From a distance, all window shade fabrics look more or less the same. The colors may change, and you can see through some better than others, but for the most part a shade is a shade, right?

Some of our competitors have begun promote this philosophy as they have replaced American-woven fabrics with cheaper Asian materials. They argue that the science of solar control is actually a cheap commodity,

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are several reasons why we continue to rely heavily on American-woven fabrics from well-respected companies like Phifer and Mermet USA.

Quality
This is one of the most important reasons we continue to heavily feature Phifer and Mermet fabrics, among others. Draper’s own high quality standards include shining a light behind every shade panel that leaves our factory to look for fabric defects. We find a consistently high level of quality from our fabric partners. There are never issues and the fabrics stand up well for long periods of time in the field.

Lead times
Shipping in large amounts of fabric from across the world logically adds to the delivery time of any product, and shade fabric is no different. When we need a new shipment of SheerWeave, or fabric for an especially large requirement, we know that it will probably only be a few days, and there’s no chance we’ll have to wait for something to cross the water.

Custom capabilities
Custom is very big for us. Every shade that leaves our factory is a custom product, made especially for a specific window. We can also modify clutches, brackets, or other hardware to fit installation needs, or develop a new solution where one doesn’t exist. We can also work with American weavers like Phifer to develop custom weaves—something that isn’t feasible when importing rolls of shade fabric.

Health and Environment
Bringing in fabrics from closer to our manufacturing facility reduces the net carbon load of our product, but we provide fabrics that offer other health and environmental benefits. They meet RoHS/Directive 2002/95/EC, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission Section 101, and ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2007 for lead content, and GREENGUARD Certification for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.

In addition to fabrics with Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) seal of approval, and with Microban antimicrobial protection, other fabrics are PVC-free, or made with DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers, a renewable alternative to traditional petroleum based plasticizers for a more sustainable option.

Choice
Because we aren’t reliant on offshore fabric sourcing, we can offer a wide choice of both polyester and fiberglass fabrics. Each has inherent positives, but limiting ourselves to using only one or the other would also limit our ability to provide solutions for every need.

Trust
Every product that leaves the Draper factory has one very important capability: to affect the customer’s opinion of Draper. Having worked with partners like Phifer and Mermet for many years, we know we can trust their materials to represent us well. Like us, they are innovative companies who refuse to sacrifice quality or performance in an attempt to make solar shading into a commodity.

To see our full range of quality fabrics, click here to use our fabric selection tool.

To read more about the efforts of our competitors to move production and fabric weaving out of the United States, click here.

The post All Window Shade Fabrics are not Created Equal appeared first on Draper, Inc Blog Site.

Source: Blog Posts