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Do Our Fabrics Fade?
Yesterday, when asked by a customer whether our fabrics fade, we answered truthfully; explaining that all fabrics (even Solar Design fabrics) will fade eventually, but it takes years because they are designed for conservatories.
Nevertheless the dye pigment in a fabric will slowly fade over a long period and after 10+ years would appear paler than fabric that had never been exposed to sunlight at all. This is particularly true of any fabrics with a red-based dye (you see exactly the same thing with red paint on cars).
The customer had asked the same question of salespeople from the two largest Direct Sales Companies, both of whom claimed that their fabrics would never fade.
It transpires that the customer had purchased Schön pleated blinds from another company nearly 20 years ago and they had indeed faded over that period, so she placed an order with us because we obviously knew a great deal more about our product and were honest... which is ironic, because this other company was apparently one of the two companies that were quoting.
Having said that, there are huge differences in the qualities of fabrics, especially those sold by the two other companies in question, and you get what you pay for. Ask to compare their most expensive fabrics (which they show but rarely base a quotation on) with their cheapest ranges and you will see a huge difference in appearance and suitability within a conservatory.
High quality fabrics are derived from brand yarns such as Diolen, Hoechst, BASF and Trevira which go through rigorous quality control procedures to protect them against contamination. The raw polyester yarn is then coloured using a dispersion dyeing system to guarantee consistent colour throughout (not just on the surface) and is then tightly woven to create the fabric.
The fabric is then flattened and smoothed over many processes for the application of a totally uniform solar reflective coating that will not crack and flake, unlike that applied to rougher yarns. This unique smoothing process alone will extend the life of a solar reflective fabric by years.
The unique self-coloured solar reflective treatment is patented and trademarked by Hunter Douglas BV allowing the back of the blind to be the same colour as the fabric and NOT silver. Topar™ is formed from a paste-like chemical applied to the back surface of the polyester fabric and is then flash-heated to over 240°C so that it chemically bonds with the fabric at a molecular level. Unlike metallised, laminated or cheaper applications, Topar™ will not deteriorate and become brittle with normal use.
Our fabrics conform to (and exceed) the highest relevant Quality Assurance Standards in Europe.
Consistency of Colour
These standards assess change in colour that occurs during fastness testing (fixing of dye to yarn). Consisting of nine pairs of non-glossy grey or white colour chips, which illustrate the perceived colour difference corresponding to fastness ratings 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, with intermediate half steps in accordance with the requirements of ISO 105 (BS 1006) - A02 and A03 respectively.
The Blue Wool standard conforms to specifications given in BS EN ISO 105-B01/B02: 1999. The standard is dyed with selected individual wool dyes to match a set of master standards in respect of colour and fading characteristics. Indications of colourfastness are indicated by ratings of 1-8, where 8 represents that the fabric is chemically inert and basically will not change with time.
This is what the salesmen from the other companies claimed - that their fabrics would never fade and so would be an 8 on the Blue Wool Scale, which is fundamentally impossible and untrue.
The extensive quality control procedures that go into creating purpose-designed fabrics make all of the difference in providing you with much higher quality conservatory blinds compared to cheap domestic blinds.
Simply compare our blinds after 1 year of use with a cheap domestic quality blind. Ours will still look like new, whilst the cheaper blind will look worn and poorly fitted.
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