Shade sails are designed to provide outdoor protection from the sun and use a flexible membrane, tensioned between three or more anchor points, similar in form to a ships sail, hence the name. Sun canopies and sun awnings are designed to provide the same protection but are just slightly different in concept. This article discusses all three.
How to make an outdoor shade sail: Ideal for outdoor entertainment areas, but not over barbecues, shade sails are semi-permanent structures. You can install a basic sail by putting in posts or attaching it to a suitable structural part of the house. Make sure the sail is high enough, as it needs a slope to shed leaves. They come in a range of materials, sizes and prices, and can be unclipped over winter.