Privacy is guaranteed. Please read terms of service agreement before purchasing items.
Custom size outdoor knitted shade fabric provides sun protection as pergola cover, plant shading, patio cover, shade canopy, playground shading, shade netting, sun screen, shade tarp, lanai cover, shade sail, paintball netting, water treatment plant algae control, privacy screen, snow fencing, dust and windscreen.
Our high quality knitted shade sail fabrics are all UV stabilized to resist fading and last for years outdoors as pergola cover, plant shading, patio cover, lanai wrap, arbor netting, trellis shade sail, deck sunscreen, picnic or playground shading. This same shade canopy material is used for paintball field netting and in vertical applications as privacy screen, windscreen, rain and snow fencing. Cheaper, non-knitted, Woven shadecloth is only used in agricultural applications where longevity, appearance, and sag resistance are not as highly valued. We sell only the finest desert tested, Knitted shade fabric with strong, durable lockstitching to resist tearing, fraying, stretching, and sagging. Knitted sun screen materials do not fall apart when cut or torn like cheaper woven, which will unravel like a screen door. By blocking excess solar heat gain, shade panels create very favorable micro-climates alongside structures. This passive solar cooling effect is highly under-rated... outside ambient climate/temperature can be dropped more than fifteen degrees with effective shading and ventilation. The secret is that shade netting allows heated, rising air to pass through its open knit. Even at the highest density, shade fabric does not trap heat underneath like a rainproof tarp, metal roof or plastic pergola patio cover. Cut that heat on your deck with a pergola cover and you will keep over-heated air out of the house - free air conditioning. All of our shade products are high quality, knitted fabrics with very high tensile strength to weight ratios for best appearance and performance. Tightly laced shade panel installations are the key to protection in high winds and preventing abrasion from rubbing patio cover against the structure. Click here for detailed project planning information.
Custom-Sized knit shade panels up to 32 foot wide
Pre-Made shade covers with sewn hem & grommets
installation tips and shade panel project planning guide with trellis design examples
We custom size hand-cut, sew reinforced hems, and install grommets on custom-size pergola cover
sunscreen awnings in a wide variety of knit materials and
specific shade factors for a cooling patio cover or shade
canopy. Our UV and heat resistant, polyethylene shade
materials are available in colored Light Grey 87% knit, Green 87%, and Stucco Tan 65% on the second
quoting and ordering form. Should you need a panel wider
than 12 foot (or in 6, 8 or 10 foot), we offer up to 32 foot wide
Black 30% to 90% knitted shade cloth, plus Green 60% and White 50%
on the first quoting and ordering form below. Cut the heat
on your patio, keep leaves out of your Koi pond, slash your air
conditioning bills, and it also makes an excellent paintball
netting for paintball field fencing. This extremely durable
knitted shade panel material will not fray when cut or torn, like
cheaper woven shade screens and paintball fencing.
All stock widths have a closed, factory hem along the two edges -
only the ends are cut as it comes off the roll. The higher
the shade factor, the denser the knit and the smaller the holes
(87% has ~2mm holes). ALL shade factors will allow water to
pass through unless they are installed on an extremely steep pitch
(45 degree plus slope). Even then, only a small percentage
of the rain will roll off the edge. The open knit is what
makes shade cloth work - it allows heat to pass up through,
not trapping it like a solid tarp or roof. You are
energy-wise to install large shade canopies for a cooler
microclimate along the south side of your home - even on the roof!
Click here for material
and MSDS sheet.
All shade panels are fully warranted against defects in material and
workmanship by manufacturer for one year under the
Terms of Service Agreement. In practice, you
can expect 8-10 years of service with proper installation and
especially with removal of pergola cover in the winter months, when not needed for cooling.
Abrasion from rubbing against structure is what degrades a panel in
the long run, not simple exposure to sunlight, so always install
taut. Grommeted pinch pleats can be added to create a much
stronger panel and prevent abrasion by keeping the center from lofting and sailing
in the wind and rubbing against the structure.
