A key component on any blind, fabric is the flexible material forming the vital part of a blind which enables it to perform as specified.
Correctly specified fabric will ensure a successful installation; but the wrong fabric could mean an overheated building – or client.
So what needs to be decided before specifying? The main point is, what is the desired function of each blind? What is the job that I need it to do, and the reason I'm specifying it for? What does my client want it to do for the building? And, for some the most important, what do I want it to look like?
Getting the fabric right is hugely challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The stakes are high, but to assist you we select fabrics from world leading mills and when they’re applied to our products with expertise a world class blind emerges, so you’ll enjoy the most amazing results.
To order your free fabric samples, simply follow these instructions:
1. Select the fabrics you require from each range using the check boxes
2. Complete the form at the bottom of the page
3. Your samples will be dispatched as soon as possible
Please note: these are notes for general guidance only, please contact us for project specific details
- Next, decide what you want the fabric to do for you:
- Control glare (brightness levels)
- Control heat (this is insulation; applies to both summer and winter)
- Give privacy (not just through the day, think of lone workers or after hours workers who need protection; mesh fabrics can have a reverse effect at night if the interior lights exceed the brightness of the exterior lights)
- Protect company assets (industrial espionage is a threat when competitors’ occupy the next building and potentially can see in to yours…)
- Reduce internal noise levels, (when these are caused by echoes from off the glass)
- Now consider the room designation:
- Circulation spaces need glare control and heat insulating fabrics, we suggest that a view out is maintained as much as possible in these transit areas, but beware of direct sunlight in a public walkway that could be blamed on causing a hazard leading to slips, trips or falls, leading to a potential claim.
- High density work areas need particular care; the higher the staff numbers, the higher the complaints if the fabric is wrong!
- Meeting rooms need greyout facility to allow a presentation to be run at the same time as allowing sufficient light levels for note taking
- School Laboratories need greyout at least, and sometimes blackout, depending on the requirements (curriculum can dictate blackout requirements)
- Classrooms need to be treated with the teaching wall as the prime consideration
- Next, consider the window orientation.
- East facing rooms will get the morning sun, but the majority of the problem should be over by midday.
- South facing rooms are a challenge and opaque fabrics should be considered, or 5050 fabrics, unless the elevation is shaded by another building or evergreen trees then mesh should be used with caution.
- South facing rooms with a teaching wall need particular care – please contact us to discuss.
- West facing rooms can be particularly bad for glare, as the afternoon sun is dropping in height and can penetrate deep into the floor plate of a building
- Finally, remember that North facing windows will get a significant amount of glare from an overcast sky, even on a dull day
- Factors that tend to reduce the glare (brightness) are
- The fabric colour (generally, darker = better for glare reduction)
- Weave density (tighter weave = better for glare reduction)
- A figure used for measuring / comparing glare performance of fabrics is Tv which stands for visible light transmittance
- Depending on the usage of the room, and on the reflection / shade of external buildings etc, a Tv of 4% or less is desirable for workstation
- Factors that tend to reduce the heat gain are
- Lighter colours
- Neutral or Low-E backings on the fabrics
- Prepare to accept a trade off! Do you want a view through with some glare control? Or do you need total glare control at all times of the year and no view through?
- The colour balanced with the mesh density is an inexact science, and it is virtually impossible to get a guaranteed glare free solution in a densely populated building such as a call centre, where occupants cant move their screens away from the light source
- The latest range of the dense mesh fabrics (1%) can give a Tv of approx 1%, but this is at a trade off with a loss of some view through to outside; and a slight reduction in the air porosity
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- If you’re choosing fabrics for an existing building, the factors will be harder to control and measure, please contact us to discuss
- Room Darkening: greyout versus blackout
- ‘Blackout’ refers to a full blackout blind, such as Dolomite, with opaque fabric applied to a blind with a headbox and side channels that encapsulate the fabric. This combination gives 97%+ light blocking
- ‘Greyout’ refers to a blind that uses the same fabric as the blackout above, but without a headbox and side channels, such as Kampus or College. This gives 70%+ light blocking, due to the light leaking around the perimeter of the blind