Parts of an Umbrella

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Invented more than 3,000 years ago, the simplistic, common-sense design of the umbrella has needed little in the way of improvements and is still in use today as a means of staying dry in the rain, shaded in the sun and fashionable on the streets.

Parts of an Umbrella
(Artem Kononenko/Demand Media)

The pole is the metal or wooden shaft that runs between the umbrella's handle at the bottom (or the base stand in the case of a patio model) and the canopy at the top.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

The canopy is the fabric part of the umbrella that catches the rain, the wind and the sun and it's what makes an umbrella an umbrella.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

The ribs are what give an umbrella its structure and shape. Outer ribs hold up the canopy and inner ribs (sometimes called stretchers) act as supports and connect the outer ribs to the umbrella pole.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

The runner slides up and down the pole while connected to the ribs/stretchers, and is responsible for the opening and closing of the canopy.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Many umbrella designs include a top spring to hold the runner up when the canopy is open, a bottom spring to hold the runner down when the canopy is closed, and sometimes a center ball spring to extend the pole length in telescopic models.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Strictly ornamental, the finial (also called the ferrule) is found on the very top of the umbrella, above the canopy.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

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