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Trivia: History of Umbrellas

Umbrella History

Personalised Umbrellas Throughout History


Forms of parasols (or sun umbrellas) existed in Ancient Egypt. While popular in this capacity, it wasn't until 11th century China that leather umbrellas were developed with the ability to shield against both sun and rain. Despite their popularity in the East, it took many hundreds of years before Europe caught on to the idea of using an umbrella customised against the elements.

European Umbrella History

The modern all-weather umbrella began its popularity in European markets during the late 1700’s. Originally considered a product perfect for shielding wealthy women from extreme sun and rain, by the 1800’s European men began appreciating their practicality when compared to relying on their hats and coats. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the umbrella became the compact and practical consumer product we know today.

Modern Umbrella Innovation

Hans Haupt is widely regarded as the father of modern umbrella design. He built and patented a compact, telescoping umbrella that allowed for ease of carry. Later designers such as Bradford E. Phillips would continue to develop this idea and umbrellas have become increasingly portable and simple to use. Now, in the 21st century umbrellas are some of the most popular branded consumer products available.

Continued Consumer Popularity

Given that umbrellas have existed for thousands of years, why on Earth are they still so popular modern consumers? Quite simply, umbrellas are practical items. People need to shield themselves from weather extremities, regardless of where they are in the world. Umbrellas are long-use items, with users only discarding them when they no longer work (which is generally after many years). They're investments for many, items that are long-lasting and also capable of being extremely personal.

Customising Umbrella Capabilities

Umbrellas are items perfectly constructed to display clear printing on their large exterior panels. This gives custom branded umbrellas an incredibly wide reach, which businesses and designers can utilise. Consumers also place a lot of value in a well-designed umbrella, which allows for the savvy corporate to produce valued custom items while still adhering to a budget.

The Future For Umbrellas

It's difficult to predict where future umbrella innovations will lead us in terms of design and customising potential. What we can be sure of however, is that demand for umbrellas will continue unabated. Industry will continue to refine umbrellas for even greater usability and brandability .