Fiberlite Umbrellas

Fiberlite Logo over Pool Background with Umbrella Questions

A List of our Most Frequently Asked Umbrella Questions

Here at Fiberlite, we take pride in our extensive knowledge of umbrellas and the materials used to create them. This knowledge has been cultivated over 35+ years of hands on and in the field experience! We also ensure this information is passed on to our customers as best as possible so they are not only knowledgeable about the product, but happy with the final result!
Provided below is a categorized list of our most received umbrella questions and their respective answers. If your question is not listed below that doesn't mean we don't have the answer! Please inform us of your question at the bottom of this page and someone will get back to you within 24 hours! You can also leave your question in the Contact page.


Yes, both the umbrellas frame and pole are made of 100% American sourced fiberglass. Our fiberglass pole is 1/8″ thick and 1-1/2″ diameter wide, providing exceptional strength with no long term deterioration. 

Fiberlite Umbrellas was founded in 1987 by Raymond Sweet II and received the first U.S patent for a fiberglass frame umbrella in 1989. It was then passed down to his son, Ray Sweet III, in 1997 who still owns and operates it today! 

Even now, the Fiberlite Team remains primarily comprised of family members, and we’re committed to maintaining this tradition for years to come! Leading the charge is Ray’s wife, Joann, who heads our accounting department and serves as our primary sales representative. Additionally, Ray’s brother, Jason, oversees operations at our southern location, with assistance from Ray’s son, Taylor!


Yes, our products are hand crafted by our dedicated employees here in the United States. We also source our parts from American companies, ensuring our product is as American sourced as possible! 


The short answer: it depends on how much shade you need. The larger the umbrella the more shade it will provide. 

Factors to consider when choosing the proper size umbrella include: how large is the area that requires shade? Is it going on the beach or a pool deck? How important is portability? How windy is the location? Is it going over a table or lounge area?

Umbrellas going inside a pool shelf or table should take into account the height requirement and overhang space available. Be sure there is enough height to properly suit your table or that the frame dosnt overhang from your pool into your patio space. For the beach or high-wind locations, smaller umbrellas tend to pick up less wind and stay in place for longer.  


The usual rule is roughly 10lbs per foot of shade created by the umbrella. Here at Fiberlite Umbrellas we believe its better to have more than less! Our smallest base is a PV90 weighing about 90lbs and is capable of holding any umbrella up to our 9ft option. However, it is important to keep in mind the wind levels that your umbrella will experience and the windier the area, the more weight is required. Provided below are our typical recommendations: 

PV90 – Light Wind Area / 7.5ft – 8.5ft umbrella

PV125 – Medium Wind Area / 8.5ft – 9ft umbrellas

PV170 – High Wind Area / 9ft – 11ft umbrellas

LB260 – Extreme Weather Conditions / 11ft – Cantilever umbrellas

The rib sizes are typically coordinated to their umbrella size. The thicker the rib size the sturdier and less flexible the frame will be. Our 7.5ft umbrella uses .302″ solid fiberglass ribs, our 8.5ft umbrella uses .5″ solid fiberglass ribs and our 9ft-11ft uses hallow .75″  fiberglass ribs. 

However, if a smaller size umbrella is needed for a high wind environment we would suggest increasing the rib size. Since our umbrellas our hade made, each size frame can be customized to fit your situation.  For example, our 7.5ft umbrella can be made with both the .5″ or the .75″ ribs without losing its 7.5ft of shade! 

Visit our Frame Options page to learn more!

Center Pole

It depends on the the umbrellas intended location. Will it be used in a high wind area, in a pool shelf or at the beach? 

The fiberglass’s ability to flex and bend with the wind, coupled with its anti rusting and corroding capabilities makes it the primary option for the majority of locations including: low wind areas, pool shelfs, salty environments or simply on your patio. The lightweight material also makes it much easier to carry and relocate. We also advise you don’t use a fiberglass center pole to roll / relocate a base as the weight could snap the pole. Click HERE to learn more about the fiberglass advantage!

On the other hand, aluminum offers more stability for those high wind areas, preventing the swaying and flexing seen with fiberglass poles. It also has a higher customization ability with the wide variety of powder coating options. However, it will be more susceptible to bends and corrosion, especially if used inside a pool.

The advantage of a two piece pole is found mainly in its portability. The ability to collapse the umbrella into half its original size makes it the ideal choice for consistent beach goers, outside dinning areas and lifeguard stands. Our two piece bottom pole can also be extended to fit the height of any bar counter or table top (if table height is provided) and is compatible with our metal insert option as well. 

The standard one piece pole offers increased strength and flexibility with a slight loss in portability. However, both options are relatively light and weigh only about 10 pounds. 

Accidents can happen but we are here to help! To remove accidental sharpie, pen or colored marks we suggest rubbing the fiberglass down with Acetone and a rag. You can also use a mildew remover or a soft scrub brush with some bleach.

For small scratches, fading, or ‘dry’ looking fiberglass, rub the affected area with a clear, high-viscosity oil. Using your finger works best for smaller areas but a rag or paper towel will suffice. 

*Helpful Tip* Scratches on white fiberglass can be filled with “White-Out” and scratches on black fiberglass can be filled with Sharpie!


All of our fabric is sourced from trusted companies and designed to withstand the test of time. There is no specific color that holds up better than another. However, we have found that darker colors tend to hold up better when exposed to harsh weather conditions for long periods of time since they are better at masking dirt and handling marks.

To help maintain the vibrant color of your canopy for years to come, we recommend sticking to a consistent cleaning schedule. Read the “HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY FABRIC?” section to learn more!

View our Fabric Collection to find your favorite canopy color.

Mix 1 Teaspoon of dish-soap with one cub of water and scrub with a toothbrush or sponge (depending on how deep the stain is). Be sure to rinse with cool water and repeat the cycle if needed. This should help you remove the majority of stains!

You can also visit our Canopy Cleaning Flyer to find more information about specific stains and their cleaning methods. 

To keep your canopy clean and vibrant all year round, we recommend you hose it off on a monthly basis. Make sure to use clear, cool water to prevent any damage or increase mildew. We also suggest a thorough cleaning (With Soap, Sponge & Cool Water) every two to three years to help prevent any long-term dirt buildup

Yes, our talented team of sewers can turn almost any fabric into an umbrella canopy! However, we suggest sticking to a marine grade fabric to ensure the durability and long term color retention of the canopy. If a fabric roll is to be provided, please ensure it is at least  a 46″ width roll. As we are not able to process anything lower than that. 

Our umbrellas can also be purchased without a cover, allowing you to install a pre-made canopy of your choice onto our industry leading umbrellas! 

Yes, we can implement your digital logo or design onto any size cover. Not only can they be printed on one or all of the panels, but also on the valences as well! All we need is a .jpg copy of the digital file to get started. Please be aware that prices may vary based on the size and colors of the design. 

Dont see your question above?

No need to stress! We want to make sure all your questions have been answered before you move forward with a purchase. Please fill out the form below with your unanswered question and we will reach out to you as soon as possible with an answer!