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What is Opacity?

Sheer fabrics allow the most light to enter a room, but they offer the least amount of privacy. On the other end of the spectrum, blackout fabrics block nearly all light from entering a room, and they provide the most privacy. Which is the right choice for you?

Sheer fabrics allow the most light into your room while softly focusing the view, but while they reduce some glare, they’re not designed for privacy. Semi-sheer fabrics let in slightly less light than sheer fabrics. The view-through is not quite as much as with a sheer, and they still don’t give you much privacy. Semi-opaque fabrics bring in just enough sun to light up a space, but they will block your view and prevent others from seeing inside (although you may still see shadows of objects). Opaque (also called room-darkening) fabrics will block almost all light from entering a room and provide optimal privacy. Keep in mind, however, it will be harder to brighten up your space with natural light unless they are partially or fully open. As the name implies, blackout shades create the highest level of darkness by blocking almost all incoming light, plus, they provide complete privacy for any room in your home.

When deciding which window shade fabric to choose, consider your room’s privacy and light control requirements. Sheer and semi-sheer fabrics that don’t offer much privacy are great options for rooms or activities you’re not too concerned about people seeing. Semi-opaque, opaque and blackout fabrics, on the other hand, are ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms and media rooms where you want more privacy and the ability to block out almost all incoming light.

For a window covering consultation, call Joan Miller: 404 918-5288 or go to