The art of buying an umbrella


Umbrella must be one of the most underrated items we have at home, and one that we don't normally pay much attention to. It sits at home or in the car most of the time, unforgotten until needed.DSC_6962.JPG


F-SEASONS

Taiwan made umbrella are well known for its durability, but they're not produced on a massive scale hence you probably never heard of them before. My sister in the UK asked me to get her one recently (I ended up buying five!!) and until then, I never realised there's so much art in buying a brolly.DSC_6992.JPG

F-Seasons are one of the handful of umbrella manufacturers in Taiwan, and have been around for over a century. They only have three shops in Taiwan and my local shop is located inside an ex distillery that has now been converted to an arts and cultural centre.
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RAINY DAYS DOESN'T NEED TO BE DULL DAYS

The first thing I saw as I entered the shop were these beautiful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Rainy days are dull days, why not brighten it up with these colourful floral brollies?


There are more brollies hang from the ceiling in the main shop area. Some are plain, and others have different patterns.
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ART AND HERITAGE

Setting up shop here at the local arts and cultural centre isn't by coincidence. The product is considered an art and part of heritage, so the location makes perfect sense. I loved how they had an old sewing machine on display to reflect how the brollies used to be made. There was some centenary material next to it, they made some special edition umbrellas with this material previously.
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This exhibit shows some brief information of the company.

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THESE UMBRELLAS

I for one, never realised there is so much art that goes into choosing an umbrella. After all, it's just needed to stop you from getting wet in the rain.

Let's start with length. Long or telescope?
Then you have to consider the weight.
Automatic one-press open or manual open with both hands?
Plain or pattern?
These are just the basics.

At F-Seasons, and with most of the other manufacturers in Taiwan you can also choose between anti-wind, extra anti-wind, anti-UV, temperature reduction, water resistant, frame material, spokes etc. Yes, these are really all the things they consider when producing the brollies.

All the umbrella here are anti-wind meaning the frame is specially designed so it doesn't snap easily when caught in the wind. With the extra anti-wind ones, if the brolly is blown out by a gust of wind, there is an extra round of springs in the spokes that allows you to gently flick it back down.

These ones here are the extra anti wind ones, and have to be opened manually.
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And these are the normal anti wind ones which are automatic. You can't tell the difference between the two apart from the price. One is NTD890, the other NTD 1000 for 2.
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Then you have some which are double layered and are anti UV, they reduce the temperature on a scorching hot day. This feature is quite important as many Taiwanese girls use an umbrella in the summer to keep themselves under the shade. That may sound a bit odd to many, but if you think about, it's not that weird because in the old days many ladies used parasols. At F-Seasons, they claim their brollies can reduce the temperature by up to 35%.

And, finally "water resistant". That may sound a bit silly as that's what a brolly is supposed to do. What I really mean, and I can't find a better name for it, is how well the water glides off the brolly. The better water resistant it is, the drier the brolly will be when you close it and it won't drip too much when you take it indoors or get onto the bus or train.


MY BROLLY

I'm going to leave you with my very own Made in Taiwan brolly, black and plain on the outside, and beautiful on the inside, for my eyes only on a rainy day.

Hope you enjoyed learning something about the humble brolly today. If you have your own favourite one, please do share, would love to see it.
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Comments 43


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23.02.2020 00:37
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Thats quite a bit of beautyfull brollies to choose from.. Wow! I love the color scheme & design of yours. πŸ’•

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23.02.2020 00:44
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They certainly do have a good selection of brollies to choose from!

!engage 30

23.02.2020 18:13
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These umbrellas are amazing, beautiful colors and are too important for a rainy day, thanks for sharing.
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23.02.2020 00:50
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I think the colourful umbrellas add a touch to the rainy day so it's not too depressing ^_^

@engage 30

23.02.2020 18:14
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23.02.2020 18:17
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23.02.2020 01:06
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You know what I mean 😁

23.02.2020 01:26
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23.02.2020 01:07
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First time I'm seeing a shop for umbrellas specifically. Very cool!! :-D

23.02.2020 01:46
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I think most people tend to use whatever random umbrella they come across like freebies, golf brollies or grab a cheapy one when it suddenly rains, so don't really think about going into a shop to buy one. Glad you liked it!

