number one in many countries across Europe, as well as Australia and the US, Umbrella claimed the top spot in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘10 Best Singles of 2007’ and won two accolades at the MTV Video Music Awards. Interestingly in the UK, the song was classed almost as a curse, due to the fact that it reached and stayed at the number one spot in the charts during a spate of extreme rainfall and flooding!

Elsewhere in the musical world, the brolly has also been mentioned in songs such as Dean Martin’s The Lady with the Big Umbrella, Bing Crosby’s Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella, The Hollies’ Bus Stop, and Faith Hill’s Red Umbrella.

Clearly, we love umbrella art all over the world in a variety of forms! Get your own art-inspired brolly from our National Gallery collection, or browse a range of other stylish designs in our men’s, women’s, children’s, and sport selections.

10 Free Summer Activities for Kids & Adults | Fulton Umbrellas

Searching for cheap or free activities to do this summer with the kids that you can both enjoy? At Fulton Umbrellas, we know how tricky it can be to make sure children have fun during the summer break from school.

So, we’ve created this guide to the best, free summer activities for kids and adults! Take a look and see which ones jump out at you…

Organise a baking challenge

With The Great British Bake Off starting later this month, now is the perfect time to get your kids or grandkids baking some treats in the kitchen. Plus, there are no entry fees or transport costs involved; all you need to do is buy the ingredients!

For young children, make something simple like jam tarts, and for older kids, make the event more challenging to keep them entertained all afternoon. You could pick at random from the cookbook you always use or set each youngster off with a different cake recipe and let them judge the best by tasting.

Do a treasure hunt

If it’s a nice day, pack up the car and head to your local park to do this activity. However, you could always do this in the garden, too. To make this fun, firstly find out how many kids are taking part and their ages — a treasure hunt for a two-year-old will differ a lot from one that’s entertaining for a ten-year-old!

Next, pick a theme to make your treasure hunt special — anything from pirates to princesses will work to make your treasure hunt memorable — and make clues that fit the topic. For the treasure at the end, you could fill a small box with sweets and a few coins, or even lead the kids to a new board or garden game to keep them entertained for even longer!

Enjoy a bike ride

It’s a shame to waste the day indoors. So, why not get some fresh air and exercise with a long bike ride at your local park or somewhere further afield? Look online for designated cycling paths and perhaps choose an area that the children have never visited before to make it new and exciting for them. Use this cycling journey planner for help finding the perfect bike-riding location near you.

Make sure you pack a picnic for the halfway point and make plenty of stops so the kids can explore their new surroundings.

Visit a farm

Kids love animals and wide-open spaces, so visiting a farm is the perfect day out during the summer break. Even better, you should be able to do this for free — minus the cost of transportation — if you search online. Many farmers are happy to let people visit without an entry fee, although often a donation is greatly appreciated, and kids love to see the animals getting fed or running around.

Afterwards, you can keep the kids entertained by asking them to draw their favourite animal or moment of the day. If you have the items (glue, paper, water, and paint), you could even let them create papier-mâché pigs and cows, too!

Head to your region’s most famous and least-known landmarks…

Every region in the UK has a famous spot, even if it’s just a landmark that’s well-known to the local community. So, why not spend a morning or afternoon visiting your area’s most iconic place, then do some research to find a hidden gem near you?

This could be anything from a secret garden to a section of coastline you — and many others — rarely visit. If your children are old enough, get them to help you find somewhere online using their tablets or laptops — this will help build adventure and excitement!

Make a weather station for the garden

As an expert in rain attire and umbrellas, we had to include something to do with the weather! So, we recommend getting the kids together and testing their science skills by making a rain gauge or wind vane.

To make a rain gauge:

  • Cut a two-litre plastic bottle two thirds of the way up.
  • Upend the top part of the bottle and put it in the bottom section. Adhere with sticky tape.
  • Make a centimetre scale on a piece of tape and stick it to your bottle.
  • Go into the garden and dig a hole to bury the gauge. It should be about 5cm out of the ground.

And you’re done! Now, get the kids to head outside every morning to measure the amount of rain it has collected using the centimetre gauge on the side of the bottle. If the kids enjoy this craft session, why not let them make a wind vane, too?

To make a wind vane:

  • Use a pencil to draw a 25cm arrow on card. Cut it out and use it to draw around and make another.
  • Glue the arrows together.
  • Now, fetch a cork and four matchsticks. Then, push the matchsticks into the long side of the cork — these should be at right-angles to each other.
  • Write: ‘N’, ‘E’, ‘S’, ‘W’ on four separate pieces of card. Attach these to the ends of each matchstick — it’s a good idea to use an adhesive tack or clear tape to make these secure.
  • Put sand in a bottle.
  • Push a knitting needle into your cork before pushing into the bottled sand.
  • Balance the arrow on top of the needle.
  • Finally, put the wind vane in an open area and use your smartphone or a compass to verify which way is north so that you can point the ‘N’ card in the right direction.

