Let’s Be Open About Solar Shades

An important consideration when selecting manual or motorized solar shades for your home is the openness of a shade’s fabric. The optimal shade openness for your space will depend on what you’re looking for, whether it’s privacy, maintaining a view to the outside, or both.

Shade Openness – What is It?

When it comes to solar shades, openness refers to how tight the shade fabric’s weave is. This determines the amount of light that the fabric lets in. A low openness factor indicates a tightly woven fabric, and a high openness factor indicates a more loosely woven fabric.

Shades with low openness factors allow less light to pass through them, as they are tightly woven, whereas shades with high openness factors permit more light to pass through. Lower openness factors will result in less visibility through the shade, while higher openness factors will provide greater visibility.

solar shades with differing openness
Our Boston Experience Center features solar shades of various openness levels for users to interact with.

Solar Shades & Solar Control

Solar control is a main concern for those who want to protect their home, including floors and furniture, from the harmful UV rays generated by the sun, which is exactly what solar shades are designed to do. A shade’s openness factor indicates the percentage of UV rays that the shade fabric allows through. So, if a solar shade is described as 5% open, this means that the shade is allowing 5% of UV rays in and blocking out 95% of UV rays. By blocking out UV rays, solar shades reduce solar glare and infrared heat gain in the home.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we’ll explore further things to consider when choosing solar shades for a residential space.