Learn the Fabric Lingo

Don’t be intimidated by window treatment terminology that you don’t understand. We’ve got you covered!

By the numbers…What do the percentages for screen fabrics indicate?

Contrary to popular understanding, the percentage in 1%, 3%, and 5% fabrics is actually referring to the amount of light that the fabric allows to show through the weaving, or the percentage of the weave that is NOT covered by thread. Similar to window tinting, a higher number indicates that there are more pores in the shade. Usually, there is a relationship between openness factor and the amount of light coming through. So, a room darkening fabric would have an openness factor of 0%, providing complete privacy and sun blockage. A fabric with a 10% openness factor will provide strong visibility through both faces of the shade, also depending on other factors such as the time of day, inside lighting and outside lighting. Typically, these fabrics are used in low sun environments or spaces with unique or scenic views.


What is the difference between Room Darkening and Blackout fabrics?

When referring to shades that completely block light from showing through the weave of the fabric, we like to call them ‘Room Darkening’ as opposed to ‘Blackout’. WHY? There are no roller or honeycomb shades on the market that will completely blackout a room without the use of side channels. The fabric itself will not allow any light through its weave, but a small amount of space on each side of the shade is uncovered.  That is why QMotion also offers side channels and sill rails to help to block the extra bit of light peeking through the gaps. QMotion provides the smallest light gap in the industry at 1/2 of an inch so that you can get the most out of room darkening shades even without the side channels.


Room darkening fabrics with sill rails and side channels are great for creating the perfect home theater experience.

What is KOOLBLACK™ fabric?

When choosing a particular fabric, there are several factors to consider. If your goal is to achieve glare or heat control, or maintain your view of the outdoors, different fabrics are going to help you get there. Light colored solar screen fabrics will allow for less heat gain and glare, but may cloud your view slightly. Black or darker solar screen fabrics will control glare while maintaining a clear view, but will have more of a heat gain from absorbing the light through the window. With KOOLBLACK™ solar screen fabric technology, you are able to achieve all three factors. KOOLBLACK™ fabric is a black fabric acting as a white fabric, in terms of decreasing heat gain and glare, while also maintaining the view.

Automated Roller Shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabric.

QMotion automated roller shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabrics.

Please share below if there is anything specific that we can touch on to make your interior design experience easier. We’ve got you covered!

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