And you’re finished! Now, the arrow will show you where the breeze is coming from.

These are just a few entertaining activities that you can enjoy free of charge this summer with the children. If you’re heading outdoors, make sure you browse our children’s, women’s and men’s umbrellas to stay dry and comfortable!

How Rain Has Helped Us Survive | Fulton Umbrellas

Rain and snow are critical to life on Earth. Although the surface of our planet is around 71% water, the salt content makes much of this useless to most humans, plants and creatures — which is the main reason that rainwater is essential.

At Fulton Umbrellas, we’re interested in all types of weather. As World Water Week takes place at the end of August, we’ve looked into the importance of rainwater and how it has helped civilisation prosper over the millennia!

Agriculture

It’s generally believed that agriculture first began around 12,000 years ago. However, growing nutritional crops and plants would never have been possible at the time without the assistance of rain to hydrate, soak up nutrients from the soil and perform photosynthesis. In ancient times, rainwater was collected in large vats so that it could be used during times of little or no rainfall, while later civilisations built harvesting systems on rooftops, aqueducts and reservoirs.

Rainwater has allowed humans to practice and develop agriculture. This means we have been able to create a sustainable source of food that has allowed the global population to grow. What’s more, agriculture is the largest source of cloth material, the source of many medicinal drugs, and a huge form of employment for men and women around the world.

Human existence

It’s a well-known fact that the human body requires water to survive. Around 60% of our bodies are made of water and we can reportedly only last around 100 hours without drinking it. According to the United States Geological Survey, rain soaks into the ground — this is called infiltration — where some of the fluid goes under the top layers of soil and occupies the gap between subsurface rocks. This is called groundwater and accounts for less than 2% of the Earth’s water. But interestingly, it delivers almost a third of mankind’s fresh water supply, which has allowed us to drink and irrigate crops for thousands of years! If rainwater stopped, we’d fast use up our water reserves and groundwater is especially important for countries that suffer droughts, as springs could be the only way to retrieve freshwater for a long time.

Creating climates

Rainwater is also crucial for climate maintenance. When it’s in the atmosphere, it works to deliver a kind of direct evaporation that ‘refills’ heat and moisture in cloud systems. It has also been discovered that rainfall evaporation plays a part in the creation of tropical humidity.

If it weren’t for rain, various weather systems around the world that have helped create biologically diverse ecosystems featuring a variety of plants and animals would potentially not exist, leaving many subcultures without a food source and the wider community without essential medicinal plants.

Water life

Many fish and marine animals that live in freshwater rely on precipitation to survive. Rainwater refills the streams, lakes and ponds that these animals live in, and in turn, humans all over the world use these sources to fish and feed local populations.

Unfortunately, weather conditions like droughts can cause these water systems to dry up, forcing marine life to swim away from key fishing areas, if they can, or even die from a lack of habitat and food.

Clearly, precipitation is essential to human life — even if a rainy day is often looked on as a negative in the UK! Get out and enjoy the next shower with a brolly from our men’s, women’s, children’s, or sport collections.

The Latest British Archaeological Finds | Fulton Umbrellas

The Festival of British Archaeology takes place in summer every year and, since Fulton Umbrellas is a proud British brand, we’ve decided to look at some of the most important archaeological findings of recent times.

Detailing what treasures were uncovered and how they’ve helped further our understanding of our ancestors, read on to discover more about the UK’s best digs!

Roman writing tablets

June 2016 saw archaeologists unearth the oldest handwritten documents ever discovered in the UK. Around 400 waxed tablets, used for taking notes during Roman times, were excavated in London and some even revealed events, names and business dealings! Now known as the ‘Bloomberg writing tablets’ because they were discovered when trying to locate a London base for the company, this discovery gives us a glimpse into the life of those who founded our capital city.

Bronze Age settlement

Described as the ‘dig of a lifetime’ and ‘Britain’s Pompeii’; British archaeologists were captivated in 2015 as they excavated a lost, prehistoric settlement from around 3,000 years ago. Pottery, textiles, spearheads, metal work, and more were found at what some have argued is one of the UK’s most revealing archaeological sites.

Discovered in Cambridgeshire, the artefacts that were found imply that people living during this era were perhaps more sophisticated than formerly believed. Linen was one of the clothing fabrics discovered, while canoes made from hollowed-out oak logs and beads thought to have originated from overseas suggest that these inhabitants were far more skilled and internationally connected than previously believed. As relics from this era are rare, this site — part of the Must Farm settlement excavation — will help us gain a more educated glimpse into how people lived and worked thousands of years ago.

