Coco del Mar teaches us about Rollers

Posted in Persianas, Uncategorized, persiana, roller shade, screen, sun control on February 18th, 2009

This blinds install in Coco del Mar, a beautiful coastal neighborhood in Panama City highlights one particular effect of screen material, and as such the roller shade product:

Without Rollers: notice the shadows and sunlight reflected on the floor in Panama.

Without Rollers @ 10:30 AM: notice the shadows and sunlight reflected on the floor

After installing the roller shades, look to see if you notice the reduction in direct sunlight into the room. Note the same floor area that was shown before, see if you notice what is missing.

With Roller Shades @ Noon: Note the lack of any shadows, bright sun reflection on the floor, yet how much visibility there is to the outside in Panama.

With Roller Shades @ 12 PM: Note the lack of any shadows, bright sun reflection on the floor, yet how much visibility there is to the outside

The fabric used in this install was the Standard Collection Dark Bronze, which is a mid-high efficiency sun control fabric with excellent visibility. In fact, many people who look at the second photo might not even realize they have shades.

But most important of all is something that many people who look at sun control screen fabric falsely assume- that screening fabric is not adequate enough in reducing light and heat. It does, and it does it amazingly well, while maintaing a large part of the visibility to the exterior.

I liked this picture!

I liked this picture!

Panel Tracks in El Dorado

Posted in Blinds, roller shade, sun control on February 5th, 2009

Panel Track

Panel Track

We installed another satisfied customer today and I marveled at how ideal the application turned out to be. The sliding panel, or panel track, create an elegant stack when opened. This application was ideal for the client’s sliding glass doors¬† as the panels slide and stack to the left,¬† as do the doors themselves.

Two details to note:

1. The view is completely intact, as you can see the Panama City skyline in the horizon.

2. The room is darkened and glare is removed enough for viewing of television, as exemplified in this cozy living room in El Dorado. If you were to be in this room and you wanted a tad more light, say to read, you’d simply budge the blinds open a bit.

I feel this room is the ideal application- you are protected from bright light and glare, but you’re still connected to the city and its environs by having the view. A fabric curtain would simply shut you out from the world. For those curious- the fabric chosen for this Panel and Roller application was a 550 White Linen, one of our more efficient weaves.

Blackout - Matte - Off White

Blackout - Matte - Off White

Another very telling application is this blackout. This 110 inch roller is one of our specialties: as we pride ourselves in making large curtains that are easy to handle due to the quality of our mechanisms.

I love this picture because it exemplifies exactly how effectively blackout allows for darkness in the room. Add to that being easy to clean, easy to maintain, and its attractive price and its a no-brainer solution .

The client plans to later put some nice fabric side panels to match the colors & details in the room, which is what is usually recommended with blackout applications in bedrooms.

new squidoo lenses!

Posted in roller shade, screen on December 3rd, 2008

Check out my new squidoo lenses.

In spanish: Persianas Enrollables and in english: Roller Shade Blinds

Squidoo Lenses are a general information source and can offer good information about most topics. I tried to put some basic consumer-specific information there that hasn’t been communicated in this blog. Feel free to hop on over.

size limitations on blinds? there’s no such thing

Posted in Blinds, Persianas, roller shade, screen on November 29th, 2008
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In many places around the world, and perhaps nowhere more than Panama, architecture has moved away from rooms with traditional picture windows to rooms with a large amounts of glass. A move meant to maximize our views and to remove the artificial barriers, to connect us more to our world. What was once a room with two or three 72″ x 60″ picture windows is now glass with expansive windows spanning the entire, or most of, the room width and height.

What does this mean to blind manufacturers? Consumers are going to be asking for larger blinds, not content with having size limitations imposed on them, and with their only option being a multitude of tiny blinds with their unseemly cords hanging across their beautiful view- they will go elsewhere to traditional drapes and curtainry.. or to blind manufacturers who will give them what they need.

Manufacturers must adapt, and some already have, the traditional 78″ fabric roll widths made to accomodate picture windows are slowly being phased out in favor of a new 98″ standard. And more adjustments are being made by the industry with clutch and control mechanism giants like RollEase manufacturing their Skyline and Galaxy systems with patented pull force reduction technologies that make larger blinds easier to handle. Rods and support mechanisms are being made thicker and sturdier to take on the added weight of a large blind, and the weaves themselves are being made with a higher dimensional stability in order to hang straight.

In the case of Persianamania, we’ve also done our part in providing our customer with the option for larger curtains as we have a unique-in-country thermal welding machine which allows us to heat seal two fabrics together to make huge roller shades, roman shades and panel systems. Our maximum recommended roller size for manual operation is 120″x 150″, but if something bigger is needed please contact us for an appointment and we can work with your project on an individual basis.

Next time somebody tells you “there is no such thing as a 100 inch wide curtain”, they aren’t lying, they simply cannot produce it or might not know it is possible. But plus sized shades certainly are, feel free to consult us for your large persiana needs!

