Motorized Blinds and Shades Fabric Weave Terminology

The Mermet® and Rollease® roller shade fabrics are sophisticated in their design, which is why they look great and work perfectly, always falling straight and true, with no edge curl.

We thought an explanation of the construction and terminology would be helpful for those of you looking to choose a fabric.

Know Your Warp from Your Weft

roller shade material terminology - warp and weftWhen you create some fabric on a loom, the fibers that are stretched between the rollers are called the 'warp', and the fibers you pull across the loom with the shuttle are called the 'weft'.

A roller shade fabric is no different, the vertical yarns are the warp yarns and the horizontal yarns are the weft yarns.

There are different types of weaves, the most common is referred to as a 'plain' or 'basket' weave. For a fabric with one warp yarn for every weft yarn, the weave is referred to as a 1 x 1 (plain or basket) weave.

The first number or color refers to the warp and the second is the weft. Therefore a 1 x 2 weave (Mermet® M Screen, for example) has 1 warp yarn for every 2 weft yarns. The colors also refer to the warp & weft yarns. 'Charcoal / Apricot' means the warp yarn is charcoal & the weft is apricot.

The Mermet® T Screen & Satine fabrics are both Twill weave fabrics. The weave produces a fabric which appears to have two sides. The weave 'separates' the yarns so they appear dominant on one side of the fabric. Therefore Bronze / Sable has both colors woven together, but one side which appears more bronze & one more sable.

Color Choice Considerations

Dark colors absorb light, so they are best for view-through. Light colors reflect light (and heat) which produces glare. So for optimum performance, the dark color should face the interior and the light color should face the exterior.

Trade Terminology

Here are a few trade terms we have assembled:

reverse roll vs standard roll
  • Smiley Face: :) A crease that forms in the fabric due to sag, often caused by a tube that is not strong enough. We size our tubing specifically for maximum strength, as a function of your shade specification, all the way up to a hefty 2.5"
  • Railroading: The practice of turning a shade sideways (90 degree rotation) in order to get a greater width than the maximum roll size available. It's not always recommended, but often works quite well, depending on the fabric.
  • Standard Roll: This is the most common way of implementing shades. The shade lays flat with minimum spacing against the window and rolls up onto the tube which is on the room side.
  • Reverse Roll: Sometimes a reverse roll is used (eg. to avoid obstacles), which increases the distance from the window. The tube is between the shade surface and the window. Please be sure to specify this if you need it because it affects how the shade material is attached to the tube.

Z-Wave Option

We also manufacture a Z-Wave controller for our blinds. If you want to add a hub such as Hubitat, SmartThings, Vera (and use Alexa or Google Home), you can do this at any time.

Please Note: Our blind motors and window openers are operated with wall mount and hand held controls, and our system is designed to allow automation to be added at any time. This means you can start with our simple remote controls and add the automation later, and take your time with it. Our remote controls will continue to function while you build your automation system and will also continue to function after the automation is activated.

We're Always here to Help

If you have any questions, or require further explanation, please feel free to contact us at any time.