Viking treasure

In May 2017, a metal detectorist found a haul of Viking treasure that turned out the be the biggest of its kind ever discovered in the country! Around 100 rare artefacts from the Viking period were dug up in south-west Scotland, which included items such as: silver bracelets, gold rings, brooches, textiles, beads, crystals, and even a silver cup.

The metal detectorist gave his find to the Queen’s Lord and Treasurer’s Remembrancer Experts, where the items were described as “outstanding and exceptional”. The organisation, which determines what happens to ownerless findings, later ruled that the items should be passed onto Scotland’s National Museum — granted that it pays nearly £2 million to the finder! Why a great archaeological discovery? Experts say that this collection of Viking treasure shows a greater European connectivity than previously thought…

Barracks at Hadrian’s Wall

The discovery of Roman cavalry barracks last year at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland was an exciting time for everyone involved — not just due to its size, but also because it shows historians much more about the military influence and build up to the construction of the famous, historical border. Apparently constructed before Hadrian’s Wall around AD 105, the newly discovered site unearthed possessions of Roman soldiers and their family members that are around 2,000 years old — including lances, arrowheads, shoes, combs, brooches, woven cloth, hairpins, and pieces of armour.

But what makes this discovery so important is the detection of two Roman cavalry swords still featuring their scabbards and pommels. Leader of the archaeological team, Andrew Birley, states that: “Archaeologists would never expect to find a Roman cavalry sword in any context, because it’s like a modern-day soldier leaving his barracks and dumping his rifle on the floor. This is a very expensive thing, so why leave it behind?”

Reportedly, the artefacts have been kept in such excellent conditions for thousands of years due to being concealed under a Roman-laid, concrete floor.

Richard III

Perhaps one of the most publicised and exciting finds of recent years, the unearthing of Richard III’s body in 2012 — named the Greyfriars Project — finally put to rest the theory that the iconic former king of England was buried under a carpark in Leicester.

For decades, there have been debates about the demise and resting place of Richard III. But apart from giving an answer to a long-posed question, what was the archaeological benefit of finding the king more than 520 years after his death? Using the latest in carbon dating, forensic analysis and even the DNA testing of a living descendent of the king, scientists were able to not only tell the world that this was indeed the legendary monarch, but also reveal more details regarding what he looked like and what happened to cause his death — apparently, it’s true that he had a curvature in the spine and he actually died due to a blow by a blade to the back of the head! After extensive testing, Richard III was reburied at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

These are just a handful of British discoveries that have helped to shed light on how our ancestors lived — why not grab a metal detector and see what you can find to celebrate the British archaeology this year?

Browse our range of premium umbrellas before you go, including men’s, women’s, designer, children’s, and sport styles.

Wimbledon 2018: The Highlights | Fulton Umbrellas

One of the biggest tournaments in tennis has just finished for another year, with fans around the world applauding the champions — Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber — in what was a memorable sporting event. But what were the tournament’s highlights?

Considering our range of sports umbrellas and the typical British weather even in summer, Fulton Umbrellas has perhaps a more vested interest than most in Wimbledon and the fans who gather outside to watch it! From the most intense match to the most astonishing comebacks, we’ve explored and put together a collection of the best Wimbledon 2018 highlights…

Most exciting match

Reflecting on the whole tournament, the stand-off between the Spanish player, Rafael Nadal, and Argentinian, Juan Martin del Potro, was arguably the most gripping of Wimbledon 2018. Nadal’s quarter-final victory was packed with incredible sprints for the ball, unbelievably powerful shots and expertly angled backhands. The passion and desire to win was clear for all of us to see and made for great entertainment — even debuting BBC commentator, Andy Murray, said that the ‘fifth set is one of the best sets I have ever seen’.

Biggest disappointment

For many British fans, the news that Andy Murray would not be playing in this year’s Wimbledon was disheartening. The 2016 champion unfortunately backed out of the tournament only one day before the event started, citing a lack of preparation for it due to a recent hip operation. Although many of us were still mesmerised as each competitor battled it out for the trophy, not having one-time Wimbledon winner Murray in with a chance of a repeat victory presented a different experience to the event for British fans.

Greatest shock result

Wimbledon is always full of twists and turns on and off the court, but not many of us were expecting the outcome of the quarter-final match between Roger Federer and Kevin Anderson. Almost everyone was anticipating the reigning Wimbledon winner — who has lifted the famous trophy a record-breaking eight times — to emerge victorious over South African, Anderson. However, it wasn’t to be.

Over the course of four hours and 14 minutes, Federer gradually lost his ownership of the match. Soon after a promising start, the often-unbeatable Swiss player began to make a few uncharacteristic errors that let his opponent in with a chance to steal the match. With a fighting spirit, powerful forehand and shots of more than 100mph; Anderson shocked commentators and fans alike with his eventual victory — which also meant that he was the first South African for over three decades to reach the semi-final stage of Wimbledon.

