Roller Shades: Solar vs Translucent vs Blackout Fabrics

Roller shades are a great way to bring in more design and contrast to a guest room. You can keep it simple or add color, texture, pattern, etc. When ordering roller shades for a hotel we suggest pairing the blackout shade with a solar or translucent shade fabric. It can be a little confusing to differ between them. We have created this guide to help you make the process as simple as possible.


Solar Translucent Blackout

Blackout Roller Shades:



This shade material provides 100% light blocking by definition, no pin holes and zero light passing through them. You have the option of solid colors or a blackout fabric with pattern and/or texture.






Solar Roller Shades:


A great option to block out UV rays. You choose the visibility you want by the openness of the shade fabric selected (1%-14% openness range). The openness of a fabric refers to the weave or mesh structure and determines the amount of heat and light that enters a room.


A more open fabric (higher percent) allows more heat and light to penetrate through, while tighter meshes (lower percent) block more heat and light. We find a 5% open material to be a good balance for most looking to balance visibility with light blocking.


For those of you with a spectacular view, no privacy concerns, and moderate exposure a 10% or 14% openness material are the perfect choice.

NOTE* It is important to know that when its nighttime the privacy flip flops and the more open % of fabric you have the more you can see from the outside in. During the day time you can see more from the inside looking out (and at night time you can't see much outside from the inside).


Translucent Roller Shades:

Translucent shades give you more room to be creative with texture and pattern. Fabrics for translucent shades have the least amount of visibility while providing some light (darker colors have less light coming in). Translucent materials do not provide 100% privacy though and this is because shadows can be cast on the shades from internal lights behind the subject. Darker materials are generally room dimming and not translucent which will provide very good privacy but little light transmittance.



Feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding roller shades or your next window or bedding project. You can call us directly at 619-564-4264


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