Bumbershoots


Bright pink umbrellas decorated in a Japanese style

. . . in the car. But do you know that this form of protection has been around for over 3,000 years? Parasols were first created in Egypt to protect royalty from the sun and to ensure that skin did not become tan. The umbrella, used to protect from rain, didn’t come out until the 11th century.


The Fall of the Roman Empire brought increased crime, a crumbling economy, the lack of food, and poor personal hygiene. This all added up to end the popularity of umbrellas and parasols. They made a return to fashion after the beginning of the Renaissance Era. In the 18th century, a sturdy umbrella design was created allowing men to feel more comfortable carrying the previous female-only fashion accessory.


Parasols are still considered to be a lady’s fashion accessory. They are lightweight, delicate, smaller, not water-proof, and only used to protect from the sun. The umbrella protects from rain and sun. It is waterproof, more durable, and larger. Umbrellas are used by both men and women. Parasols may be made from lace, silk, or cotton, while umbrellas are made from studier fabrics and coated with waterproof finishes.


There are many types of umbrellas: automatic, high wind, bubble, and pocket. Parasols are typically traditional utilizing a runner that is moved up or down.

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