Most incredible comeback

German women’s 2018 champion, Angelique Kerber, has perhaps made the greatest comeback of the tournament. After losing her number one world ranking spot and suffering multiple first-round exits at majors in 2017, few would have put a lot of money on the 30-year-old Kerber to lift the trophy at Wimbledon 2018. However, she did just that, beating the masterful Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 to clinch her first Wimbledon championship!

Best shot

We chose three winners for the category of ‘best shot’: Angelique Kerber, Daria Kasatkina and Rafael Nadal. Kerber and Kasatkina showed amazing poise, power and precision with their unbelievable 25-shot rally in the quarter-final match, while Nadal’s backwards, ‘through-the-legs’ shot against Alex de Minaur that went over his opponent’s head landing just inside the line was spectacular!

Clearly, this year’s Wimbledon has been an exciting one — but will Andy Murray make a return to the court next year and what else will 2019’s tournament have in store?

Browse our range of men’s, women’s, children’s, and designer umbrellas before you go.

Where Are the Hottest Places on Earth? | Fulton Umbrellas

Many of us are currently enjoying a nice, warm summer in the UK. But have you ever wondered how hot this season gets for other destinations around the world?

The team at Fulton Umbrellas wanted to find out. So, we put together this list that explores the highest recorded temperatures across the world! Find out which locations are considered some of the hottest on the planet…

Dallol, Ethiopia

This African location features geysers, salt formations and acidic hot springs that makes it an amazing place to visit. As a hydrothermal spot, Dallol — in northern Ethiopia — offers its population an extremely hot environment, as well as a nearby volcano, which erupted in 2011.

The site often hits around 45°C and it actually holds the title for the highest temperature for an inhabited destination (on average) due to it maintaining a temperature of around 40°C between 1960 and 1966!

Wadi Halfa, Sudan

Found in northern Sudan, Wadi Halfa is famous for its ferocious dust storms alongside its scorching temperatures. During a typical summer in the Sudanese city, Wadi Halfa is around 40°C — although in April 1967, resident shad to endure heat of up to 53°C!

Wadi Halfa is based on the shoreline of Lake Nubia, although the location gets very little rain and has a population of just over 15,000.

Tirat Zvi, Israel

This kibbutz, based a short distance west of the Jordan River, is populated by a mere 792 people (as of 2016) — perhaps because it can get uncomfortably hot. In June 1942, the location reportedly hit a temperature of 54°C! Although this record has been disputed since, Tirat Zvi still gets an average temperature of around 37°C.

Founded by European Jewish immigrants in 1937, this settlement was named after one of the fathers of the Zionist Movement and is today the biggest producer of dates in Israel.

Kebili, Tunisia

Tunisia, found on Africa’s northern coast and near the Italian island of Sicily, can also claim a place on the list of the globe’s hottest locations.

Hitting a record high of 55°C — and with a record low of only 13.9°C in the same month — Kebili is an extremely hot place. This location also holds the earliest evidence of human habitation in the country, dating back around 200,000 years, and is susceptible to ‘foehn wind’. This is a hot, very dry, down-slope breeze, usually found in mountainous regions.

Aziziya, Libya

Based less than 30 miles south of the Libyan capital city, Tripoli, Aziziya was once the titleholder of ‘Hottest Place on Earth’ with a temperature of 58°C — unfortunately a few factors (like the inexperience of the person who took the recording) voided its title.

During summer, visitors and residents of Aziziya experience heat of around 48°C and the location has a population of just over 23,000.

Death Valley, USA

Death Valley in the Californian Death Valley National Park is named by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the hottest recorded temperature on the globe — 56.7°C in July 1913! Although, the hottest June so far is believed to be in 2016, where the heat reached 52.2°C. Death Valley is a graben, which means it is a low block of land that is bordered by higher areas, and has a desert climate with short, mild winters.

Not only is Death Valley the hottest spot on the planet, but it’s also the driest location in the USA. Its average rainfall is about 5cm, although, it can get windy, has dust storms and is at risk of flash floods. Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is also the lowest point in the USA — 86m below sea level!

Lut Desert, Iran

Although Death Valley has the crown for hottest location, the Lut Desert — also sometimes called the Dasht-e Lut — in Iran has been named by NASA as the hottest surface. By ‘surface’ experts in the field mean its ‘land skin temperature’, which is the heat level a surface reaches purely after being heated by radiation from the sun.

The highest temperature recorded here? 70.6°C in 2005. That’s even too hot to allow life for bacteria! Unsurprisingly, the Lut Desert is one of the world’s driest places, too, and is even an UNESCO World Heritage site (as of 2016).

Fortunately, British summers aren’t likely to hit these blistering temperatures! Nonetheless, keep yourself shaded with a men’s, women’s, designer, kids’, or sports umbrella this summer! Or, why not browse our on-trend birdcage, dome and telescopic collections?