The Openness Factor. Or…Do You Want Spaghetti or Tea?

what is openness factor blindsSolar shades are designed to maximize sunshine and your access to a great view while preserving your privacy. How much light you let in – and how much you see out – is entirely up to you and what you envision for that particular room.

The amount of sunshine and view depends on the openness or weave of the fabric. They call it the “openness factor”. Generally, the higher the openness factor, the looser the weave and the less shade it provides.

Colanders and Tea Strainers… It’s sort of like a colander and a tea strainer. A colander lets lots of water through, a tea strainer…only a bit. A higher openness factor is like a colander, a lower one is like a strainer. For example, a solar shade with an openness factor of 14% lets in more light than a shade with a 5% openness factor.

Lighten Up a Little – or a Lot! Of course tighter weaves and lower openness values correspond to the amount of view that’s lost as well. The lower the openness factor, the more of the view that will be obstructed. Although solar shades with tighter weaves are perfect for rooms and homes that get glaring direct sunlight, it’s important to take into consideration the amount of view that you’d like to maintain.

Shade by the Numbers. A shade’s openness factor is indirectly proportional to the amount of shade it provides. That means that a shade with a 14% openness factor provides about 60% shade, and one with 5% openness factor gives about 70% shade.

Rooms that receive strong sun rays may need room darkening blinds or shades. Many customers request this sort of shade for a bedroom. For instance, room darkening blinds would have an openness factor of 0%, meaning that the shade you get would be close to 100%.

Hole-y Too Many Options! So do you want more or less? Loosen up or Tighten up? If you’ve never heard about openness factor – and aren’t sure what you need for your windows, we can help. We can show you the difference between fabrics with varying openness factors at our office. Then we’ll talk you through what the best options will be for your unique situation.

Drop by Blinds & Shutter Express and take a look at several samples of inventory. We’d love to help you sift through the options, and find exactly what you’re looking for!

Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc