create the illusion of texture on different materials,” notes Kara
Roberts, merchandising director at the custom window treatments
company Smith & Noble. “It gives you more options for material
without requiring high commitments from manufacturers to do
5,000 yards of every color.”
She points to the growth in paper and synthetic weaves that
mimic natural woven shades, and lighter materials that have
enabled more flexibility in the size of horizontal shades, as well
as the ability to better customize solar and sheer shadings based
on different light conditions. In addition, these advancements are
enlivening some standard shading options.
“Honeycombs used to be pretty boring products, but now we
can get them in beautiful colors,” Roberts says. “Because of print-
on-demand technology, we can update the colors frequently and
add textures, and they’re becoming more fashionable.”
Technology has also revolutionized shading. Motorized sys-
tems have existed for years, but better and less costly motors have
enabled this product category to grow. The per-window costs of
motorization have dropped from upwards of $1,500 to as low as
$200 at some companies. And now, shading manufacturers are
linking motorized controls with software and algorithms that can
operate shades for automatic lighting control year-round.
The lighting control systems company Lutron makes several
3. Paper and synthetic weaves mimic
natural woven shades.
4. Once considered boring products,
honeycombs now come in a
variety of colors and textures
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