One of the more popular accessories to outdoor furniture is the patio umbrella. Most people add market umbrellas to their outdoor furniture set to provide shade from the warm summer sun keeping their outdoor guests cool and comfortable. However, did you know there is another, more important benefit to owning a patio umbrella? As mentioned above, a patio umbrella offers friends and family shelter from the heat of the sun, but even more importantly, when the right fabric canopy has been selected, they can also provide great protection from harmful UV rays. Like a hat and a good dose of sunscreen, quality patio umbrellas can act as a barrier between your skin and the harmful rays of the sun. Given the alarming increase in skin cancer diagnosis and sun-induced skin damage over recent years, this benefit alone makes a patio umbrella an integral part of any outdoor patio furniture area. What type of umbrella canopy fabric will offer this type of UV protection? One of the most popular choices is Sunbrella® outdoor fabric. Recommended as an effective UV protectant by the Skin Cancer Foundation, Sunbrella fabrics (with the exception of Sunbrella Sheers) can block up to 98% of harmful UV rays aiding in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin. For more information about Sunbrella® fabrics, visit their web site at www.sunbrella.com.Loaded with important information about the different types of patio furniture materials and styles as well as great style tips from our team of designers, you’ll find everything you’ll need to help you create your own backyard escape. As an added bonus, we’ve also included a useful checklist that you can complete and take with you when you go shopping for patio furniture.