All Articles, Difference Between Openness Factor and Opacity

What is the Difference Between Openness Factor and Opacity?

Difference Between Openness Factor and Opacity

Difference Between Openness Factor and Opacity of a Window Shade


In the modern world, you want some window coverings to block out the early morning sunlight. There are various types of window coverings, with various types of fabrics that have their own properties. When we look at solar shades, we are concerned with how much light comes through and how much we can see through the shade, which is dependent on the Solar Shade Openness Factor and Solar Shade Opacity. Even other types of shades have different amounts of openness and opacity that define their functionality and how they interact with light. So what are these properties and what do they mean for our shades?

Room Darkening Window Dressings

Know the Differences – Openness Factor vs. Opacity

Openness Factor 

Solar shades are designed to maximize sunshine and your access to a vast view while preserving your privacy during the day and reducing glare. How much light you let in and how much you see out all depends on the openness you choose for your shade.

Solar shades are made of woven polyester, fibreglass, or synthetic materials with different openness levels. The openness factor of shade is related to the tightness of its weave and the percentage of light it lets in. The higher the openness factor, the more you preserve the view, but the more light and UV gets in.

The visibility depends on the openness, varying from 1% to 14%. If your openness percentage is less, then it will be harder to see through the shade. The higher the number, the better the view and more light will pass through. 1% solar fabrics block 99 percent of the UV rays, and 14% solar fabrics block 86% of the UV rays.


In blinds, all the materials are opaque and don’t let light through, so there is no varying level of opacity. But when it comes to shades, the term gets confusing. There are different levels of opacity that determine how much light passes through the fabric of the shade itself, affecting the shade’s light control and functionality.

Opacity qualities run from very open and sheer, to semi-sheer, to light filtering, to room darkening, to blackout (opaque). Each type lets in a certain amount of light through the fabric, whether it’s a lot or absolutely none.

Light Filtering Window Coverings


Get the details of Modern Window Treatments as per their opacity level

Sheer Window Treatments

These blinds will filter light, but they don’t darken your room. They work better for living rooms than bedrooms, for example, where you might want natural light to fill your room while reducing glare and providing a small level of privacy.

Semi Sheer 

Semi-sheer window coverings diffuse light more so than fully sheer treatments and provide a little bit more privacy. Generally, sheer fabrics will provide privacy during the daytime, when the interiors are darker than the outside, but not at night time. The fabric is still see-through and lets in light.

Light Filtering Window Coverings

Light Filtering fabrics allow light to enter the room, but are not see-through like sheer fabrics and so they provide privacy. You wouldn’t be able to see through a light filtering fabric, although you could see shadows and shapes next to the fabric. These fabrics are excellent for rooms that require privacy but still want as much light to come through as possible. Roller Light Filtering Shades work best for your room if you want to control the natural light.

Room Darkening Window Dressings

Room darkening shades are designed to obscure the view of the interiors from the outside and, from the inside, allowing the view of silhouettes at most. These shades or blinds are designed for excellent light control and privacy. Room darkening fabrics have higher opacities that darken the room but doesn’t block out sunlight entirely. They will block more light than a light filtering fabric.

Blackout Window Treatments

Blackout shades are designed with the maximum opacity to block out the light completely. Different options are also available for shades and blinds to help minimize light gaps, seams, and/or route holes for maximum light blockage. These fabrics block the light completely and work well in bedrooms and media rooms.

Blackout Window Treatments

Not sure which one to choose? 

With so many styles and options, our design experts can guide you to your best and most beautiful window coverings.

Call now for any queries on window treatments and we will help you in the best way possible. Visit ZebraBlinds to get attractive offers, free samples to try before you buy, and free shipping on your orders.



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