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 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…

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.

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.


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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Tips for Playing Golf This Winter | Fulton Umbrellas

Golfing pros can always adapt their game to suit any condition, so don’t let the dark nights and cold days put you off honing your swing technique. If you want to take advantage of the emptier courses and keep up your practice, check out our tips for playing golf in winter.

No golf buggies

Keep your body temperature up by walking around the course rather than driving. You’ll probably find that your muscles will feel more loose and flexible, which should improve your swing on chilly days.

 Realistic par

Science says that your golf ball will not travel as far in the cold, so you might have to adjust your par. As a golf ball travels through cold air, it will lose distance since air at lower temperatures is denser. Therefore, each shot of the ball in winter will give you a slightly higher and shorter trajectory, due to drag. To help counter this issue, place your golf balls on your home radiator to gently warm them around 30 minutes before you leave for the course.

Even pro golfers wouldn’t shoot under their handicaps when the green surface is poor, so don’t feel bad about adding a couple of strokes onto the par of the course for every nine, too.

 Metal spikes

In golf, you have two major points of contact when you swing — club and ground. In order to play the best game possible, you need to ensure you have a firm grip when the conditions are frosty or damp.  Switch to golf shoes with metal spikes, if your golf course allows, and give yourself more stability mid-swing for the optimum shot.

Wear gloves

You’ll notice a significant difference in your game quality and duration if you head to the course with golf gloves. Hands and feet are the first parts of the bodies that get cold, which diminishes flexibility and movement. Go for special, wet-weather gloves with added grip so you can keep a firm hold of your club when you’re taking a tee shot.

 High-vis golf balls

Even if you have customized golf balls that you love to take with you on the course, winter means the days are shorter and visibility is poorer. Yellow is the most visible colour in the spectrum — which is why New York City taxis are painted that shade — so treat yourself to a new pack of sunny, high-visibility golf balls that you’ll be able to keep in your eyeline as you move around the course?

 Widen your stance

Frosty or rain-soaked grounds equal unsteady footing and poorer accuracy. Widen the distance between both feet before each swing so that your weight is spread more evenly and you boost your overall stability. This way, you should feel more secure as you rotate with each swing, which should give you a cleaner shot.

Expect less run

Wet ground makes for a shorter run, so you need to factor this into your game strategy when you head out for a round in winter. Approach shots will potentially stop soon after landing and putts are likely to be slower, which means you need to adjust the force and angle of each shot. Try and hit the ball so that it has a softer landing with a less steep drop, and increase the power you put into your shot when you go for the hole.

 Golf umbrellas

If you’re a keen golfer, chances are you’ll already have a decent golf umbrella. If not, you definitely need one for winter golfing. Make sure you buy a high-quality design made from strong, durable materials — fibreglass umbrellas are especially sturdy — and get one with a sizeable canopy to cover you and your clubs from winter wind and rain.

 Hot drinks

To play golf in winter, you need to increase your metabolism and body heat. Take a flask of coffee, green tea or even warmed coconut milk to keep you alert, warm and energized on the cold course.

 Golf tracking in low sun

One of the major obstacles with winter golf is the low-lying sun, which can obscure your vision and leave you having to guess where your ball landed. However, there is a trick to keeping it in your eyeline. Simply track the ball from the second it takes off until a moment before it reaches the sun. Then, divert your gaze to the location on the ground where you think your ball will land — almost every time, you’ll see your ball roll into view, saving your eyes from glare in the process.

 Wear multiple layers

On very cold days, you need to dress warmly if you’re going to last on an open course. Dressing in layers is an easy trick to trapping body heat, so go for a long-sleeve thermal t-shirt, jumper, windbreaker, hat, gloves, and few pairs of socks. This way, if you start to heat up as you move around, you can always take off a layer to regulate your temperature.


For more choice on a range of high-quality designs, browse our ranges of sport, men’s and women’s umbrellas.

Umbrella Etiquette in Christmas Markets | Fulton Umbrellas

In the UK, umbrella etiquette is essential. Holding, closing, carrying, and shaking off your brolly is an art form if you want to avoid poking fellow pedestrians in the eye or showering them in rain. Of course, this becomes even more difficult in busy public places.


At this time of year, town and city centres are filling up with Christmas markets. To help you navigate your way safely through the festive crowds, read our top tips for perfecting your umbrella etiquette.


Public transport

How are you planning to get to the Christmas market? If you fancy a few mulled wines and are taking public transport, never place your soaking umbrella on the seat next to you — especially if it’s a sturdy golf umbrella that takes up a lot of space. This is a highway to a telling off or at least a few tuts and grumbles. Instead, shake off your umbrella outside and put it on the floor at your feet. If it’s still wet, put its cover on or use a plastic bag to make sure you don’t create a slipping hazard.

Raising and lowering

Once you’re at the market, you need to master the umbrella dance to weave your way around a Christmas market without a hitch. Basically, the umbrella dance involves lifting and lowering your umbrella in sync with the heights of your fellow market revellers — raising it to allow shorter pedestrians to pass by unharmed and lowering or tilting it away from taller people. Remember: as the holder of the umbrella, you’re in charge of avoiding clashes.


