How to choose the best mesh color and type for my screen

Openness factor, color, and fabric construction are all important when choosing a fabric for your screen.    The recommended brand will depend on the product type and its application; interior or exterior.  Exterior products require an exterior-rated fabric. Your Sunair® dealer can help you choose the right one when they do a site survey.    Regardless of color or openness factor,  it is important that you make sure the fabric is stable enough to perform for the product, and application you are using it for.   Some fabrics are more suitable for interior solar control while others are ideal in windy locations or on larger zipper-type exterior screens because the fabric is more stable.  

  • Interior vs exterior?
  • Besides solar shade control, is your view through the fabric just as important?
  • Is privacy important when shade is rolled down?
  • Will your screen be installed on a Western exposed wall where the sun  is more intense?
  • Are you only looking for bug control on your porch?
  • Will the screen be installed on a glass window, or on an open porch?

With the above in mind it is also important to consider the following:

Darker vs. lighter mesh colors:

The most popular colors are Bronze and Charcoal. These darker colors absorb more light and will allow better visibility through the closed fabric screen to the outside.  This is important if you desire to have a nice view of the exterior through the screen fabric when it is extended.  Darker colors also offer better solar protection than lighter colors because they absorb the light ( For more information please review the energy savings studies).   

Lighter colors are more neutral on the house, but will offer less solar protection and reflect more light.  Lighter colors are therefore harder to see through when the screen is lowered.  A lighter color fabric mesh is used for diffusing the light.  In other words, it is mostly used if you desire a more constant level of lighting throughout the room like in an office or conference room.  In such applications you may be interested in a lighter color that evens out the light in the space.

Black out fabrics or room darkening fabrics are also commonly used on interior screens. These fabrics are often used in media rooms and if you want to block the light completely.  The  Duo interior screen provides two rollers.  One with mesh fabric and the other with either black out or room darkening fabric. 

Open Porch applications:

If you are using a mesh on an “open porch” application or zipper screen, it is better to use a polyester scrim type of mesh like FERRARI Soltis 86 or Recasens 5000P ( Other brands are ok to use as well). 

Roller shades mounted in front of a screened in porch:

You may be looking for a roll down screen with a solid vinyl fabric with windows to create a three season room enclosure.  If you are adding another roll down screen for solar protection because the bug screen mesh you have is not enough, you should consider a fabric that is a "cross -weave"  or "Non-basketweave". This weave pattern will help eliminate a "Moiré effect” which will be difficult to see through as it becomes fuzzy.   This effect can be seen when looking through ordinary window screens at another screen or background. In such cases, we recommend to use Satine fabric by Mermet, or Recscreen 6000P.  These are tighter weave fabrics constructed in a different weaving method to minimize this effect.

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