Heat buildup in dark colors is not an issue with knit materials. Weighing less than 1/2 ounce per square foot, there is not enough thermal mass to create a radiant heat problem. Unlike a solid tarp, knit shade panels allow air to pass back up through the holes, carrying away any built-up energy and keeping the material relatively cool to the touch, not trapping heat underneath like a tent or solid tarp pergola cover. We do our best to represent the knit density properly, but actual size of openings, style, color and appearance of knit is subject to change without notice. Materials greater than 60% knit density stretch VERY little, so there is no need to plan for that, but it is best practice to order at least 4 to 8 inches smaller than the inside edge of framework to allow room for lacing perimeter grommets taut with rope from every grommet and then around a screw, nail, or eyelet screw in the structure. We do not recommend 'static fastening' directly through the grommets or hem with hooks, screws, or nails, as that tends to stress the material and grommet. Best practice is to order a few inches smaller and lace to structure with rope. Rope has 'give'. Instead of finding the one static fastener that is tautest, rope allows the panel to flex a bit, instead of being stressed. Knit material is pre-treated to stop shrinking from happening in the hot sun, but you should always store a knitted panel in a cool, dry shaded place until ready to install. In practice shrinkage is limited to 1%-3% and offset by a certain amount of stretch inherent in a knitted material, for a net-zero change normally, especially when installed under tension properly. All woven or knitted shade fabrics will allow water to pass through, but as you progress up to 90% density, some rain will run off the edge when installed on a steep slope. The material will slow the rain down, but it will eventually pass through... this is key with a patio cover versus solid tarp choice: these knit panels will let the heated air pass back up through. Shade panels may not stop the rain, but they do a much better job of keeping an area cooler and fresher underneath.
Typical knit density percentages (sun blockage - shade factor) used in residential & commercial
* Pergola & patio covers are usually at least 65% with 80% Black knit being the most common choice
* Swimming pool leaf covers use 70% or 80% to trap smaller leaf debris and cool water temperature
* Koi ponds tend to be as low as 30% or 40% allowing small debris to pass but warming water more
* Privacy screens with single layer 87% or 90% knit density are private from a distance and at angle
* Wind screen panels tend to be 65% up to 90% depending on need for privacy and wind blockage
* Spider diaper curtains in 80% or 90% hang under boat dock roof to protect against spider poop
* Greenhouse & solariums like the 50% White knit for moderate sunblockage with ambient light
* Bug screens with 65% Tan and 70% Black are fine for larger insects and 80%+ for small bugs
* Bird nettings use a 30% Black knit to provide heavy-duty protection for berries and fruit trees
* Paintball nettings are usually 50 percent and above to stop paintballs from passing through
* Water treatment plants use 80% or 90% knit for algae control & chlorine contact channels
installation tips and shade panel project planning guide with trellis design examples
The size shade panel you request, is the FINISH size. We cut down from larger stock width panel, per your finish dimension ordered. The ONLY time to anticipate a variance is when you order a single layer panel with sewn reinforced hem in stock width of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 or 32 foot. Then the Finish Width, after hem is folded and reinforcing tape webbing is sewn will likely be 2-3 inches less. For instance: order a hemmed 12 foot width panel and the finish width is likely to be 11 foot 9-10 inch. ALL other times, the finish dimension (width and length) you request is the size we attempt to produce. So, if you want a panel 11 foot 9 inch wide, order your panel 11 foot 9 inch wide. Don't assume that if you order a stock width panel you will get something different, but when we start with stock 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 or 32 foot width of material, finish 'Width' usually does lose 2-3 inches in the fold of perimeter hem. The 'Length' specified on the form is always the finish size we do our best to produce with no variances to ever be expected on the 'Length' (with or without grommeted pinch pleats). Please note that panels are priced with respect to stated four inch free replacement tolerances. We always do our very best to produce to tight specifications, but knit materials are inherently difficult to work with, so there is always the small chance for dimensional variance of a couple of inches. Denser knits have very little stretch under normal tension, and the sewn perimeter hem will not stretch at all, but it certainly pays to provide some room in the design to lace panels properly. Best practice to specify panels at least 4 to 8 inches smaller than the framework interior dimension. This allows for trampoline-style lacing with rope and 'wiggle-room' for possible variance.
Please note the White 50% is shown at right on a green background for highlight and contrast. This makes the white swatch appear dark, but it is a very white white. The White 50%, Green 60%, and Black 70% knits appear to have nearly the same thread-density appearance, with the more translucent white threads effectively blocking less light for a lower percentage shade factor rating. White 50% knit is used for greenhouses and sunrooms where you want to refract more ambient light underneath and make the area 'brighter'. Darker colors and denser percentage knits absorb more light, providing more shade and cooling effect. Green 60% knit is a popular choice for ponds, shade gardens, and patio covers that balance plant growth with spring and fall warmth. Even at 90% shade factor, there is enough light coming in from the sides to keep patios from seeming too 'dark'. Black 30% to 90% knits are the most economical and functional shade fabrics with black readily absorbing light and heat. Black 80% knit is by far the most common choice for patio shading and pergola covers. You can increase shading and strength by double-layering materials. A double layer panel in White 50% or Green 60% knit will have an effective shade factor of at least 75%.
up to 32 foot wide
- Automatic Quoting and Ordering Form
Once paid, custom panel orders enter production the next business day and may not be cancelled or changed
click here for shade panel project planning, design examples and installation tips
Plus, these three colors are available in 12 foot wide roll stock
on the following quoting form:
up to 12 foot wide
- Automatic Quoting and Ordering Form
Once paid, custom panel orders enter production the next business day and may not be cancelled or changed
Custom cut-to-size rectangular knit shade sail panel options include...
