What is the best material for solar shades that blocks out heat and UV rays, while optimizing view? Among many types of sun shade materials, choosing the best one for your application could be hard. Metalized fabric, woven fabric, vinyl-coated polyester, fiberglass, knitted mesh, and natural wood are some of the popular choices for solar shades.
When choosing the perfect solar shade fabric, you need to consider sun control, insulation, privacy, security, glare control, view through, and decorative appeal. Yet there are other things to consider, such as openness factor, thermal performance, and optical properties.
If you choose metalized fabric, it will reduce heat and glare, while still providing privacy and view through. If you select treated wood products, they are attractive and durable, and resist rot, mold, and pests.
Polyester offers more durability, moisture resistance, and UV protection than cotton. On the other hand, cotton can be a better choice for creating a soft, cozy, and natural feel in the interior of your home or other space.
Scroll on to learn about the best fabrics for solar shades along with things to consider when choosing the right fabric for your home, office, or a rental property.
What are Solar Shades?
Solar shades, also called sun shades, sun blinds, or sun screens, are roll-up window coverings crafted with specifically designed fabrics that are woven just tight enough to protect against UV rays, while still providing privacy and optimizing your views. These affordable window coverings are made from a variety of different materials, but most often a mix of synthetic fibers, such as polyester and PVC.
Best Fabrics for Solar Shades
There are lots of practical options when it comes to choosing solar shade fabrics to protect your property from the harsh UV rays, sun damage, and ambient heat, while preserving view.
The obvious benefit of metalized solar solar screen fabrics is that they increase reflectivity of heat and light when compared with conventional blind fabrics.
Metalized fabrics give homeowners the benefits of both light & dark colors in just one window treatment. If you use aluminum backing, it will reflect the sun, keeping heat out and reducing glare.
Vinyl-coated polyester is a sturdy fabric that resists heat, moisture, and corrosion. This flexible fabric material is both durable and low maintenance, thanks to the creative combination of vinyl and fabric. Mostly, you will need water and a little soap to clean your sunscreen.
Homeowners love fiberglass fabric for its durability, strength, and resistance to warping, cracking, and fading. It offers excellent UV protection properties while maintaining a sleek and modern look. Fiberglass is a popular choice for homes, offices, and other residential and commercial buildings with high sun exposure.
Polyester-cotton, polyester-linen, and other blended fabrics offer a combination of style, durability, and texture for your solar shades for windows. These blended fabric materials for your moveable solar shading devices provide a soft and natural appearance while providing various functional benefits.
Woven Solar Shade Fabrics
Woven fabric is a material that’s flexible enough to roll up or down easily when you want sunshine or shade. The density of the woven fabric will determine how much sun and wind will enter your room. Unlike metalized fabrics, woven fabric sun shades will not rust or corrode.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Suitable Material for Solar Shades
Protection are the main reasons people seek out sun shades or blinds. By blocking out harmful UV rays, sun screens can help you protect your furniture, flooring, and art in your home or office. Additionally, these window treatments can help control the light, providing your room with the right amount of glow. Therefore, choose a tightly woven fabric for the best light control.
If you are going to buy sun shades for your study room or home office, select a fabric that reduces glare on the screens.
If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home, we recommend an insulating fabric like vinyl-coated polyester that prevents inflow or outflow of heat. It will not only ensure temperature regulation for a relaxing environment, but also improve the energy efficiency of your home.
If you have a beautiful view outside, you may not want to hide it with window treatments. So, go with a heat-resistant sheer fabric for sun shades, which will let you see outside but prevent passers-by from seeing in.
The level of privacy in a solar shade can vary greatly depending on the type of fabric and tightness of weave or openness factor. If you want better privacy, select a sun screen fabric with minimum openness factor, i.e. 1%. It’ll also help you darken your space for sleeping or watching movies.
Consider the decor style of your indoor or outdoor space when choosing the color and appearance for the sun blind fabric. Various color options include white, silver, ecru, ivory, taupe, ebony pearl, charcoal, and chocolate.
Solar window coverings made from metalized fabrics or vinyl-coated polyester are known for their wrinkle resistance, which means they will maintain a smoother and more uniform look over time. However, pure cotton fabric shades can be prone to wrinkling and may require more frequent maintenance to keep them looking clean.
Openness factor (OF) or opacity level is the most common term in solar screen fabrics. It is a technical factor that is represented as a percentage. Openness percentage relates to how tightly the yarns are woven, thus explaining the ratio of open space to yarns in the weave.
Smaller numbers (1%, 3%, and 5%) have less space, representing a tighter weaver and letting less light in. The exact opposite is true for larger numbers (7%, 10%, 14%, and 15%).
Better Thermal Performance
Color selection plays a big part in the thermal performance of the solar shade fabric. Always choose a light reflecting color that will prevent the fabric and the interior of your room from heating up. All colors except black reflect light more or less.
With higher reflectivity and lower absorption values, lighter colors, like white and ivory, reflect more thermal energy out of them.
Evaluate the thermal properties of fabrics and their impact on energy efficiency. Fabrics with thermal or reflective potentials can help you to regulate solar heat gain or loss, so you can get a more comfortable environment and save on your energy bills.
Lighter colors let more light through, resulting in higher glare levels. On the contrary, darker colors absorb more light, thus reducing glare. This also translates to view through.
You will be surprised to learn that dark colors offer superior view through, so they are the best to preserve the view through.
Polyester fabric offers better durability than cotton. It is hailed for its strength, wrinkle resistance, and ability to withstand wear and tear. Polyester fabrics are less prone to fading, cracking, and stretching, so they are a reliable choice for long-lasting solar blinds.
Are you going to buy new solar shades for your swimming pool? Polyester is inherently moisture-resistant, making it suitable for areas with high humidity or water, such as kitchens or bathrooms. On the other hand, cotton easily absorbs moisture and may not be as suitable for highly damp environments.
Both polyester and blended fabric solar blinds offer various levels of light control. Polyester fabric often has a tighter weave and can provide better UV protection and light filtration compared to cotton.
Define the desired degree of light control for your home, office, or other building. Consider whether you want diffused light glow, partial blockage of sunlight, or a complete blackout effect in your bedroom. Choose a fabric with an appropriate openness level according to your needs and preferences.
Consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance when choosing a suitable fabric for your solar roller shades. Make sure your chosen fabric can be easily wiped clean, spot cleaned, and vacuumed.
If eco-friendliness is important to you, explore fabrics made from sustainable materials. Look for fabric materials that ensure low chemical emissions and high-quality standards.
Determine your paying capacity and consider the prices of different fabric choices. Keep in mind that higher-quality fabric materials may come at a higher cost, but they often offer better functionality and longevity.
No single sun screen fabric dominates, so pick the one that prioritizes what matters most. Metalized solar fabrics block heat and glare like champs, fiberglass rocks UV protection and style, vinyl-coated polyester is tough and water-resistant, and fabric blends offer texture and flair.
Weigh factors like UV protection, view through, privacy, and budget to find your perfect match. Don’t forget kid safety features like cordless options for ultimate peace of mind. Choose wisely, and your ideal solar shade will enhance both the functionality of your space and your well-being.
Need More Help?
Still unsure which solar shade fabric will serve your needs best both functionally and aesthetically? Get in touch for help now! Use 24/7 live chat or give us a call at (800) 863-6109 to contact our design experts for custom solutions.