Based on market feedback and supplier information, we decided to compare the two fabrics and share with our customers our findings. In short, we believe the silver/grey fabric will provide similar purpose and benefits while being easier to work with.
We heard from customers that they experienced a few challenges with the aluminum knitted shade. Those challenges included:
Installation can require a trained crew.
The knitting allows fabric to stretch too much, so gaps are created, providing uneven shade.
The aluminum itself can cause uneven reflection of light.
Aluminum isn’t good for bees, thus hindering pollination of plants.
A recent study by Oklahoma State University explains why.
In some cases, the percentage shade listed with the fabric was referring to the construction of the knit, not the actual shade provided.
Customers were forced to buy a heavier weight fabric to achieve desired shade.
In discussions with our trusted supplier, we learned they created this silver/grey fabric to provide the same benefits of aluminum knit, while avoiding the above pain points experienced by customers, not only in the US, but also around the world.
54% Silver Grey Leno Woven Shade 86% Silver Grey Shade
This is a summary of the differences of the aluminum knit you’re perhaps used to and the silver/grey we are now offering.
- Construction: Knitted Aluminum is knitted and the silver/grey is woven with a leno construction to lock threads in place and avoid shifting. This silver/grey fabric is much less elastic and avoids deformations caused by stress or weather effects.
-Raw Materials: The silver/grey has the reflective and color additives integrated into the threads prior to extrusion whereas the knitted aluminum has the aluminum layer added onto the HDPE threads after extrusion. Although the initial reflective effect may be greater on the knitted aluminum, in certain cases this layer can degrade or flake, losing its effect. The silver/grey maintains its color and characteristics until the end of its useful life.
-Recycling: The silver/grey fabric is recyclable as its composition is 100% HDPE.
-Price: From what we have learned and researched, the silver/grey is less expensive than the aluminum and we believe you will see that reflected in our pricing to you.