What Are Roller Shades Made of?

Unless you reside in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to need some kind of window treatment to block out the worst of the sun’s glaring rays during the day, and to provide some modicum of privacy. Even though they aren’t the only type of window treatment, roller shades come in such a wide array of materials, you won’t have to compromise style for function.

What are Roller Shades Made of?

All roller shades have hollow tubes that allow fabrics to roll out of them, and a ratchet inside the tubes that prevent the fabric from loosening. Generic, inexpensive roller shades have a pulley-type system which rolls the shade either when you pull a cord, or when you snap your wrist. The more expensive roller shades have lift mechanisms that don’t require you to pull cords.

Aside from the lift mechanism/pulley, the most important component of a roller shade is the fabric you use. Things can go wrong very quickly if you commandeer an old drape as your roller shade fabric. Remember to stick with thinner fabric like cotton, if you want things to move smoothly.

Some people add vinyl to make their roller shade fabric “blackout” even more. This is entirely optional, the key is to ensure your fabric suits the decorating theme of your home, and it doesn’t cause unnecessary discomfort. Remember to maintain your roller shades regularly so your window treatment lasts longer.

Questions You Need to Answer Before Choosing a Roller Shade

#1. Do you need light blocking? Darker colors have less light transmittance, so if you’re trying to keep the sun out, go for it. There are certain disadvantages of this though. For example, you won’t be able to view the street discreetly, and you might not be able to enjoy partial sunlight. If you want some natural light entering your home, without the harsh glare of the sun, opt for neutral colored window treatments instead of dark. Once you know what room you need the roller shade in, it’s easier to decide how to proceed with regards to color and material texture.

#2. much privacy will you get? Not everyone has the luxury of living in wine country, surrounded by greeneries that don’t care what you do within the confines of your room. Modern-day living is filled with nosier folks. Whether your roller shade provides you with transparency depends not only on its color but on the texture of the material. Open weave roller shades, whether in dark or light shades, tend to offer significantly less privacy, so you might want to avoid using them in sensitive areas of your home.

#3. How much insulation do you need? Extra coverings on your window will provide your home with more insulation. It goes without saying that the texture and color of the window treatment you choose to go with will determine how much or how little insulation you’ll get. If this is a DIY project, you’ll want to make the fabric you go with is super thin, so the rolling mechanism works smoothly.