Shade Fabric 101

Posted in  Interior Shading Fabrics   on  March 15, 2022

When my husband and I were decorating our now-toddler’s nursery, admittedly, window treatments weren’t at the top of our priority list. Things like the rocking chair, changing table, crib and baby monitor were, of course, non-negotiables. Somehow, the boring blinds that used to fade into the background of the once-empty room got overlooked … until they could no longer be ignored. 

In an attempt to keep consistent with décor, we opted for black and white patterned curtains. The thing is these window treatments have proven to be much more fashionable than functional. But, come nap time, or even bedtime during the summer months, as the sun beams unapologetically through the curtains, I’m wondering why we didn’t just opt for a good set of window shades. Hindsight.

What exactly is Shade Fabric?

The ultimate multitaskers, interior shade fabrics offer the window treatment trifecta – light control, comfort and beauty. It’s no wonder they’re the ideal window covering solution for residential and commercial spaces alike. They’re functional, controlling the sun’s unrelenting heat and blinding glare with ease, while keeping their cool in sleek, decorative design and color options. 

Interior shade fabrics also help reduce glare by 70 to 100 percent based on color and openness factor, key points to consider for energy savings and light management. And, who doesn’t want to save a little on their utility bills?

Shade Fabric Deciding Factors

The next time you’re in the market for new window treatments like we were, keep window shades – and the below key factors – in mind:


Color options typically range from creamy hues to darker tones. These color designations go beyond aesthetics and color coordination with interior décor. Lighter color fabrics provide optimum heat reduction, reflect light and illuminate the interior. Darker fabrics provide a great view to the outside and reduce glare, making them ideal when viewing computer and television screens.


The openness of a fabric refers to the weave or mesh structure and determines the amount of heat and light that enters a room. Generally, a more open fabric allows more heat and light to penetrate into the room, while tighter meshes block more heat and light. More open fabrics also allow for better outward views.


In case you do need the option of total blockage, blackout fabrics are the perfect option to totally keep any light out. Generally, these fabrics include a blacking that prevents the fabric from having any openness factor. These are commonly used in bedrooms and home theaters, but are not just limited to those spaces, and can be found in commercial spaces as well.

Prepared to Buy?

The basics to shade fabrics are fairly simple, and make choosing the right fabric for you very easy. Once you determine your specific needs in a project, the fun part comes next. There are many different design options available in each type of shade fabric. For example, SheerWeave® Style 5000, one of Phifer’s more popular shade fabric styles, has many different colors and jacquard patterns that make creative styling possible.

If you’re in the market for shade fabric, visit our website at for more information.