The use of parasols in gardens is very ancient and very sensible. A parasol is an umbrella to protect against the sun ("para" - to sheild, "sol" - sun). Parasols are illustrated on the carvings at Perseoplis. In more recent times, North Europe learned the use of garden umbrellas from South Europe. They have a gay air when open and can easily be let down and taken in during periods of bad weather. The old fabric for parasols was canvas. Cotton is also used but artificial fibres are the best fabric: the dyes are fast and the thread is rot-proof. Cane is another possibility but it is less easy to take down and therefore gets sodden in wet weather.