Posted in  Screening   on  January 15, 2024

Like any product that you research and ultimately buy for your home improvement project, understanding the terms and phrases used to describe them is pretty important in making the right decision.

Here are some examples:

• Flat, matte, eggshell or satin finish paint

• Cut pile, berber or jute carpets or rugs

• Hex, phillips or slot head screws

• Latex, silicone or adhesive caulk

In this blog, we will provide some common terminology used to describe Phifer insect screen and other woven fabrics that we produce.


Mesh is a description for any woven material that is “open” with evenly spaced holes. In some cases, the names of Phifer products actually use the mesh in their description such as 18X14 Pool and Patio Screen and 20X20 No See Um Screen. The two numbers are called the mesh count, and they indicate how many yarns (or wires) are woven in the vertical direction by (X) how many are woven in the horizontal direction within one square inch of the screen. Exactly square mesh can often be described with one number. A common example would be 8-mesh. In this case, there would be exactly 8 openings within one square inch of material.


Openness refers to the amount of open space that the woven mesh is designed to have. Higher percentage openness screens will allow for more light, improved air flow and better visibility through them. Lower openness insect screening products are designed to protect from most small insects, block sunlight and also reduce air flow and visibility through them. The openness percentage of Phifer’s insect screening and sun shading fabrics range from 73% for UltraVue2 all the way down to 3% for SunTex® 97.


The definition for aperture is simple. It is an opening or hole. In the world of woven window and door screen, the aperture is always either a square or rectangular hole depending on the mesh count. It is measured in square inches and ranges from 0.0005 in2 for some of our tightly woven exterior sun shading fabrics up to 0.004 in2 for more open mesh screening. The aperture is an important factor in the construction of Phifer screen products that protect against most tiny insects such as our TuffScreen® No See Um mesh.

DIAMETER (Yarn/Wire)

Yarns and wires produced to weave Phifer’s screen products range in materials from vinyl-coated fiberglass and polyester to aluminum, bronze and stainless steel. Since the diameter of these yarns and wires can range from 0.008” to 0.030”, understanding this component and how it impacts the woven mesh is important. Larger diameter yarns are used to weave more durable products such as PetScreen® while smaller diameter yarns or wires in a mesh help increase visibility and air flow in specialty window screen products such as BetterVue®.


The word “spline” has multiple meanings in the mathematics and mechanical worlds. For our window and door screening market, however, spline is the flexible cord-like product that secures the material in the frame or framing system. To learn more about its importance, jump over to our How to Choose Spline blog here.


Put simply, sun protection percentage indicates how much of the sun’s heat the window screen will absorb and block. The opposite term of sun protection percentage is SOLAR TRANSMITTANCE which is defined as the % of the sun’s heat that passes through the woven mesh material. 

Sun blocking screens with low solar transmittance such as Phifer SunTex® will stop more UV rays before they reach the window or space in which they are used. They will also have less air flow and visibility due to their denser weave construction. 

Window screens with higher transmittance percentages will allow more solar rays to enter through them. They will also allow for increased air flow and higher visibility due with their more open mesh designs.

Solar Transmittance Values

(External Installation at 30 Degree Profile Angle)

SunTex 90 Black


SunTex 90 Beige




18X14 Pool & Patio Screen


UltraVue2 Screen


Have Questions or Need Help?

Reach out to our customer service staff to learn more! From our website, you can live chat with us during normal business hours or give us a call at 800-854-9473 to get more information.