On a rainy day, you'll find promotional umbrellas are the most desired printed merchandise! Umbrellas are used by nearly everyone... by men, women, the old and the young, so if you're considering branding something with your company logo, the umbrella is defiantly something to keep in mind.
Have umbrellas always been this popular? Umbrellas have always seemed to be a new invention, but in fact the basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. The very first umbrella were not designed to stop someone from getting wet, they were actually designed to provide shade from the sun (so quite the opposite to our modern umbrellas).
The first waterproof umbrella was created by the Chinese, where they waxed and lacquered their paper umbrellas in order to use them in the rain. It makes sense really that umbrellas were first used as protection from the sun as the word 'umbrella' itself comes from the Latin root word 'umbra', meaning shade or shadow. Umbrellas for men? At first umbrellas were just considered to be a suitable accessory for women, much like a handbag or purse.
It wasn't until the traveller and writer Jonas Hanway started to carry an umbrella publicly in England that umbrella became popular among men too. However, men being men, to keep their umbrellas a bit more manly they used to refer to their umbrellas as 'Hanways' instead. What where early umbrellas made out of? Early European umbrellas were made out of wood or whalebone and covered with alpaca or oiled canvas.
Materials used to manufacture umbrellas have, of course, improved through the years. Now-a-days umbrellas are made out of all kinds of materials such as wood, metal, recycled PET bottles and recycled steel, and make the perfect platform to advertise on.
However one of the most important umbrella innovations came in the early 1850s. When Samuel Fox had the idea of using 'U' shaped steel rods for the ribs and stretchers to make a light, strong frame. With a lot of development through the years you can now get promotional umbrellas in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The one you choose for your promotional campaign is up to you... but which ever one you choose you can be sure it will be see a lot in this weather.
To see a wide range of promotional umbrellas and other printed merchandise have a look through our NEW website!