How to Measure a Parasol Canopy

Emma Loker Headshot - DIY Garden
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how to measure a parasol canopy

Is your parasol canopy looking worse for wear? Weather isn’t kind to parasols – heavy winds can rip through the material, and the sun can bleach the colour right out of it. And not to mention heavy rain and snow – these can cause all sorts of damage!

Here’s the good news: you can replace your parasol canopy, but you need to know how to measure it! You don’t want it too big and flapping around everywhere. Equally, an umbrella that’s too small just won’t cut it. 

This article will guide you through how to measure a parasol canopy. Then, go forth and buy a replacement that you can’t get enough of!

Measuring Your Parasol Canopy

There’s more than one way to measure your parasol canopy. There’s more than one way to measure your parasol canopy. The way you measure largely depends on the umbrella’s shape, also. Let’s go through them one by one; then it’s up to you to choose the best one for you!


Method 1: The Extended Canopy Method

This method involves keeping your parasol in its usual position and simply extending the umbrella fully. Opening the umbrella will enable you to measure the canopy whilst it’s still on the parasol. 

Round Canopy

Round canopies include those which are hexagonal and octagonal. To measure the size of a round umbrella, extend your umbrella fully. Then, measure the canopy’s length from the tip of the rib to the umbrella’s central point. 

To give you your parasol’s arch diameter, times your measurement by 2. 

Square-Shaped or Rectangular Canopy

These are slightly trickier to measure, as the ribs are of different lengths. Like the round canopy, you want to find out the umbrella’s arch diagonal. First, measure the longest ribs, then move on to the shorter ribs. 

Remember, when you order your shiny new canopy, you’ll need to tell the manufacturer the shape of your umbrella, including its width and length. 

To be on the safe side, measure the distance between the tips of each of the ribs. Then, you can’t go wrong!


Method 2: The Folding Method

To perform the folding method, you need to remove the fabric from the frame. Make a note of how many ribs your parasol has. Then, fold your canopy in half, ensuring the seams and corners line up. Measure the central line where you have folded the umbrella – this length is the widest width measurement. 

For round canopies, the next thing to do is measure the length of a rib – start at the tip of the rib and stop your measurement at the parasol’s centre. Then, measure the distance between the ribs by trailing your tape measure along the edge of your parasol’s canopy from one rib to the next. All pockets will be of equal size for octagonal umbrellas. 

For rectangular or square parasols, you’ll need to get the arch diameter of the longest rib, from its tip to the parasol’s centre, the shortest rib, then the distance between the pockets, again by measuring along the edge of the canopy. Bear in mind that if you have some ribs longer than the other, the distance between pockets will vary. 

Don’t Forget Crank Height!

The crank height is the distance between the cranking mechanism, which enables you to extend your umbrella, and the base of the umbrella itself. 

Crank height measurement is essential if your canopy is for a tall table. If this applies to you, don’t forget!

Parasol Canopy Measurement Cheat Sheet


If all these measurements sound crazy confusing, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a table of all the information you need. 

Take a single measurement, such as the arch diameter, and go from there. 

Arch Diameter (cm) Distance Between Pockets (cm) Tip of Rib to Centre (cm) Total Number of Pockets Canopy Size (m)
216 79 109 8 2.1
259 93 134 8 2.5
282 98 144 8 2.7
313 112 154 8 3.0
356 130 176 8 3.5

Enjoy the Shade!

Replacing your canopy can feel like quite a puzzle. There are measurements to take and a whole host of options from which to choose. But now you know precisely how to measure your parasol’s canopy, your life’s a little easier. You’ve got two measuring methods to choose from; take your pick!

Once you’ve measured your parasol’s canopy, you’re well on your way to enjoying the shade again.

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