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Blind Opacity Definitions

Blockout Fabric

Opaque fabrics that blocks out all exterior light. The blockout properties are a function of a tight weave construction and the coating.  Many inferior fabrics claim to be Blockout when in fact they are “Room Darkening”. A simple test is to hold a bright light against the back of the fabric; if a yellow glow is visible then that fabric is not a true Blockout.

Most Foam & Flock backed products as well as Multi-Pass acrylic coated products such as Dawn are blockout. Blockout blinds are ideally suited to bedrooms and other Living Areas where complete darkness and privacy is desired.

Room Darkening

Refers to fabrics that allow a small amount of exterior light to penetrate. Most solid coloured patterned blinds that are acrylic coated on both sides tend to fall into this category. Room Darkening blinds are suited to Living Areas where a small amount of light penetration is acceptable.

Light Filter

Fabrics which allow a high level of light to pass through the fabric. Visible definition of exterior views is not possible with most Light Filter fabrics. Similarly interior privacy is also maintained. Generally Light Filter fabrics are used in combination with a Blockout in the same design and colour in dual roller systems. As part of a dual system a Light Filter and Blockout is suitable for any room. 

Screen Fabrics

Used where daytime views and natural light are desired. Depending on the Openness Factor of the weave (from 2% to 10%) this will allow for view clarity options. The aspect of the window and the amount of light that comes through the window is also an important consideration in selecting the right Openness Factor screen, i.e. if sun glare is an issue then a 2% is better suited, if it’s not an issue then the 5% or 10% should suffice.

The weave construction of a screen fabric is exactly that, a screen. The most common weaves are 2 x 2, 2 x 1 or 1 x 1.

If privacy is required at night then you will need a dual system, i.e. a combination of a block out, such as Uniline’s Dawn or Evolution which can be colour matched to compliment the screen colour. There is very limited privacy at night when the internal lights are on. Daytime privacy is no issue, provided that there’s sufficient daylight.

Sheer Fabrics

Loosely woven (or knitted) plains or patterned designs that are light weight and semi-transparent. Sheers have the same opacity and privacy properties as Screen fabrics, but with a much softer fabric appearance. Sheers have historically been used in curtains but are now gaining popularity as Blind fabrics.

Sheers can be co-ordinated with blockouts in dual systems offering complete versatility, aesthetic appeal and functionality.


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