!engage 30

23.02.2020 18:19
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Umbrellas are for girls. That means guys carry it only in the rain.
Weird thing is I saw a big man carry umbrella under the sun recently.
Then again, I should not jump to conclusions.😎
I have a friend who was temporary allergic to the sun. He was wearing uniform carrying and umbrella to the cookhouse for lunch. We always have a good laugh about that.

Here around asia, umbrellas are more colourful like this one for example.

Source: https://goldvoice.club/steem/@ace108/monthly-author-challenge-5-28-mondayred-umbrella-of-the-lady-in-red-or-by-ace108

23.02.2020 04:14
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That's a nice umbrella, I wonder if she got it from Taiwan ...
The sun in Singapore is so much hotter, I notice I got a line across my feet from my shoes from just being there for a few days!!!

!engage 30

23.02.2020 18:16
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She was part of a whole group of people who came to Singapore Expo for some Buddhist convention. It was near my then workplace. Many people came from overseas including Malaysia, TW and CN.
Was cooler after you left and we got some rain.

23.02.2020 22:45
0

You left me speechless with this post. Just like for so many others, for me an umbrella is to stop me from getting wet. Rain is not something we experience every day in my area, sometimes there's no rain for more than a month, so umbrella is not so important.

I've never known there are umbrellas specially for sunny days although I know and have seen people using umbrellas on hot, sunny days.

It's amazing how these people made a fashion for umbrellas.

When I was in the Netherlands and Germany a few years ago I saw what it means to have bad weather and umbrella. There were some very raining days combined with strong wind. It's the worst combination ever as you need a raincoat if you want to survive. On a day like that, garbage bins on the street were full of broken umbrellas and the street vendor who's been selling umbrellas had a very good day.

I remember the price was very low, I bought two umbrellas for myself but none of them were made to resist that strong wind. It was basically a very bad cycle. Buy a cheap umbrella as it's going to break anyway.

I guess if I would be at this shop, I would buy myself a few just for fun as they are nice. The old sewing machine on display is another wonderful thing. I love it!

I'm happy I came across your post as I've learned something new today, that's why I love Steem 😊

Keep being awesome and have a nice weekend πŸ€—

23.02.2020 06:13
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That's the beauty of Steem, we come across so many random post everyday, glad you enjoyed this one.

I think an umbrella is one thing that is worth investing in especially if you live in a rainy and windy area, and the fact its a bit expensive probably means you will make sure you won't lose it as well!

Thanks for dropping by @erikah!

!engage 50

23.02.2020 18:23
0

I have never owned an umbrella my entire life! haha!

23.02.2020 07:41
0

You're so lucky @jaynie, the weather in South Africa must be beautiful, not too hot nor too wet. Lucky you!!!

!engage 30

23.02.2020 18:24
0

hehe, Yes, we are pretty blessed here :)

23.02.2020 18:32
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Thank you @livinguktaiwan :)

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23.02.2020 09:57
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Prior reading this, I didn't know if choosing an umbrella is an art itself. I have an umbrella with flower pattern and some simple ones.

23.02.2020 13:31
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Neither did I before I went into the shop. This whole thing about the water resistance was totally new on me. The lady actually did a demo and sprayed some water on the umbrella, not even a drop stayed on the surface!

!engage 30

23.02.2020 18:26
0

You have shed new light on brollies for me. I can never look at one the same again. I am quite jealous of the beauty that you have there.
When I get back to Montreal I will buy one that I can really be proud of. I will have to be careful though because I always leave my umbrellas somewhere.
Awesome interesting and cheerful post!

24.02.2020 02:59
0

Thank you Carolyn! Perhaps you could drop by Taiwan during your travels sometime to pick one up. It's a beautiful country πŸ˜„

!engage 50

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26.02.2020 00:51
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This post stuck in my head 😁 I'm returning to check out the umbrellas again. That peach floral design is something I would want. I'm like a kid 😊

29.02.2020 06:48
0

Haha!! Please do keep on coming back!!

If you really want one, I'm more than happy to get one for you and send it over πŸ˜„

29.02.2020 09:57
0

Aw, how nice of you, thank you but it's really not necessary. We don't have much rain here, so I'm rarely using my two umbrellas anyway. Regardless, thank you for being an awesome Steemian and a great person πŸ€— 😘

29.02.2020 18:51
0