Black hem tape webbing (only color) for a sewn, reinforced perimeter.
Grommeted Pinch Pleats GPP are $1.25 per foot and commonly added on larger panels.
Best practice is to add one GPP to support across middle/center, especially when
larger than 12 foot. GPP add a great deal of strength and stability to any panel.
Engineers commonly specify one GPP every 8 to 10 foot for maximum stability, but at least one in the middle/center is most highly recommended. Generally, we do not install GPP closer than six foot on center unless it is a single GPP in the middle of a smaller panel. Any panel over 12 foot, in either dimension, is recommended to have one GPP in the center on larger panels, that allows the center loom splice to be covered with a GPP. A pinch pleat is made in middle of panel by folding 2-3/4 inch wide black solid webbing over 'pinched tab' of 2-3 inches folded material and then sewn for about 1-1/4 inch top to bottom pinch pleat. Finish Length dimensions are never affected by folding of the pinch pleat since extra material is cut. Finish Width will only 'lose' 2 to 3 inches per pinch pleat when a stock roll width is ordered see tolerances. Brass #4 grommets are installed one every foot, just like the perimeter hem/edge. Grommets have a one inch outside diameter (just like a quarter coin) and a 1/2 inch hole (inside diameter). This additional lashing (tying to structure) point eliminates lofting (rising in the wind) and sagging in the middle (pillowing) on larger shade panels. Movement and abrasion against the structure are what eventually causes material failure, not simple exposure to the sun, so keeping a panel taut is the key to longevity. Note that it is not possible to overlap GPP in middle of panel (crossing one over the top of another) and GPP are not available with double layer panels. We always do our very best to produce to tight specifications, but exact spacing of GPP is not warranted and special placement is not possible to specify. We do not offer free replacement when finish panel is within stated four inch production tolerance customary with knit materials. When designing panel, it is best practice to specify 4 to 8 inches, up to one foot smaller than the trellis interior dimension. This allows for trampoline-style lacing with rope and 'wiggle-room' for possible variance. Denser knits have very little stretch under normal tension, and the sewn perimeter hem will not stretch at all, but it certainly pays to provide at least a few inches of space in the design to lace panels properly.
Grommeted pinch pleats GPP are folded, reinforced hems with brass grommets every foot, just like the perimeter, sewn across the middle/center of a panel. You can choose 'width or length' on the automated quoting and ordering forms above. Even when not supported with cable or roped to structure, GPP provide a great deal of additional engineering strength and stability to any size panel. We most highly recommend adding a GPP to any panel.
The size shade panel you request, is the FINISH size. We cut down from larger stock width panel, as per your finish dimension ordered. The ONLY time to anticipate a variance is when you order a pergola cover with sewn reinforced hem in stock width of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 or 32 foot. Then the Finish Width, after hem is folded and reinforcing tape webbing is sewn will likely be 2-3 inches less. The example at left illustrates a hemmed 12 foot wide patio cover with 'finish width' likely 11 foot 9-10 inch. When we start with stock roll size widths of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 or 32 foot, finish 'Width' usually does lose 2-3 inches in the folding of perimeter hem. The 'Length' specified on the form is always the finish size we do our best to produce with no variances to ever be expected on the 'Length'. We pull additional material to ensure finish 'Length' is what you order. Grommeted pinch pleats will only affect finish 'Width' when GPP are run length-wise on a stock size panel. Then each GPP consumes 2-3 inches of the finish width for a dimension likely +/- 11 foot 7 inch wide with one length-wise 20 foot long GPP on a 12 foot wide panel, as pictured on the right.
Grommeted Pinch Pleats can be laced to structure or hung on cable to support larger panels.
Even without any lacing or cable support, GPP greatly increase panel stability and strength, as seen below at a wastewater treatment plant.
Open End Pockets are available to insert rod, pipe, board or cable through side
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 720-293-1705 with your 8.5" by 11" boldly labeled drawing in feet and inches, not inches only, for an open end pocket panel quote. Fractional inches are not possible to specify. Lettering, lines, and numbers VERY bold in large font, specifying knit material choice, overall size outside-edge to outside-edge, and pocket 'flat dimension' measurement. One side or two opposite ends of shade panel can be folded over and sewn for an open end pocket. Pockets are not placed in the center of a panel. Only grommeted pinch pleats (see GPP details above) can be placed across the middle of a panel and note that GPP cannot run into a pocket. Pockets must orient/run the same direction as any GPP. Open hem rod-sleeves can be used to insert, run-through a rod, pipe, board or cable. Cost is the same as rectangle quoted above plus $2 per lineal, running foot for the pockets. Material is folded over and stitched with black hem tape webbing, much like a pinch pleat. In general, grommeted pinch pleats are a better engineering choice than a pocket and less expensive. Your rope lacing is visible with a GPP, but it creates less abrasion on material surface and GPP spread the stress more evenly than a pocket. Double layer, open end pocket panels are not possible to produce and fractions are not possible to specify. We always do our very best to produce pergola covers to tight specifications, but we do not offer free replacement when finish panel is within stated production tolerance.
