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  • Hotel Drapery and Bedding

Roller Shades: Bottom Hem Bars & Why They Are Important

The bottom hem bar is the "track" on the bottom part of the roller shade (can you spot it in the picture above?). This is an often overlooked detail that can make a big difference in design and functionality. Each kind of bottom hem bar option has its own look and their functionalities differ, however, some hem bars are better to use than others in certain scenarios. Here are the 4 options we offer:

1. Heat Sealed Aluminum Bar:

This is the most popular option because its a clean and sleek look. This is also known as the "pocket" style. The aluminum bar sits inside a "pocket" of the roller shade fabric and is sealed with heat. This style works best if you have or want to add bottom and side channels.

*Note: the back part of the shade will have a "trim" of the front facing roller shade fabric since its folded over from front to the back and then sealed. Keep this in mind if you're using bold patterns/colors or weaved screen fabrics.

2. Fabric Wrapped: This style is very similar to the "heat sealed" style because also has a continuous look of the fabric but the difference is that this style wraps the roller shade fabric around the aluminum bar instead of being held inside a "pocket" of the fabric. This style also has "end caps" as you can see in the photo. The ends caps match the fascia or cassette color and come in colors: white, ivory, bronze, black, aluminum. This style is preferred by some designers and hotels because it has more weight to it (great if your PTAC unit is under the window).

*DO NOT use this kind of bottom bar if you want/have side and/or bottom channels as they will not fit. The back part of the bottom rail is the color of the end caps/fascia/cassette (the fabric only wraps in the front face of the bottom rail).

3. External Hem Bar:

This style is made with a squared or circular aluminum tubing which is then attached to the bottom of the roller shade. This style is to match the fascia or cassette (if needed) the aluminum can come in white, ivory, brown, black, or aluminum and comes with matching end caps. This is a great option if you have a PTAC unit under the window, it sits right on top and has extra weight to help avoid any blowing. If using side or bottom channels we recommend using the heat sealed style since this style can create a "clapping" sound between the metals when when shade is being opened or closed.

4. Deco Style:

This is the option that gives you the best of both worlds. Why? Because you get both an aluminum trim and the roller shade fabric and both are featured in one bottom rail piece. There is an aluminum frame around a 1/2'' matching fabric insert that complete the look. This style is suggested to use on its own with no side or bottom channels.

We know this can be a lot of information and can get confusing. Please do not hesitate to call us so we can answer any of your questions.

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