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All about parasols

Parasols were used by the ancient Sumerians as long ago as 3000 BC and they have been made ever since. However they did not come into use in Europe until the 16th century.

Accepted terminology is that a parasol is designed to protect the user from sunlight, while an umbrella protects the user from rain. Thus the fabric from which a parasol is made is usually not waterproof, and often of much lighter fabric than an umbrella, such as silk, cotton, nylon, gingham and lace, with ivory or wooden shafts.

Victorian era umbrellas had frames of wood or baleen, but these devices were expensive and hard to fold when wet. more...

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