Flat dimension measurement of the pocket, not diameter is used in production. That is the inside net width of the pocket. When converting from diameter of pipe or rod being used to flat dimension, it is best to allow at least one inch of extra room. For instance: a 1 inch outside-diameter rod has a circumference of 3.14 inch, so you need at least a 2 inch flat dimension pocket. A piece of 2 inch Sch40 pipe has an outside diameter of 2.5 inches for a circumference of 7.85 inches, so order a 5 inch pocket since 4 inch leaves no room for error. Sliding a 2by4 board through requires a 6 inch flat dimension pocket (1.5 & 1.5 & 3.5 & 3.5 is 10+ inches).
Rectangles are purchased with the automatic quoting and ordering forms above
odd shape custom panels are available - please submit email sketch for a quote
Please note that during peak season, up through Labor Day, not all odd shape projects can be quoted due to time constraints. Shape must conform to one of the example drawings shown below and a production sketch must be submitted via email, as per the following instructions. Grommeted pinch pleats, open end pockets, double-layer panels, and special grommet placement are NOT possible to specify. The #4 brass grommets are standard every foot on center all sides with double corners to best support lacing with rope or threading cable, as per installation section below. Triangles must specify all three sides plus base to apex, interior altitude, unless it is a right triangle and then we can confirm hypotenuse measurement. Please email email@example.com or fax 720-293-1705 an 8-1/2" by 11" boldly labeled drawing with all measurements in feet and inches, not inches only (i.e.: 8' 4" not 100 inches). Please be sure VERY bold lines and numbers and specify your choice in knitted material. Round off all measurements to the nearest inch and note that we do not warrant accuracy on odd shapes. We always do our very best to produce to tight specifications, but knitted materials are inherently difficult to work with and we do not offer any free replacement guarantee for any errors made on any odd shape panels. When designing panel, it is best practice to specify at least 4 to 8 inches than the framework interior dimension. This allows for trampoline-style lacing with rope and 'wiggle-room' for possible variance. Denser knits have very little stretch under normal tension, and the sewn perimeter hem will not stretch at all, but it certainly pays to provide space in the design to lace odd shape panels properly.
plastic locking clip shade netting fasteners for cable, wire fencing, lashing, nailing...
$16 per bag of 36
We do not sell grommet kits or nailing plates, since these locking clip fasteners are so much more effective and long lasting on plain cloth panels. Our commercial grade locking clips are heavy duty fasteners with longer barbs than 'residential grade' locking clips commonly found in stores. These professional-duty commercial grade UV stabilized plastic locking clips are 1-1/2" wide by 1" tall and will easily penetrate two layers of thick material for a nice strong folded hem. Please note that locking clips are not normally used with taped, reinforced sewn hems - clips are typically used with folded-over plain cloth only. Specifically designed for tying guy wires off or wrapping the fabric onto chain link fence, cable, or rope (up to 5/16 inch diameter), the large surface area ensures your material will not be damaged when pulled taut. They have TWO front holes for maximum versatility: a small 3/16" hole at top for hook (as pictured) or screw and a larger 5/16" hole in middle for lag bolt (as pictured). The pass-through opening across top/center will hold up to 5/16" diameter cable or rope (as pictured with red bungee). Shown above left is front and back of a netting locking clip and above right is a clip being installed, showing several options (we do not supply the S hooks and lag bolts). Fold clip over edge of fabric and snap/lock into place (barbs lock into other side of fastener). You can even put one on each side of fabric (instead of folding over the edge) for a center-mounted fastening point in the middle of a panel. These clips are very effective on chain link fences to stop movement in the wind.
Saddle Tan color, six foot wide knit shade material is shown here in various lights. At left, hanging from locking clips screwed directly to the ugly back-side of a wood fence. Above, laced with rope from locking clips to 1-3/8 inch galvanized pipe shade trellis frame. And below, clips attached directly to the wire mesh fencing on a gate. Locking clips are custom made for securely attaching material directly to chain link and wire mesh fencing for dust, visual, wind screen, or sun screen.
