How to Hang a Shade Cloth

Shade cloth is used to provide shade in garden and patio applications.

The cloth comes in two basic varieties, woven and knitted. The woven fabric tends to be less stable and may fray more easily than the knitted. Shade cloth is available in a variety of colors and shapes and it is rated for how much shade it will produce. Often shade cloth manufacturers will hem the edges of the cloth and add reinforced grommets to make hanging the cloth easier.

Measure the area to be shaded. Your rectangular shade cloth will need a minimum of four mounting points. Typically, two of these points will be on the house under the eaves, and two will be tall posts positioned at least one foot beyond the maximum distance of the shade cloth (both width and length). These posts should be at the height you want for the shade cloth, and they should be cemented into the ground so that they are well secured.

Purchase a shade cloth that is hemmed to your desired size with reinforced corners and grommets. Most shade cloth manufacturers are happy to customize your cloth for you.

Install one pad eye under the eaves of the house. Center the pad eye between the fascia board and the exterior wall of the house. Position the first pad eye one foot inside the position of the post opposite its location. Hook the shade cloth to the pad eye using a snap hook.

Stretch the shade cloth along the exterior wall of the house and pull it taut.

Mark the location of the second pad eye so that a snap hook through the second corner grommet will barely reach the pad eye. You want the shade cloth to be under tension when you hang it, to prevent sag.

Install the second pad eye at the mark. Center the pad eye between the fascia board and the exterior wall of the house.

Install a pad eye or large screw eye near the top of each post on the side facing the house and shade cloth.

Open the turnbuckle so that it is at its maximum length. Hook the hook end of the turnbuckle through the nearest corner of the shade cloth. There may be an additional few inches between the turnbuckle and the post. Add just enough links to barely make the connection between the turnbuckle and the post. Do the same with the last corner and post.

Twist each turnbuckle to create tension on the shade cloth. Properly installed, the shade cloth should be resistant to wind. If the fabric stretches, you should be able to tighten the turnbuckles more or even remove a link.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 tall wood posts with cement footers
  • 4 pad eyes
  • 2 large screw eyes (optional)
  • 2 snap hooks
  • Hook and eye turnbuckles
  • Extra links
  • Shade cloth with grommets at corners


  • Most shade cloth manufacturers sell the hardware for mounting and hanging shade cloth. Other hanging options include stretching cable to nearby trees instead of using posts. Be sure to tell your shade cloth manufacturer how you would like to use your shade cloth for additional ideas and hardware.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.