Mobile in pocket

Accidents happen and almost everyone you might catch with your umbrella will tell you it’s fine and merrily carry on. However, if you poke a bystander in the forehead because you were too busy texting on your phone to notice them, they might not be as forgiving. If you need to take a call or answer a message, stand at the side or between the festive stalls to make sure you’re safely out of the way.

Opening and closing

Putting up and closing your umbrella is another crucial part of umbrella etiquette — and can make all the difference between causing fury and having an incident-free evening.


Christmas markets have a mix of shops, cafes and stalls, so chances are you’ll head inside to look around or enjoy a hot drink. Before you step inside, shake off as much water as you can, avoiding any passersby, and (if possible) leave it at the entrance or put it into a plastic bag so you don’t wet the floor and cause anyone to slip. Remember to also move to the side of the path to close your umbrella if the rain stops mid-walk. As for opening your brolly, just make sure there’s nobody within touching distance, either in front or behind you!


Reliable designs

It’s Christmas, so treating yourself is necessary. Avoid flimsy, cheap brollies — that’s the last thing you need on a windy, rainy Yuletide evening — and opt for a sturdy design. Keep an eye out for umbrellas made from fibreglass, as these are especially strong and lightweight for carrying all day and evening. Top designers, such as Cath Kidston and Lulu Guinness, create a range of high-quality brollies, and you can get designs featuring automatic openings, which makes it easier to use in the middle of a shopping crowd.

Holding your umbrella

If you or the person you’re with are big on Christmas, it’s likely that you’ll be stopping at nearly every stall on your way around the Christmas market. When you’re getting free gingerbread tasters and browsing the glass tree ornaments, it’s easy to lose the optimum umbrella stance.


Ideally, you need to hold your brolly so that you can easily see who is approaching, so keep it straight over your head and never:


  • Rest it over your shoulder — this only takes up space, which means less walking room for people behind you.
  • Let it dangle (canopy open and facing the floor), just because you happen to be under an awning or roof.
  • Hold it horizontally under your arm.
  • Spin it between your fingers at your side — Christmas markets are full of kids, so you have a good chance of catching one of them at this height.


If you’re carrying your brolly closed, make sure you hold it vertically with the pointed end closest to the floor.

Brolly in the middle

Good umbrella etiquette on strolls around Christmas markets isn’t just about dodging mishaps, it’s also about sharing. If you’re with your partner, child or best friend; place your brolly between you both while you’re walking to reduce the chance of catching somebody walking to your left or right. Letting kids share a children’s umbrella between them is also a good way of keeping them together in a busy public space. Plus, it’ll help to create the right cosy and cheery atmosphere to enjoy your festive outing!


Bear these umbrella etiquette tips in mind to avoid apologizing for yourself at this year’s Christmas markets. Browse our range of premium-quality men’s and women’s umbrellas to get you through the season.


Top Hi-Tech Umbrellas and How They Work | Fulton Umbrellas

Technology has changed everything, from how we work to what we do in our spare time. At Fulton Umbrellas, we wanted to see how the ever-changing world of technology has changed the traditional umbrella and what the future holds for its use, shape and function.

Check out the top hi-tech umbrella designs we can find that might move from idea to reality soon…


Bulletproof umbrellas

Imagining that you could stop an assassin with a simple flick of your umbrella is an exciting idea. This James Bond style gadget was used in the film ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ and now many people are wondering how — and if — bulletproof umbrellas work.

We, of course, already have bulletproof fabrics that prevent fatalities and could, in theory, be used in umbrella form. However, there are snags that need fixing first before this hi-tech umbrella design can get off the ground.

  • You’d still feel the tremendous energy and impact of the bullet, which might make it difficult to hold onto an umbrella during multiple shots.
  • The dome shape would cause any bullet to ricochet in all directions, making it dangerous for people standing around you.
  • The weight of a bulletproof umbrella would be much greater than a standard umbrella, so it’d be hard to hold up in the first place.

Windproof umbrellas

We all know how frustrating it is when an umbrella turns inside out on a windy day, which is where the practical wind-resistant design steps in. This hi-tech umbrella, like the windproof types we have in our Sport Umbrellas range that can withstand up to 78mph, is designed to maintain its structure even in terrific winds and sudden gusts. To do this, windproof umbrellas typically feature:

  • Double canopy: the canopy on the inside has vents that even out the pressure on the outer canopy and lets air pass through, which eases the strain on the umbrellas support structure.
  • Elastic: a cord built into the canopy that prevents it from ripping and helps to retain the overall shape.
  • Durability: very tough materials, polycarbonate joints and fibreglass shafts that can take more stress and strain than standard umbrellas.

Parachute umbrellas


If you needed to make a quick escape from a multi-storey building, what better tool to have in your arsenal than a parachute umbrella? Parachute umbrellas would allow you to land safely from a great height when danger is close. This is a great idea, however, to make this design functional, the canopy would have to be several metres wide. Although this isn’t practical right now, who knows what future designers will come up with to get around the problem.


Web umbrellas


Taking technology up a level, there are also rumours of an umbrella that can project the Internet. Using embedded cameras and Wi-Fi, this design can upload photos and videos to the web, before showing you them online via the underside of the umbrella’s canopy! This means you can browse the Internet when you’re waiting for a taxi or bus, and there’s even scope for integrating GPS sensors to help you find locations in your local area.


Browse our wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s umbrellas.