Heavy-duty black hem tape webbing for sewing reinforced batten edges
Hem 'tape' webbing contains no adhesive. There are not any adhesive-based tapes available that will stand up to sunlight exposure for any length of time. This 2-3/4 inch wide, solid batten tape webbing is material is folded over the edge of folded netting and then stitched into place for a sewn, reinforced hem, repair, or center pinch pleat. Webbing makes it possible to punch grommets and have them hold along the edge of a patio cover shade panel. Best practice is to sew panels with the heaviest gauge UV stabilized 'marine-grade outdoor upholstery thread' possible for the machine you are using. For a home sewing machine, this generally translates to about #90 UV thread and a size #16 Ball Point needle. Our hem batten tape is tested and conforms to UL standard 723. We do not sell webbing in less than full roll quantity and cannot supply any thread.
shade panel installation guidelines, design and ordering tips...
panels are normally ordered a good 4 to 8 inches smaller than framework and laced with rope
Wind can whip a loose patio cover, shade canopy, or lanai cover, causing damage. That's why we install grommets on one foot centers with double grommeted corners standard at no extra charge so you can properly lace with rope. NEVER ever attempt to pull a panel from the corners only, especially not with a fixed fastener like a screw through the grommet hole. Best practice is to lace all four sides to the structure (use rope from every grommet) to spread stress out evenly. To anchor a panel with fixed fastener, quick link instead of rope, presents an undue amount of stress and no 'give'. The more evenly stretched and supported, the stronger the panel and structure it is attached to. Shade panels are typically laced to a frame: tie rope or stainless steel cable to corner post and run it through grommet, around the trellis or pipe frame, back through the next grommet, and back around the structure... all the way to the corner, where you pull it tight and secure. It is not suggested to order panels without any grommets and staple or nail directly through the reinforced hem into a wooden structure. If nothing else, there is always the chance of a panel being an inch or two off in sizing due to the inherent difficulty working with knit materials when they contract after being cut down to size. And then hitting the edge of a piece of 1-1/2 inch wide dimensional lumber becomes a problem. Much better design is to order panel smaller than the structure by at least 4 to 8 inches and then lace it in place with rope, trampoline-style.
best practice is to hang panels underneath, not stretched atop the pergola or trellis
Abrasion, from rubbing against the structure, is what degrades a panel over time, not simple exposure to the sun. Hanging a panel, by lacing it underneath, rather than stretching atop, helps avoid friction and rubbing damage. When not lacing around the structure itself, a pipe, board or fasteners (horseshoe nails or eyelet screws) can be installed on structure and then the panel laced to it. Instead of horseshoe nails or eyelet screws, it is common to simply install deck screws at an angle into top of wood pergola (leave about an inch exposed) and then lace panel from grommets to exposed, angled screw shanks. And keep in mind that the anchor points on pergola cover do not have to line up exactly with the grommets... nice, but not necessary. Grommeted pinch pleats should be added to create a much stronger panel by keeping the center from lofting and sailing in the wind and rubbing against the pergola. In practice, you can expect 8-10 years of service with proper installation and removal in the winter months, when not needed for cooling. Abrasion (rubbing against structure) is what degrades a panel in the long run, not simple exposure to sunlight, so always install taut. Rinsing off your panel occasionally to remove accumulated grit is another life-extending tip. We do not sell the pipe, rope, cable, turnbuckles, horseshoe nails or eyelet screws, as these items are commonly available at any building supply center. The installation below is a classic example of lacing a shade canopy onto a metal pipe framework.
a host of GOOD, BETTER, BEST installation choices... just like any project
There are more ways to install a shade panel than there are installers, so installation tips are always presented with Good, Better, Best choices. For instance, the Best ropes are marine grade, used for sail rigging, but any rope is Good enough. Better ropes will advertise product as UV Stabilized for outdoor use. Lacing from grommet to structure (or cable) with cordage is a Best case scenario , with large 3/8 inch diameter braided rope displacing "loft and sail wind-load" most effectively onto grommets. Do not use a stiff nylon rope, but rather a soft pliable braided poly rope. Good enough is to simply run your cable through grommet holes on each side. Corners-only attachment directly to the shade sail or panel is just not a good idea. Why stress the fabric by pulling on only four points? With grommets every foot on center around the perimeter, the cable or structure receives all the stress, abrasion, and tension from the rope, while keeping the patio cover taut without abrasion. Click here for material engineering specifications and click here for MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet.
LACING PANEL TO PIPE FRAME is standard BEST practice for shade fabric installations.
One grommet every foot around the perimeter and laced taut with 3/8 inch braided rope.
Trampoline-effect with rope provides 'give' in structure to best prevent wind damage.
We don't sell SHADE STRUCTURES. We make custom size hem and grommet pergola covers.
Common design is the pipe and fasteners used for galvanized steel fence posts and top rails.
Projects rarely require welding and end up being cheaper and more stable than a wobbly kit.
