Ancient people used broad leaves to shade themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. However, leaves did not last long as they wither easily specially under the intense heat.
Originally, the Chinese used leaves to cover their parasols
or umbrellas; later on, however, they replaced the leaf with paper. The first paper parasol
or paper umbrella
was built 2000 years ago in China where paper was invented. Paper parasol
was made of rigid bamboo spokes around a wooden shaft or handle. A strip of paper was then fitted or pasted on the spokes. Chinese artists painted the parasols
with dragons, tigers, Chinese characters, flowers, landscapes and other Chinese themes and symbols. Shortly after they applied wax or lacquer over the paper parasol
to repel water. The lacquer or oil did not only make the parasol useful even during rainy season, but it also gave durability to the paper.
The Chinese people recognized that paper parasol
or paper umbrellas
symbolized nobility, prestige and social status. Noble or royal people had servants carry large parasols for them. Their parasols were elaborated, adorned with lace trimmings and silk was wrapped around the wooden handle. Some parasols of these noblemen were very large that they needed several slaves to carry them. In one Chinese legend, there was an emperor who went to the forest to hunt. While hunting, he was being protected from the heat of the sun with 24 paper parasols carried by slaves.
Today, there are various ways to protect oneself from the sun, so the usefulness of the paper parasol or paper umbrellas has recedes, although some people still use it. However, paper parasols are still valuable today as a fashion statement. With their brilliant and colorful design, parasols are perfect for decorating any home, office or establishment. There are also appropriate paper parasols
for every occasion like wedding or any party.