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ShadeFX Fabric Guide - Finding the Perfect Fit | ShadeFX
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ShadeFX Fabric Guide - Finding the Perfect Fit | ShadeFX

  • Use

  • Applications

    Residential, commercial, hospitality
  • Characteristics

    Easy to install, custom designed, flexible deployment, resistant to wind and rain
  • Format

    Water resistant, water repellent, water proof
  • Colors

    Wide variety of solid colors and stripes
  • Guarantee

    5-10 Year warranty depending on fabric selection
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More about this product

Fabric colors and patterns present the opportunity to transform any outdoor space from the mundane into a vibrant, stylish space. Whether it’s a neutral color that blends well with your home, bright and vivid to highlight your new space, or light and airy for a relaxing atmosphere, ShadeFX offers a variety of fabric lines to ensure the perfect fit.

With this in mind, a very frequently asked question is: “What type of fabric is it?” In short, it depends on the need. ShadeFX offers four main fabric lines with varying attributes.

The desired level of water protection is usually a great starting point to help narrow the decision. ShadeFX’s fabric offerings are available in water-resistant, water repellent and waterproof. The obvious question that follows is “What’s the difference?”

Before we jump into the differences, it’s important to note that all of ShadeFX’s retractable shade lines utilize their patented single-track technology. Producing a peak in the center of the canvas, water is forced to run off on either side of the system, preventing rainwater from sitting or pooling.

ShadeFX | Fabric Selection

Levels of Water Protection

  • Water Resistant - Sunbrella offers a wide variety of water-resistant fabrics which defies water to some degree. This material is breathable, allowing air movement and moisture to pass through. However, that doesn’t mean the first raindrop will percolate. But periods of continuous water exposure will eventually saturate the canvas, creating drip spots.
  • Water repellent - HaborTime offers 15 solid colors in a coated polyester fabric that is less permeable than Sunbrella. The tightly woven fabric is resistant to mildew and UV light. It’s also paired with a vinyl coating finish which prevents rainwater from easily penetrating the fabric.
  • Waterproof - Waterproof fabrics are exactly as they sound. They will not allow moisture or air to pass through, therefore making it impervious. For complete rain protection during the fabric’s lifetime, waterproof fabrics are the way to go. These fabrics are only available in solid colors but come with an added bonus – fire-retardancy. They also defend against mildew, UV damage, discoloration and soiling. Serge Ferrari and Dickson Arcade FR are the two fabrics lines that offer full water protection and fire-retardancy together.

ShadeFX | Fabric Selection

Homeowner vs. Business Interests

Homeowners value the ability to match or complement their existing furniture with their retractable shade. For this reason, Sunbrella is a popular line that offers 100’s of colors and patterns to choose from. Chances are if you can’t find a match with Sunbrella, it doesn’t exist.

Whereas for most commercial applications, the local building code will determine the fabric type. Many commercial projects require a fire-retardant fabric to comply, as such, Serge Ferrari and Dickson Arcade FR are most commonly applied.

The simplest way to further breakdown the differences in fabrics is by showcasing features, qualities and the characteristics in a simplified chart.


Sunbrella Harbortime Dickson Arcade FR Ferarri
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Water Repellent - Yes Yes Yes
Waterproof - - Yes Yes
Fire Retardant - - Yes Yes
Breathable Yes - - -
Colors Available > 150 15 18 40
Solid Colors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Striped Fabrics Yes - - -
Metalic / Textured Yes - - -
UV Protection 90 - 99% 99% 100% 100%
Warranty 10 Years 7 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Made From Solution Dyed Acrylic Coated Polyester PVC Coated Polyester Coated Polyester Micro-yarn
Finish Varies Vinyl Coating Cleangard PVDF Varnish

Ultimately, the decision is up to the homeowner or business. Choosing a fabric type and color will be the finishing touch to complete the space. Once choices are narrowed down, ShadeFX can send fabric samples to help with the selection process.

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