Larger shade panels are typically installed over trellis frames, utilizing multiple 'bays' to lend even more support to the shade netting when spanning greater widths and lengths. The standard specification is for a series of ten, twelve, or twenty foot wide panels versus a single large one. Weight of the material is not an engineering issue (less than 1/2 ounce per square foot), but sail effect can be great in a heavy wind. The material will handle the wind fine... the structure needs to be solid and secure, though. The additional lacing offered by a series of smaller width panels and grommeted pinch pleats) creates a much stronger structure and keeps the panels from lofting and sailing in the wind. Depending upon bay/stall size (span of pipe), 2" to 4" diameter heavy-gauge galvanized pipe/posts are commonly specified by engineers and the inside of pipe often filled with concrete and maybe even a stick of rebar. Any local plumbing supply store will have all the fittings and pipe you need and may even be able to cut threads on the straight pipe sections for you. Avoid using plastic PVC pipe as it gets brittle very quickly in the sun. And be very certain to GROUND your metal structure and cables on copper spikes driven into the ground to deflect lightning strikes.
When covering areas as large as this 80 foot by 100 foot arena, engineers commonly specify posts every 20 foot. While it is possible to design with less posts around the perimeter and none in the interior, it requires much larger posts and cables running between all the posts in a grid-pattern, much the same as shown here. Once the structure is in place, lace the panels taut as possible to cable or pipe with rope. Use a decent quality, UV resistant, sleeved or braided 3/8 inch polypropylene rope. Avoid bungee cords, bungee balls, cotton, and stiff untreated nylon as they tend to degrade in the sun and weather much faster. As a general rule of thumb, any supple cordage, versus stiff rope, will have much better longevity and be gentler on the shade panel. It is this 'give' in braided rope that helps the material and grommets absorb stress of wind and movement. We do not sell 3/8 braided ropes, but any will do fine.
WOOD FRAMES commonly install panels HANGING BELOW rather than lacing atop as shown here.
Installed below the trellis, panels avoid wind stress and damage from rubbing and abrasion.
Recommend rope lacing from grommets to nail or screw in trellis for trampoline-effect 'give'.
Year-round installations over wooden trellis, lanai and pergolas are commonly 'raw material' plain cloth stretched atop and held in place with 1by2 wood strips (batten boards) around the edges, sandwiching the plain cloth between the trellis and outer trim wood (the batten board). This technique is not suggested for panels more than 12 foot wide unless a grommeted pinch pleat is installed since they would have a loom splice. A unique spin on this idea is to literally roll the 1by2 up into the material, then nail it in place. This technique makes it very easy to apply lots of tension on the 1by2 rolled up into shade cloth... and to easily let-out a little material by unrolling a bit. Just fold cut edge of material for a mock hem and staple or nail in place. Be sure to use galvanized or stainless steel fasteners to avoid rusting and abrading the material.
ANGLE IRON bracing is often used for gambrel truss shape bolt-together shade structures.
Green 60% knit shown here allows light through for work area safety while cutting the heat.
Home pergola covers are usually Black 80% or 90% for additional shading and cooling potential.
We don't sell ROLL-UP SHADE SCREEN mechanisms, but here's Tried and True DIY project plans.
Six foot is the optimal stock width, with larger rolling shades taking two people, one at each end, to pull separate ropes.
When not using a stock width, the cut exposed edges will need to be sewn on a home sewing machine to avoid curling.
Drapes are an easier approach with cable through grommets top & bottom and pulled to one side like a shower curtain.
Wind screen, dust blocking, snow or privacy fencing... shade fabric is perfect for vertical applications.
Best practice is run a braided steel cable top and bottom, then secure fabric to cable with locking clips.
Shown with minimal batten-board 'sandwiching' of fabric along fence before we set top cable and clips.
At right is our six foot wide Saddle Tan 70% knit draped along the ugly back-side of an old cedar privacy fence. With small holes in weave, up close you can see through any density/color of shade cloth. But as you move farther away (20 plus feet) and at an angle, it becomes much more difficult to distinguish objects on the other side. Do not expect total privacy from a single layer of any knitted fabric and even with two layers, a person standing with their face pressed against the fabric can see through. All colors resist fading very well and will last over ten years in vertical applications, especially when you take the time to design such that abrasion is avoided with panel not rubbing against fence and well supported with plastic locking clips.
INDOOR APPLICATION with Black 70% knit drape hung vertically for privacy & heat moderation.
From outside, privacy can be nearly complete when viewed from an angle and/or at a distance.
Avoid backlighting to ensure privacy. Place lights up front near the windows, not behind you.
PRIVACY and REDUCED GLARE with the same indoor vertical application is viewed from outside
PRIVACY and preserving the view while blocking sunlight and dissipating heat
Up close, you can see through any density/color of shade cloth, but as you move farther away (20 plus feet) and at an angle, it becomes much more difficult to see objects on the other side clearly. The image above is looking out through our 70% black knit (above the stunt dog). Mind you, the intense backlighting with sunny day, super white snow foreground exaggerates the clarity, but this 70% black knit is a good compromise between preserving view from inside and creating a sense of privacy from outside. Looking in from across the yard about 20 feet away, the view is very nearly opaque, as shown in image above. Refraction off glass is a good part of the effect, but the key is lack of back lighting. At night with a light behind you (back lit), the shade material would naturally provide much less privacy. Direct natural light can overpower, washing interior rooms with glare on a sunny winter day. Knitted shade material drapes, sheer or curtain are an easy way to control the indoor environment passively. The shade netting catches a large percentage of direct solar gain, dissipating the heat, and stratifying the energy to best radiant benefit (always hottest around material).
