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What is the name of this folding canopy mechanism where arc-shaped spines are hinged around a central pivot?:

Pram hood

Ikea childrens' chair cover

I have googled high and low and coming up blank... feel like I'm missing a vital keyword! (hood, parasol, concentric, collabsable, folding, retractable, nested ... ). It must have a name... 🤔

Context: I'm trying to build a "ladybird" cover for a festival trolley for our 18 month old daughter who is coming to Glastonbury festival with us this year.

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  • So you're looking for the name of the multi-segment hinge rather than the name of canopy that results when you use it?
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 16:25
  • Honestly: either. I'm building a canopy, so if that had a name I'd take it. If the mechanism of the hinge/spindle and spines/arcs has a name, that would also be helpful! Commented May 7, 2022 at 16:53
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    Canopies and other items made using that type of mechanism seem to be commonly referred to as "armadillo", as identified in Danielillo's answer. There are a number of ways to make such a mechanism (all loops on the same pivot vs. loops on separate pivots like the garden swing picture). As far as a search term, that might be hard to beat. What are you actually searching for (pre-made hinge hardware, a DIY design)? Looking at a few examples, you would have the flexibility to just copy or adapt one of the designs that would be the easiest for you to make.
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 17:22
  • You may try implementing Miura fold to save more spaces. Commented May 8, 2022 at 0:09
  • @fixer1234 I'm looking for technical drawings, photos, any popular variations, inspiration... Nothing specific, I just didn't want to re-invent the wheel. Commented May 8, 2022 at 8:07

2 Answers 2

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Honestly, as far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a specific widely known name for this kind of folding canopy mechanism. That's not to say that it doesn't have a name, but that all of the names and terms I've found are either so generic that they could apply to many different kinds of folding mechanisms, so obscure that they're likely to draw blank stares from most people (and few search results from Google) even if they're familiar with the mechanism, or they have multiple meanings that can confuse people (and Google) if you use them without additional context.

That said, if you really want a name for it, I do have one for you:


It's a calash top.


Specifically, the term calash (also spelled caleche or calèche) can refer to:

  1. a type of horse-drawn carriage (also known as a barouche) with a soft folding hood over the rear seats, using a folding mechanism similar to what you depict;
  2. a calash top, the folding top of the aforementioned carriage, or one similar to it; or
  3. a calash bonnet, a type of 18th century women's headgear resembling the hood of the calash carriage, and also using a similar (although simpler) folding mechanism.

Picture 1 Picture 2
Pictures: 1) A calash or barouche carriage, showing the distinctive folding top. Photo taken by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot in the National Museum of American History, Washington, DC, and released to the public domain via the CC-Zero 1.0 public domain dedication. 2) A green silk taffeta calash bonnet. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you do a Google image search for calash, you'll probably get about an even mix of the headgear and the carriages. And, of course, a bunch of random results like hotels and companies and health supplements named "Calash", as well as a mix of other types of horse-drawn carriages that may or may not be properly called calashes, despite not having the distinctive calash top. A general web search first brings up a bunch of dictionary definitions, followed by mostly of random pages.

Wikipedia has an article for the carriage (under barouche), but apparently none for the headgear yet, although it is mentioned in the general article on bonnets. At least Wikimedia Commons has pictures of both the carriages and the headgear.

All in all, it does not seem to be a widely used term at all. But it's probably the best name there is for what you're looking for.

At least, for what it's worth, if you search Google for "calash" baby cart (with quotes to force the word "calash" to be included in the results), you'll get a bunch of images showing baby carriages with similar hoods as in your question. Then again, searching e.g. for convertible baby cart also brings up a very similar set of images. Some sites even claim that "calash" can be a generic synonym for a baby carriage, or at least for the kind with a folding top. So take it for what it's worth.

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  • Thanks for the thorough response. Although I believe we have reached the same end result (that there is no universal name for the mechanism), I appreciate a) the time you have taken to research b) your honesty in this outcome. I'm marking this answer as correct unless someone can prove otherwise. Commented May 9, 2022 at 7:18
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Armadillo Flip

That's what I found:

enter image description here

Source

enter image description here

Source

chair

Source

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  • I don't think you read the question.. Commented May 7, 2022 at 9:28
  • I did, the folding canopy mechanism where arc-shaped spines are hinged around a central pivot in some places is called Armadillo Flip 😉 (Google it)
    – Danielillo
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 9:34
  • Hmm... The Armadillo Flip is definitely a pram. But there might be something in the word armadillo, so I thank you for this keyword. I'm not going to mark the answer as correct because it hasn't actually answered my question. I still don't know what the mechanism is called. Commented May 7, 2022 at 10:11
  • Do you know what an armadillo is and how it retracts its shell?
    – Danielillo
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 10:20
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    Yes, I know what an armadillo is. Do you know what the name of this mechanism is? ...because you are not actually answering my question. You are providing a visual list of products that have the word "Armadillo" in them (named so because the mechanism resembles an armadillo's shell). I understand, there's no need to patronise... I thanked you for the reference 🙇. But the answer is not correct. This is not called "armadillo mechanism," is it? Commented May 7, 2022 at 11:01

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