Why don't you recommend aluminium-backed fabrics?

Whilst we have always offered the option of aluminium backed fabrics, they are increasingly unsuitable to modern conservatories and we strongly advise against them in conjunction with solar glass or high-performance roof glazing. 

Some retailers selling what they claim to be “conservatory blinds” (but are most definitely not) only offer aluminium-backed fabrics – probably because they are much cheaper.

The main reason that we do not recommend aluminium backed fabrics is because of the extreme heat build-up behind the fabric.

If you use aluminium backed blinds then the highly reflective surface traps the heat behind the blind which cannot escape back through the glass (before K-Glass was introduced in 2002 the heat would simply reflect back out). This is the main issue that roof manufacturers have with these blinds, as this super-heated air can cause the UPVC rafters and neoprene gasket to overheat.

Many roof manufacturers and conservatory builders have even gone to the extremes of trying to stipulate how blinds should be fitted because of this in an effort to limit their guarantee.

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The other downsides with aluminium backed fabrics (regardless of glazing) are:

Aluminium backed fabrics are not washable
They can be wiped, but would not stay looking “like new” as we can with our pure™ Pleated Blinds.

Aluminium backed fabrics are very shiny
The aluminium back is very shiny and obvious from outside (when the blinds are extended) or inside when shaped blinds are retracted (you can see the contrast along the cut edge).

Aluminium backed fabrics can oxidise
Unless the fabric is laminated with a plastic coating then condensation or insects that decompose on it can oxidise and create tiny (pinprick sized) burn holes through the fabric.

Aluminium backed fabrics can cause condensation
If the fabric is laminated with a plastic coating then it cannot breathe – this means that condensation can form on it if there is insufficient ventilation.

Aluminium backed fabrics cut down a lot of light
Aluminium backed fabrics significantly reduce natural light compared to our pure Pleated Blinds, which have specifically been designed for use with solar glazing. The Solar Design fabrics within our pure™ Pleated Blinds allow you to have your blinds extended without making your conservatory or adjoining rooms too dark.

Aluminium backed fabrics require more hardware in a blind
Because aluminium backed fabrics are thicker and more “springy” they stack deeper when the blind is retracted and requires extra rails to be fitted to some shapes to hold it in position. In other words it is not as neat.

For more information, contact us for free technical advice and to compare fabrics in your own conservatory.

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