SOLID TARPS and a MYTH about shade factor - knit density - sun blockage
Shade factor is a measurement rating of knit density with the percentage noted being the amount of sun blockage. A 50% shade factor White blocks 50% of direct sunlight - a 60% Green blocks 60% sunlight - a 70% Black density blocks 70%. There is a myth circulating that a lower percentage white shade material would have the same cooling effect as a higher density green or black. This is absolutely false. Lighter colors reflect more ambient light underneath (make a patio brighter) while darker colors absorb rather than reflect light/heat, but the material is too light weight (low thermal mass) to RETAIN excess heat/energy. At less than 1/2 ounce per square foot, there is not enough thermal mass to store a large amount of radiant heat/energy. Heat is quickly dissipated by cooler air moving up through the open netting (even 90% density has ~1.5mm holes). A solid roof or waterproof canvas tarp would function differently, trapping heated air underneath. With an open netting, lighter colors of less density are not functionally cooler than a darker color with a higher shade factor rating. When dropping heat on your pergola or deck is key, our 80% and 90% black knits are the most commonly specified patio shade.
BLACK COLOR knits versus WHITE or GREEN in terms of dropping temperature
Hot climate residential and commercial patios almost always install 80% or 90% black knit to drop the temperature (and sunlight) underneath as much as possible. You still get lots of natural light in from the sides, so it is not too dark. The only reason to install 70% or lower knit density is to ensure ample heat gain in the spring and fall months, where blocking 80% might make the patio a little too cool. It is common to have two shade panels in a hot climate: one high-density for peak summer months and one lower-density for when it cools in the fall. Functionally, black is the preferred color for a patio (see message box above). Patios are a place of relaxation and the black color absorbs more ambient light (not reflecting it), dilating your pupils, and generally creating a much calmer atmosphere. Heated air readily passes through any knit density, so the question of black absorbing more heat and radiating it back onto you is largely irrelevant to your personal comfort level underneath. Excess ambient light bouncing off a white panel adds heat gain and makes it much more of an active area, rather than a relaxation spot. The Black 70%, White 50% and Green 60% shade materials are very nearly the same knit pattern. The darker black absorbs more light, allowing only 30 percent to pass through. Green 60% knit is a compromise between blocking heat gain while still allowing 40% sunlight to pass through for plant growth and is very popular with greenhouse growers. White 50% knit is an excellent agricultural product too, reflecting maximum ambient light underneath, while allowing only 50% of direct sunlight to pass through from above. Any of the materials can be ordered as a double layer panel, where fabric is folded over for a heavy-duty two-layer panel with much more sun blockage than a single layer.
Stainless steel cable considerations, MSDS sheet, engineering specs, and TOSA
The better cables are rated for their relative strength, with the best cable advertised as Aircraft Quality braided stainless steel. Depending upon quality, it is conventional to use 3/16 inch diameter braided cable up to 1/4 inch diameter for larger projects. Consult an engineer on large project. Do not use vinyl coated galvanized steel cables, as the vinyl coating turns yellow and cracks, needing replaced long before the cable fails. A nice tip on larger commercial projects with lots of tension on cables is to weld your anchor eyelets to close the opening permanently so it cannot bend open. The stress placed on anchor points in a long cable installation can easily bend poorly-made eyelet bolts open. We do not sell rope, cable, turnbuckles, or eyelet screws since they are commonly available at your local building supply center and on larger projects, can use the assistance of an engineer. We do not supply any engineering services and cannot offer any local referrals for structural design assistance. Material weighs less than half an ounce per square foot, so weight is not the issue, but rather loft and sail. Click here for material engineering specifications and MSDS sheet. All shade panels are fully warranted against defects in material and workmanship by manufacturer for one year under the Terms of Service Agreement. In practice, you can expect 8-10 years of service with proper installation and especially with removal of pergola cover in the winter months, when not needed for cooling. Abrasion from rubbing against structure is what degrades a panel in the long run, not simple exposure to sunlight, so always install taut. Grommeted pinch pleats can be added to create a much stronger panel and prevent abrasion by keeping the center from lofting and sailing in the wind and rubbing against the structure.
