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Roller Shades: Why is the Fabric so Narrow?

Roller shade light gaps
BY BLINDSTER | August 29, 2014
September 24, 2023

If you order roller window shades, they are going to have some fairly noticeable gaps that allow light through on either side.

But don’t think you got scammed!

This is how roller window shades are supposed to be manufactured.

How Roller Window Shades are Physically Configured

It's pretty simple and straightforward how they work. To hold the shade itself, roller shades have mounting brackets that attach into the ends of the fabric roll/tube.

Because these brackets need room to connect to both the window casing and to the shade, they take up more space. This leaves a noticeable "light gap" between the fabric and headrail on both sides of the shade. Depending on the design of your window glass, you likely won't have any issues with privacy, but this can allow more light into the room than other types of shades.

If you don’t want complete room blackout, roller shades work out just fine. And blackout roller shades (even with the light gap) block the vast majority of incoming light, and may still be a perfect solution for your needs.

So Why Purchase Roller Window Shades?

If they have inherent light gaps, there must be other reasons people purchase roller shades, right?

Well, here's why they choose these shades over other window treatments:

1. Sophisticated Look

Their operation has not changed significantly over the years, but their look has. Your house looks beautiful with the most updated shades.

2. Economical

If you’re on a budget and need window shades that look great in your home, roller shades are the perfect fit. However, if you like more luxurious shades, there are plenty of roller shades that come in higher price ranges as well.

3. They Can Be Motorized!

If your blinds are hard to reach, or if you have achy joints, you can buy roller shades with motors. A remote control makes them easy to operate.

4. Keep Your Home’s Temperature More Constant

If you need to keep your home a certain temperature, solar roller shades help reduce the heat gain through the window while still allowing you to see outside. Just keep in mind these shades don't provide nighttime privacy, so if that's an issue you'll need a second window treatment for privacy.

5. Flexibility – They’re Suitable for Almost Any Room

Roller window shades can be made from a wide variety of fabrics and materials. And they have a large range of functionality that suits them for almost any purpose.

6. They’re Durable

Got kids that love to roughhouse or pets that love to go bonkers every once in a while? Roller shades may be the perfect solution for you. They have strong steel tubes, fabric that’s generally high in quality, and methods of operation that have been tested extensively. They’re not invincible, but they can handle what many other window treatments cannot.

The Moral of the Story: You Can Get What You Want in Roller Shades

So if the fabric width ends up being less than the ordered width, don’t panic! Now you know beforehand so you can choose the right roller shade, or another window treatment, that works best for you.  And if you ever have questions or need recommendations, just let us know!