A Chinese parasol is an umbrella-like object that has been utilized by the Chinese and other Asian cultures for hundreds of years. It is used as a means of personal shelter from both rain and driving sunlight, as Chinese women are typically very proud of their fair complexion and do not wish to tan.
Most often, the frame of the parasol is made of native wood, such as bamboo. The spokes to which the screen is affixed are also generally crafted from the same kind of wood. The screen is generally made from paper or cloth and is waterproofed using a very old blend of natural substances that are typically proprietary to the manufacturer.
The Chinese have become known for the beautiful artwork that is painted on the parasol screens and this has helped them to become very popular even with Western customers who use them as home decoration.
The term “Chinese parasol” also refers to a tree that is native not to China but to the southern United States. The tree has long racemes of green and yellow flowers and small, leaf-like pods and is well-known for its maple-like foliage.