Warranty, measuring, production tolerances, longevity factors, loom splices
Our built-tough commercial grade knitted shadecloth panels
carry a one year manufacturer's replacement warranty against
material defects and workmanship. You can expect
5 years of service when installed properly and up to ten years or more when used seasonally
in a more temperate climate. Keeping the panel taut/tight
with proper installation is the key to longevity. Wind damage from
rubbing against the structure and whipping in the wind is much more
relevant than sun damage. Wind can whip a loose shade canopy
or paintball netting, causing damage - that's why we install
grommets on one foot centers. Shade panels are typically
laced to the structure on all four sides: tie rope or galvanized cable to one corner
of the structure, run it through a grommet, around the trellis or
pipe frame, back through the next grommet, and back around the
frame... all the way to the corner, where you pull it tight and
tie it off. Never attempt to pull a panel from the four corners only,
as it will stress the panel and void any warranty.
Your local hardware store will stock 3/16 inch
galvanized cable, eyelet bolts, cable clamps and turnbuckles to
tension it. If you use rope, we suggest army surplus
parachute cord, polypropylene or similar UV resistant product.
We do not sell any rope, cable, or turnbuckles since these
supplies are common to any local hardware store.
Terms of Service Agreement, Measurement Tolerances, and Specification Disclaimers detail trade-standards and non-valid reasons for requesting return, refund, remake, or repair of any shade panel. There is no up-down, right-left, top-bottom or front-back to a panel. Panel Width and Length are measured from outside-edge to outside-edge of the hem at the corners. Any perceived 'bowing' in center of panel can be pulled out when installed taut, lacing from grommets to the structure. Knit material has some inherent tension in the weave that can be perceived until panel is installed taut. The finish Length will be as per the measurement specified on order (spec). The only time to expect deviation in finish measurement is when Width spec is identical to one of our stock material widths of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 and 32 foot. Finish width will then be two to three inches less than spec to folding of material edge into sewn taped hem (5' 9-10", 7' 9-10", 9' 9-10", 11' 9-10", 19' 9-10", etc). ALL other times, the size panel you request is the size panel we ship. So, if you want a panel 5 foot 9 inch wide, order your panel 5 foot 9 inch wide. Don't assume that if you order 6 foot wide you will get something different, but when we start with 6 feet of material, it usually does lose 2-3 inches in the fold of perimeter hem. We have always done our best and have always had very satisfied clients over the years, but due to the very nature of working with knitted shade nettings, exact measurements are not guaranteed (warranted). Should the error be four inches or more (as measured across the taped hem), we will have the unit picked up for inspection. At no charge to you, we will either refund in full, once inspected, or remake the panel at our option. Just email and we will have it picked up by UPS within a day or two. This four inch tolerance is the trade standard for refund/remake and the only guarantee provided. This guarantee does not apply to shapes other than rectangles and panels over 32 foot long or wide. Hem tape webbing color is black only (no other option) and grommets are number four (1/2 inch) brass only (no options). We start at one corner and then proceed punching them in around/along all four sides in-turn. Grommets on one side of panel are unlikely to line up with grommets on the opposite side. Exact one foot on-center grommet spacing and/or placement is not warranted. Any size shade panel may have a factory knitted seam splice without notice in advance. While quite unlikely in a panel twelve foot or less in width, all panels over twelve foot wide will most likely have knitted factory seam splice from manufacture on dual looms. Any panel over 12 foot, in either dimension, is recommended to have one GPP in the center on larger panels, that allows the center loom splice to be covered with a GPP. A pinch pleat/fold is made in middle of panel, covered with reinforced solid webbing "taped" and then sewn/hemmed. Finish GPP is a tab/pleat about 1-1/4 inch top to bottom and GPP does not alter overall panel finish Length ordered above. Brass grommets are installed one every foot, just like the perimeter hem/edge. It is important to note that this is not a weak sewn seam where two separate panels are sewn together. We do not sew panels together to get larger sizes, but the dual loom production process does present a visible knitted splice. This knitted splice on larger panels is not a weakness, only aesthetic, and is not valid grounds for requesting a refund or remake. The white color knitted shade material can sometimes arrive with patches of orange discoloration spotting as a result of the manufacturing process. This discoloration will dissipate after installation in the sunlight - no need to worry. Shade material may always be slightly wrinkled from roll or shipping and knit appearance can vary from sample swatches presented and may also vary between various stock widths. Minor flaws in knit appearance, stitching, and snags are not a structural panel failure problem, only aesthetic. Shade material is lockstitch knitted to prevent unraveling, so the material around any flaw takes up the stress. Longevity is the same regardless of aesthetic appearance flaws in the knit panel. You can use needle and thread to pull small flaws together and Super-Glue, if you wish to improve the aesthetic, but we do not consider it a defect unless it affects panel performance. Special fire resistant certified shade materials are not available. Shade material, shade sails, and custom shade panels are non-returnable for refund since they cannot be resold as new merchandise. Fabric is knitted polyolefin, usually high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE), specially treated for durability and UV resistance. Click here for knit shade material engineering specifications and product MSDS sheet.
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