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  • Writer's pictureCraig Radcliff

How To Choose the right fabric for roller blinds -  What is the Best Fabric for Roller Blinds

Updated: May 30

What Are the Different Types of Roller Blind Fabrics

Roller blinds come in three main types: Sunscreen, Light Filtering, and Blockout, also known as Blackout. Here's a brief overview, and I'll dive into more detail on each type further down in this blog to help when choosing the right blinds for your space.

Brief Overview of the Three Different Types of Fabric

  • Allows visibility and light while blocking UV rays, ideal for maintaining views without sacrificing protection.

  • Diffuses incoming light to create a soft translucent light, providing privacy while losing detailed views.

  • Completely blocks out all light and offers full privacy, perfect for spaces requiring darkness and seclusion. This is the most common fabric for window furnishings.

An In-Depth Look at the Three Different Types of Fabric

Sunscreen Fabric


  • UV Protection: This fabric blocks a significant amount of harmful UV rays, protecting interiors from sun damage, in particular floors and furniture.

  • Visibility: Maintains clear views during daylight hours while preventing outside visibility into the space. This is reversed in the night time when an inside light is on.

  • Material: Made from durable polyester weaves with a PVC coating, it is designed for longevity and resistance to wear.

  • Energy Efficiency: Helps in reducing solar gain, thereby keeping rooms cooler and reducing air conditioning costs.

  • Residential: Perfect for a living room in a coastal home where homeowners can enjoy ocean views without the glare of the sun. I have installed numerous sunscreen blinds in high rises and it's the go to fabric to maintain the view you paid for. Perfect alternative to a sheer curtain in a living room that has a view to the backyard. I like to use them in dual blind set ups, the sunscreen goes to the back so you can see out the window during the day, and then at night you simply put the blockout blind down.

  • Commercial: Used in office buildings to reduce glare on computer screens while still allowing employees to look outside, boosting morale and productivity. Sunscreens can offer a sense of space by allowing your employees and clients to see out rather than having blockout and enclosing the room making it feel smaller.

  • Scenic Locations: Ideal for a mountain lodge's common areas, where guests can appreciate the scenery of snow on the mountain peaks, while siping a nice glass of red by the fire, without the discomfort of harsh sunlight. But seriously, Sunscreens offer so much more than what most people realise and they definitely have a place in all homes, offices, and more importantly, mountain lodges. Use them, look out of them, purchase them.

Light Filtering Fabric


  • Light Diffusion: Softens and diffuses incoming light, creating a warm, ambient glow without direct sunlight.

  • Privacy: Provides privacy by obscuring details by just offering silhouettes and reducing visibility into and out of the room.

  • Material: Typically made from soft, durable fabric that can complement a variety of decor styles.

  • Home Use: Light filtering fabrics are excellent for bathrooms in family homes, where natural light is desired but privacy is crucial. Since many bathrooms already feature frosted glass, adding a light filtering blind is usually sufficient to ensure privacy while still allowing the right amount of light to filter through. These blinds are also ideal for living rooms that face neighbours or busy roads, as they provide privacy without sacrificing natural light. It’s worth noting that many light filtering fabrics are available with matching blockout options, allowing you to mix and match across different windows. This versatility lets you tailor light control precisely to your needs, enhancing both comfort and functionality in your home.

  • Work Environments: Ideal for spaces where privacy is paramount over the view, yet still permits the gentle diffusion of light without the harshness of direct sunlight. This makes it perfect for areas where both seclusion and a well lit environment are desired.

  • Scenic Locations: Returning to the mountain lodge scenario, light filtering fabric offers no advantage in such a stunning setting. This is due to its opaque nature, which completely obstructs the view. I use this comparison to highlight a common misconception: many believe you can see through light filtering fabric, but in reality, it does not allow for any visibility. So have another glass of red and ponder this for a moment.

Blockout/Blackout Fabric


  • Light Blockage: These fabric offers complete darkness by blocking all incoming light, making it perfect for creating blackout conditions. Although the fabric itself prevents light from entering, it's important to note that standard roller blinds have small gaps on each side that let in light. For those who require complete darkness, a cassetted blind, which includes a frame that covers these gaps, is the ideal solution.

  • Privacy: Ensures absolute day and night time privacy, making it impossible to see into or out of the room when blinds are drawn.

  • Thermal Insulation: Helps in insulating rooms, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer.

  • Material: Made from thick, often layered fabrics that are robust and designed to last.

  • Bedrooms: Blockout blinds are perfect for the bedrooms, essential for a nursery to help young children sleep during the day or in brightly lit urban areas.

  • Media Rooms: Perfect for a home cinema room where total darkness enhances the movie-watching experience.

  • Scenic Locations: Again, let's return to the mountain lodge scenario. Now that you are few glasses of red deep, one often returns to the hotel room for some night time pleasure, this type of pleasure is best performed in privacy. This is where blockout fabrics really excel and their features shine far more superior to all other fabrics. Just remember to put the blind down.

Understanding the Cohesiveness of your Different Types of Roller Blind Fabrics

 How to choose the right fabrics for roller blinds? As previously mentioned, many fabrics are designed with cohesiveness in mind, offering matching options in both blockout and light filtering fabric options. for style and function. This allows for a unified look across different rooms and blinds within a space. Additionally, sunscreens are available in a variety of colours to ensure they complement your decor seamlessly. They also come in different levels of openness—3%, 5%, and 10%—which lets you choose how much visibility you want. The lower the percentage, the less view and more privacy you have, enabling you to tailor the balance between visibility and privacy to suit your specific needs. Therefore, choosing the right fabrics for your window coverings, it's important to consider what suits each space and use the matching fabrics strategically to control the light in your space effectively.

Fabric colour and Texture for your blinds.

Selecting light colours are the best fabric choice to keep your home light, airy and bright and can also make a room feel bigger. Shades like white, cream or light greys are very popular when choosing colours to enhance the decor in your home. Keep in mind lighter fabrics will absorb less heat and reflect more light.

Dark colours are perfect for reducing glare but will absorb more heat. They soften levels of natural light and are a popular choice for theatre rooms, bedrooms, offices or studies, bringing drama and an ultra cozy feeling to a space.

Textured fabrics can add some interest to neutral colours and also give them dimension. Texture can be a lovely addition to your space to create a focal point for your design. Just like colour and pattern can impact a room, texture can impact the feeling and mood of your space.

Conclusion - How to Choose the Right Fabric for Roller Blinds

In conclusion, choosing the right fabric for your blinds is crucial for enhancing both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your space. Whether you opt for sunscreen, light filtering, or blackout fabrics, each type serves a unique purpose and offers specific benefits tailored to different needs and environments. As you consider the various options, think about the balance of light control, privacy, and visual appeal that best suits your lifestyle and décor. Remember, the right blinds can transform a room, offering comfort, protection, and style. We hope this guide has provided you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about which roller blind fabric will best meet your needs. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to helping you achieve the perfect ambiance in your home or office.

Call us on 0412 995 872 to chat.

how to choose the right fabric for roller blinds

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