Choosing the Right Fabric

The thermal and visual performance of solar protection devices play an important role in the overall performance of a glazed building.

The below information is a reference guide on the technical characteristics of roller shade fabrics.


The openness of a roller shade fabric refers to the amount of open gaps / holes throughout the fabric. A higher openness factor means better visibility and view through, which offers more natural light but less privacy and UV blockage. A Lower openness factor means more privacy and UV blockage but less natural light and view through.

Above image: Screen Nature collection features an openness of 4% and an excellent clean visibility view-through with the option of additional protection of light and solar reflectance with metallised backing.

Blackout Fabric and System

Blackout fabrics are engineered with a protective backing designed to block light from entering a room. Even with a blackout fabric installed, small light gaps can still be visible at certain angles.

To achieve complete light blackout, a blackout roller shade system with headbox and side channels is advised.

Above image: Blackout fabric showing slight light gaps and complete blackout roller shade systems with blackout headbox and blackout side channels.

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Metallised Fabrics

Metallised fabrics which have a layer of aluminium foil bonded to the window facing side. This increases reflectivity of heat and light in comparison to non metallised fabrics. Metallised fabric enables consistent light transmittance and reflectance values across all colours within a collection, compared with non-metallised fabrics, where light colours have high reflectance values and darker colours have low reflectance values.

Lighter non metallised colours tend to have high transmittance values because the light and heat energy is scattered in all directions by the yarns – this can cause glare problems for computer users. In this case you can choose a light colour metallised fabric for your blinds and still effectively manage the glare and heat for a comfortable working environment.

Above image: CR88 metallised fabric

Fenestration Properties – Thermal Factors

Each brochure and specification sheet from the Climate Ready Fabrics range of fabrics feature fenestration properties, showing the technical performance attributes of each fabric collection colour.

For fenestration definitions, click here

For more information on choosing the right fabric or more specific recommendations based on your project requirements, please contact us