The art of buying an umbrella 台灣製雨傘
Umbrella must be one of the most underrated items we have at home, and one that we don’t normally pay much attention to. It sits at home or in the car most of the time, unforgotten until needed.
雨傘通常都是家裏被忽略的一樣物品。可能大家平常都不會太著重買雨傘，下雨時衝衝路過便理店隨便買一把擋雨。 同樣，台灣製雨傘也經常被忽略。 其實台灣製造的雨傘非常耐用，能擋強風和太陽， 下雨天和陽光普照的日子都非常適合用。
Taiwan made umbrella are well known for its durability, but they’re not produced on a massive scale hence you probably never heard of them before. My sister in the UK asked me to get her one recently (I ended up buying five!!) and until then, I never realised there’s so much art in buying a brolly.
最近英國的姐姐託我幫她買一 把台灣製造的雨傘。 富雨洋傘的店位於市內的文化創意園區，的確是一處非常貼切的地點。店裡天花掛上多把劃上鮮艷花兒的傘，還有些關於店的歷史背景。雨傘不單只是雨具，還是台灣的傳統產業之一。而富雨更獲得MIT微笑標章認證，可以說是台灣土生土長的品牌。
F-Seasons are one of the handful of umbrella manufacturers in Taiwan, and have been around for many decades. They only have three shops in Taiwan and my local shop is located inside an ex distillery that has now been converted to an arts and cultural centre.
RAINY DAYS DOESN’T NEED TO BE DULL DAYS
The first thing I saw as I entered the shop were these beautiful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Rainy days are dull days, why not brighten it up with these colourful floral brollies? There are more brollies hang from the ceiling in the main shop area. Some are plain, and others have different patterns.
ART AND HERITAGE
Setting up shop here at the local arts and cultural centre isn’t by coincidence. The product is considered an art and part of heritage, so the location makes perfect sense. I loved how they had an old sewing machine on display to reflect how the brollies used to be made. There was some centenary material next to it, they made some special edition umbrellas with this material previously.
This exhibit shows some brief information about the company.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THESE UMBRELLAS
I for one, never realised there is so much art that goes into choosing an umbrella. After all, it’s just needed to stop you from getting wet in the rain.
Let’s start with length. Long or telescope?
Then you have to consider the weight.
Automatic one-press open or manual open with both hands?
Plain or pattern?
These are just the basics.
At F-Seasons, and with most of the other manufacturers in Taiwan you can also choose between windproof, extra windproof, anti-UV, temperature reduction, water resistant, frame material, spokes etc. Yes, these are really all the things they consider when producing the brollies.
All the umbrella here are anti-wind meaning the frame is specially designed so it doesn’t snap easily when caught in the wind. With the extra anti-wind ones, if the brolly is blown out by a gust of wind, there is an extra round of springs in the spokes that allows you to gently flick it back down.
These ones here are the extra anti wind ones, and have to be opened manually.
And these are the normal windproof ones which are automatic. You can’t tell the difference between the two apart from the price. One is NTD890, the other NTD 1000 for 2.
Then you have some which are double layered and are anti UV, they reduce the temperature on a scorching hot day. This feature is quite important as many Taiwanese girls use an umbrella in the summer to keep themselves under the shade. That may sound a bit odd to many, but if you think about, it’s not that weird because in the old days many ladies used parasols. At F-Seasons, they claim their brollies can reduce the temperature by up to 35%.
And, finally “water resistant”. That may sound a bit silly as that’s what a brolly is supposed to do. What I really mean, and I can’t find a better name for it, is how well the water glides off the brolly. The better water resistant it is, the drier the brolly will be when you close it and it won’t drip too much when you take it indoors or get onto the bus or train.
I’m going to leave you with my very own Made in Taiwan brolly, black and plain on the outside, and beautiful on the inside, for my eyes only on a rainy day.
Hope you enjoyed learning something about the humble brolly today. If you have your own favourite one, please do share, would love to see it.