The first thing you will need to decide on is where you would like your blinds to be mounted. This can be either inside the window reveal “Inside Mount” or outside the window on the architrave or wall, “Outside Mount”. It must be noted the some blinds are more suited to one mounting method than the other and that obstructions in the window such as locks and latches may determine the mounting method required. Please look at the specifications and recommendations for each blind type to assist in determining the correct blind for the application.
Types of Fabrics for blinds
There are three main types of fabrics for internal window blinds. Blockout, aka dimout or blackout, Translucent, light filtering or sheer, and Sunscreen or solar screen.
Blockout fabrics are coated or sealed with a backing to ensure no light leaks through the material weave. Blockout fabrics are an ideal choice where a high level of light block and privacy are required such as bedrooms and media rooms or provide ultimate privacy in bathrooms and public facing windows. Blockouts are great for reflecting and reducing heat in the home. However, it is important to remember that even with a blockout fabric, it is hard to completely block all light coming through the window. Consideration must be given to gaps around the edges of the blind which will depend on the type of blind, and how the blind is manufactured and installed. Full light blockout is difficult to achieve however blockout fabrics when used with the appropriate blind and accessories such as a cassette roller blind can blockout nearly all light at the window making this application ideal for home theatres and the like.
Translucent fabrics allow light to filter through. Quite often translucent fabrics are the same as blockout before the blockout coating has been applied. Often providing a softer look and feel than blockouts, translucent fabrics are ideal where filtered light is preferred sometimes avoiding the need for lighting to be turned on during the day. Translucent fabrics are an ideal choice for living rooms and other areas where privacy is not the major consideration.
In some configurations of blinds such as “Duo Rollers” Translucent fabrics can be used successfully in combination with blockouts to provide the best of both worlds. See “Duo Rollers” for details.
Sunscreen fabric is an open weave fabric specifically designed to block heat and glare but allow good vision through the blind. Generally graded by their openness factor, typically 3% or 5%, Sunscreen fabrics are very popular in rooms featuring a scenic view and offices where heat and glare reduction is the main consideration.
Recently, we installed sunscreen roller blinds and a panel glide to the west facing windows in our offices in Brisbane. We not only reduced glare but reduced the temperature by 8 degrees greatly enhancing the efficiency of the air conditioning. In some configurations of blinds such as “Duo Rollers”, sunscreen fabrics can be used successfully in combination with blockouts to provide the best of both worlds. See “Duo Rollers” for details.
Each fabric is available in a certain roll width. Joins are not an option so careful consideration must be given to choosing a fabric that is available in a size to suit the window opening. This is also determined by the type of blind where as roller blinds and roman blinds have a finite width, vertical blinds and panel glides can be made quite wide due to the use of multiple panels or blades.
Railroading is the term given where a fabric is turned to achieve a wider range. Say a fabric is only 1800mm wide on the roll but the roll is 10meters long. Railroading will allow you to turn the fabric to make a blind to its maximum width usually 3000mm. We do not recommend railroading and strongly urges you to avoid this practice.
· Allows you to use a particular fabric for a wider blind than the fabric was designed for.
· Railroading fabric will void all warranties.
· Any pattern on the fabric will be running in the wrong direction.
· The width may be achieved but the drop can only be as much as the original width less the roll on the tube.
· Railroaded fabric may cup in at the edges
Pattern Matching is almost impossible to achieve in most instances. This is where in say a panel glide you wish the pattern to be lined up the same on each panel across the blind. Because each panel is cut from a larger piece of fabric the time taken and wastage factors render this option unavailable.
However, most fabrics used in the manufacture of blinds that have a pattern it is regularly repeated. In this instance the randomness of the pattern adds greatly to the feature of the blind.
Pin Holes are sometimes visible where the backing on a blockout fabric has left an air bubble allowing a small pin prick of light to come through the fabric. Although rare and usually picked up in our quality control process Pin Holes will usually be discovered by the installer once the blind is fitted and daylight is shining onto the back of the blind. Pin Holes are not considered a flaw by fabric manufacturers and each installer should have a small container of liquid flock solution to dab on the affected area to fix the problem quickly and easily. Normal warranties will apply.
Cutting the Fabric in the correct manner is extremely important. There are four main ways to cut fabric. Scissors, with a Blade, Crush Cutting or Ultra Sonic Cutting.
In order to provide the best solution possible we use a mixture of Crush Cutting and Ultra Sonic Cutting depending on the fabric type. Crush Cutting is where two round, wedged blades are brought together on either side of the fabric in order to crush the fibres, typically used for Blockout fabrics and fabrics of a tight weave. Ultra Sonic Cutting is used typically for Sunscreen fabrics and some sheer fabric it is a mechanical melting method that seals the fibres as they have been separated. We do not side hem our fabrics and recommend using a fine coat of clear nail polish to seal any thread should a small amount of fraying occur.
The Fabrics in our range have been specifically chosen from number of fabric manufactures in order to provide an all round selection that is of high quality and competitive in price. As an independent manufacturer we are not tied to any one fabric or component supplier. Most fabric suppliers have at least one basic blockout and a couple of Sunsreens in their range although when set side by side these ranges are quite similar. We have put together what we believe is the best of the best however, should you have a particular fabric in mind which you saw at another company, we will endeavour to search for that one in order to offer you a comparison.