Comparing Visibility in Roller Shade Fabrics

Item # X-HT-300163

Roller shades are a versatile, stylish option for light-control in your home. There are many different fabrics you can choose to use in your next custom window shade project that offers varying degrees of privacy and light. Whether you need a fabric that reduces glare but doesn't inhibit the views through your windows or a total blackout fabric, Sailrite has a great option for you. To demonstrate the various shading capabilities of the mesh roller shade fabrics we carry, we did a visual test so you can get a feel for how each fabric line would look in your windows.

We took our four most popular roller shade mesh fabric lines, Phifertex, Phifertex Plus, Phifertex Designer and SheerWeave, and held them up to a window on a sunny day to give you the best view through the weave. We turned the lights off inside the room, so the lighting is only coming from outside the mesh. For the best comparison, we chose similar shades of each fabric—one light and one dark. On the right-hand side of each photo, we left the window bare, so you can compare the shade to no shade at all. Additionally, we opted not to include blackout fabric in this experiment, since it has no light filtering properties, but blackout fabrics for roller shades are available at Sailrite.

Phifertex Mesh

Phifertex Mesh White fabric as a roller shade

Phifertex Mesh White #393

Black Phifertex used as a roller shade

Phifertex Mesh Black #388

First is Phifertex Mesh. This is the most open weave of the group, offering a 70 percent shade factor. This fabric offers the best view through the mesh at the scenery beyond, but will also offer the least amount of privacy.

Phifertex Plus

White Phifertex Plus mesh used as a roller shade

Phifertex Plus White #2358

Black Phifertex Plus mesh as a roller shade

Phifertex Plus Black #124511

Phifertex Plus fabric offers a 92.5 percent shade factor and is available in a wide variety of colors and woven styles. It’s a more densely woven mesh than Phifertex and allows less light into the room. It also obscures more of the scenery beyond.


SheerWeave Oyster fabric as a roller shade

SheerWeave 2410 Oyster #3009492

SheerWeave Charcoal used as a roller shade

SheerWeave 2410 Charcoal #3009852

SheerWeave is a specialty fabric designed for use in roller shades that offers a 97 percent shade factor. It offers a softer, more fabric-like look when compared to Phifertex and Phifertex Plus and a moderate amount of outward viewing.

Phifertex Designer

Clarity Blue Phifertex Designer mesh as a roller shade

Phifertex Designer Vinyl Sling Clarity Blue #3032499

Phifertex Designer Mesh in Kipton Suede as a roller shade

Phifertex Designer Vinyl Sling Kipton Suede #3032484

Phifertex Designer Mesh fabric is similar to Phifertex Plus but offers the most intricate weaves, some of which incorporate olefin yards for a more fabric-like look. As you can see here the light-blocking ability of each fabric will differ depending on its weave. The Clarity Blue, for example, offers more of an outward view than Kipton Suede. Shade factor ratings are listed on each fabric when available.

The choice is up to you and what suits the needs of your home! You can find all these fabrics in the Roller Shade Fabric category. Do you have any of these fabrics in your home already? Share your advice and experiences in the comments!