Introducing Screen View

Posted in Blinds, Persianas, roller shade, screen, sun control on November 21st, 2008
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Persianamania would like to formally introduce one of our more unique, but less understood products, the Screen View 20% Screen. The 20% refers to the percentage of openness on the fabric- which is a pretty sizeable amount of the surface. As such, my experience tells me that most people assume this to be a pretty energy inefficient fabric. In a standard Reflection/Absorption/Transmission test, all of our screens perform equal or better to some 5% and 10% rollers. What’s the secret? Our screen view product only comes in lighter colors, and lighter colors reflect more solar energy, and absorb less of the same, making the solar heat gain less than a darker color of a tighter fabric even though transmission due to openness is higher.

We can put it like this:

Privacy: Low

A darker colored 5% blind such as the 5% Ebony Bronze would share the same privacy, efficiency and view as a 20% blind, but would differ in a very drastic way: Color.

A 20% blind takes a lighter color’s weakness, high privacy,
Screen View (20%) Linen

Screen View (20%) Linen

thus reduced view, and turns it into a strength by opening up the weave. Thus if you want to maximize your view and simply cannot fit black, bronze, gray into your decor, a Screen View Blind is the choice for you.

It is also the least expensive persiana or blind to boot.

Other Notes:

  • Screen View can be thermal welded, thus be made into larger blinds.
  • Products it can be made into: Roller Shades, Panel Track & Roman Shades
  • At this moment we produce it in Linen, White Gray and White.

Why not buy ready made blinds?

Posted in Blinds, Persianas, roller shade, wood blind on November 17th, 2008
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As many of you who have gone to a hardware store you’ve noticed that they have a section of custom fitted blinds and a section of ready made blinds (usually from Asia) in standard sizes for you to take home right then and there. The price difference, depending on what brand of custom fitted blinds is chosen, can be half as much or more. Taking an example from a random internet store, a roller blackout 36″x60″ sells for $51.99 while a ready made roller blind of the same size would cost you $24-$35.

But whats the difference? Why should you buy made to order blinds? A blind is a blind, right? The truth is, like most things in life you get what you pay for.

Difference 1: Size

This is the most obvious, but not the most important, difference. Yes, you will find a large variety of 36″x60″, 36″x48“, 60″x60″ and in some cases even 92″x92.. all standard sizes for picture windows. The situation that presents itself is that even if you find a blind exactly the size of your window, you may yet face the fact that the sizes don’t account for the 2″ fabric overlap, a key finishing touch, on the left and right sides of your window as well as the bottom to prevent direct light filtration on these edges.

If shopping ready made, remember to take this fabric overlap into account and buy a standard size up (example: buy a 48″ instead of 36″). This will cause a pretty absurd overlap, but it is a preferable alternative to light and energy penetration.

Difference 2: Fabrics / Wood

Most premade roller shades and roller blackouts are made from a thin paper-like material, the closest thing I can compare it to is cheap wallpaper. These come in a range of colors and can be, admittedly, attractive. What are the downsides? Touch this roller paper with dirty hands and you won’t rid yourself of the stain. The durability is lacking as the paper can rip or tear. And the roller screens are more on the side of privacy screens as visibility on the paper is nothing more than seeing silhouettes. And let me let you in on a dirty little secret, some lower-end premades can often be used by factories to get rid of defective, marked end of the line or old product. Buyer beware!

On the wood side of things the differences are less drastic. The wood slats on ready made blinds are slightly thinner and often unvarnished and unfinished wood. Good enough if you seek function, but not optimal for those seeking a decorative wood finish.

Difference 3: Components

The biggest offender when it comes to components is a quality control mechanism, or the lack thereof. One of the largest costs in producing a quality blind is a solid, dependable control. Needless to say this is where a ready made blind fails the most within this category. If the roller shade is anywhere larger than 60″x60″, expect some trouble operating it as most who produce for ready mades usually fabricate with the cheapest, and thus smallest, control possible.

There’s also the situation involving control side as well as the control length. Most ready made providers only stock the pull cord on the right side or the left side, and the control length to a set minimum. For this reason make a note of the window height before purchasing a ready made blind- after all having to get a ladder to close your blind is not a proper window solution. This can severely affect your purchase if you have an obstruction on the side that your ready made is made for. The list goes on: there can be issues of susceptibility to oxidation, flimsy cords, as well as a poorly finished bottom weight- in fact, most bottom finishes on rollers are glued fabric with a thin aluminum bar slipped in the resulting pocket.

Difference 4: Guarantee, Helping the Local Economy

When you buy from a big name made to order blind or shade company the product is usually accompanied by customer service and a product guarantee. And lastly, keep in mind that local blind factories employ local people and purchase a good amount of their raw material in the local market, who in turn employ local people. Who knew quality could come with such a satisfaction?

Not All Ready Made Blinds are Born Bad

As an educational piece, I’ve written the above as a caveat, what to look out for. Some ready made blinds might not be half as bad as described above. A company might’ve made a deal with a high quality fabricator to produce from an overstock or an overproduction and you might see a ready made blind in your local hardware store that has a quality fabric, or quality components, or un a very unlikely scenario- both!

In some cases, such as bamboo products, some pretty decent ready-made product can be found. So if you have a perfect 60″x60″ window which requires the control on the left, which has access to the cord 30″ from the top and you find the perfect blind with some quality fabrics and some sturdy looking components… you may have found yourself a good deal. Otherwise, I heartily recommend sticking with your local blind sales provider.