Roller Shades

Roller shades are a popular choice among homeowners and designers, particularly those who want to accentuate their windows with healthy blend of simplicity and style. The simplicity of style is concisely achieved when you know how to choose a roller shade that complements the design and color of your home. There are  four primary factors to consider when purchasing a roller shade: color, weave/construction, openness factor, and mounting position of the shades.

Color

Color is a powerful tool of communication. When choosing a roller shade, this is the basic yet most important factor to consider. For one, you choose the perfect color that fits your home. Second, the color you choose also affects the shade performance in the window. Different colors represent different strengths and limitations in terms of the roller shade’s capacity to give shade. Dark fabric, for example, makes room darker and therefore, makes it easy to see the outside from the inside. It improves visibility. In terms of solar energy absorption, fabrics with light colors are poor in solar energy absorption compared to darker fabrics. This makes dark colors an energy-efficient choice for your roller shades since they lower the amount or nearly do not allow radiant heat to get inside your space.

While light-colored and white fabrics are a great choice if you want to allow more daylight to get into your space, the translucent effect of light will make it difficult for you to look through the shades from the inside.

When you think dark and light fabrics are two extreme options, consider choosing a duotone or two-sided fabrics. This option offers a combined effect of both the light and dark-colored choices. It features a metallic surface and a darker surface that provide the double benefit of maintaining your privacy and the desire to allow daylight to come in without the glaring effect. That is room-darkening ability and great view-through feature in one option.

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Construction

Roller shades are made from three major types of fabric: PVC-coated polyester, PVC-coated fiberglass, and PVC-free. How the fabrics are woven affects the overall performance of a roller shade. Polyester, as a material for fabric construction of roller shades, tends to have thicker cores compared to fiberglass, and result in heavier fabrics. When the fabrics are heavy and thick, this will require a larger hardware and roller tube to avoid deflecting. In terms of fabric stability, polyester yarns are stretchable while fiberglass are not. This is an important factor to consider if we want a more durable roller shade for our windows. As an industry principle, it is always recommended to choose fiberglass fabric for larger and wider window openings as this material is more dimensionally stable than polyester.

PVC-coated fabrics, as another option for roller shade material, is at a clear advantage versus the other type of fabrics as it does not easily wear out, easy to maintain, and has stretch-resistant quality. PVC-coated fabrics, however, are made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that lessen the interior environmental quality by emitting smelly gas on the first few days of use, and can last up to a few months. The fabric construction has evolved over time and this has led to new innovations in fabric designs. One of which is the use of PVC-free fabrics, which are best for rooms that are sensitive to odors like the hospital rooms. The two most common PVC-free materials are thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) and the PVC-free 100% polyester, although there are also several options available in the market. It is important to understand the qualities of these two commonly used PVC-free materials. TPO fabrics fade easily over time while some PVC-free polyesters require tedious cleaning and maintenance.

OPENESS

Homeowners and designers pay less attention to the openness of fabrics. But did you know that this factor also has an effect on the overall performance of a roller shade particularly in blocking the UV rays? Different fabrics have different openness. This means that their UV blocking ability is also varied. A general principle in the industry of roller shade manufacturing states that the UV blocking quality of fabrics is the opposite of its openness. Thus, if a fabric has 3% openness, it can block 97% of the UV light. Simply put, the higher the percentage of openness, the lesser the UV blocking ability of the fabric. Also, the shading and glare-filtering quality of fabrics are affected by its openness. To understand openness as an important factor in choosing the right roller shade for your space, we realized that there is a fitting openness percentage according to the location of your rooms. In fact, 1% and 3% open fabrics are commonly used when the space is facing east, west, and south in areas with southern climates. And 3% and 5% openness, on the other hand, are popular in areas with northern climates. For windows that face north, 10% openness is recommended to achieve the best glare-filtering feature of the roller shades.

Mounting Position

Not only is the mounting position important in determining the connection of the roller shades to the windows but it also helps homeowners and designers to choose between exterior or interior shades. These options vary in terms of applications. To understand this concept further, exterior shades are said to be the most energy-efficient because they prevent light radiation from entering your space, and thus, they become heat. This helps in lowering energy consumption of the room with an efficiency rating of up to 75% compared to internal shades. While external shades are an energy-efficient option, they however, need sensors to draw back during high-wind conditions. For this reason, they are more expensive compared to internal shading. The overall cost of the system is the competitive advantage of internal shades which became a budget-friendly solution for short to medium term.

If you have further questions or any points not mentioned on this site, please feel free to contact Murdica Window Coverings:

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