If you’re unfamiliar with the window treatment industry and need some help breaking down the terminology, that’s what we’re here for! What we’ve done is put together a list of definitions that will help you pick our your next arch, cell or skylight shades.
Arch Windows:It's just what it sounds like, it’s a window that has a round portion then a flat bottom. Often times homeowners will call these “half-moon” windows.
Awning Windows: Hinged at the top and they can swing outward. They are typically rectangular and are wider than they are tall.
Balcony Skylight Shade: Designed by Comfortex, they are a skylight shade system that used cellular fabric. This shade has a reinforced retainer track on both sides of the shade, the tension is also adjustable providing the end user optimal functionality.
Bay Window: Is a window that will extend outward from a main wall. It forms a protrusion from the exterior wall.
Black Out: For complete light control, this fabric is often chosen as it “blacks out” the light from the outside world.
Blinds: Known as “hard” window treatments, they have slats that move around to control the light. Compared to shades, blinds do not hold as many energy efficient properties.
Bow Window: Like a bay window, but curved.
Bracket Hardware (Mounting): This is the hardware that is used to hold the shade inside the window’s frame. The brackets at SymphonyShades.com are comprised of metal and can be used for both inside and outside mounted shades.
Casement Window: Is a window that uses a crank for it to open outward.
Cell Size: How large the size of the honeycomb is on cellular shades. This will determine the appearance of the shade and how it folds onto the front.
Cellular: These are our favorite shade type. They are called “cell” shades because they have chambers that created by the fabric attached to itself.
Child Safe: Both cordless and motorized are the only “child safe” window treatments available to parents. You can also purchase cord cleats and tensioners to modify your existing treatments to make them more child safe.
Color Strip: This is a small strip of metal that acts as an insert in the headrail for cord loop, cordless and motorized shades to allow it to match the color of the shade’s fabric.
Cord Cleat: This piece of hardware is used with most standard shades. It will help you wrap the cord around it, to make sure it cannot harm young children.
Cord Loop & Continuous Cord Loop: A cord that’s fused into a circle. Think of it as a bicycle chain for hand over hand operation. It works on our Omnirise, Smoothy and Continuous Cord window shades.
Cord Tensioner: A feature that holds up a cord loop against a wall or window frame. The operation of this shade will help keep both children and pets from entanglement.
Cordless:A type of shade with no strings, hence the name “cordless.” This will allow you to open and raise your shade by gently pressing on the shade, it’s also the most child safe treatment that’s available.
Deductions: Both the rails and the fabric will be cut smaller and narrower for shades that inside mounted and have sidetracks. The reason this is done is it allows the entire unit to fit within the window’s frame. If your order from SymphonyShades.com, don’t worry, we take all of this into account for you!
Double Cell: Dual honeycomb configuration that has two diamond-shaped cells also called “chambers.”
Duofold: Please see the description for Top Down Bottom Up. Eyebrow Window: Windows that have been hinged (not always) at the bottom that has a semi-circular top.
Fascia: Either a metal or wooden strip that is mounted to hide hardware at the top of the window. It will snap into a bracket system.
Faux Wood Blinds: These blind or made of a fake wood material and are horizontal blinds.
Flush Mount: Like an inside mount, it’s a shade that’s mounted inside the window’s frame. It does not come outside of the frame at all.
French Door: A door type that has rectangular glass that extends the full length of the door.
Head Rail: The metal bar that’s featured on the top of cellular and honeycomb shades. The head bar will be different dimensions dependent on the style of the shade.
Honeycomb: The small chambers inside the shades. Many refer to these as “cells.” Hybrid Shade: Like it sounds, it’s a shade made with two different styles and types.
Inside Mount: When you secure and install a shade to the inside part of a window’s frame.
Lift Option: There are numerous different ways shades can be manufactured. Lift mounts refer to the operation and features for example there are motorized, top down bottom up, cordless, standard and continuous cord loop.
Light Filtering: A type of fabric that lets natural light flow through it. Mini Blind: A non-vertical treatments that’s made up of horizontal slats put together using strings.
Mins & Maxs: Both the smallest and largest a shade can be produced while still operating. Shades manufactured outside of these dimensions are considered “out of spec.”
Motorized: A shade that is automated and can be operated via remote control, timer, wall switch or solar battery.
Movable Arch Shade: A shade that’s half round, which can be both opened and closed. Outside Mount: A shade mount type that’s secured on outside of the window’s frame. Inside out handing inside the window’s frame, it hangs over it.
Perfect Half Round Arch: An arch (half-moon) shade that’s half as tall as it is wide. If you purchase this arch type, you won’t need a template.
Pleated Sheet: Fabric for a shade type that’s shaped like a zigzag when you look at it from the sides. They are a bit different from cellular and honeycomb shades because they do not have chambers.
Raillroading: It’s when you use the fabric horizontally instead of vertically. Often times this is used for roller shades to get them wider.
Roller Shades: Vinly shades that are attached to tubes. They can come with spring rollers and also may be motorized.
Roman Shades: Shades that are drawn up from the bottom. When they raise, they create horizontal folds, they also lay flat when they cover the window.
R-Value: A type of measurement for thermal resistance, it’s often used in the building community. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulating value. Shades: Considered a “soft” window treatment, that’s one continuous fabric piece. Different to hard treatments that use slats.
Shutters: Panels that will cover that will help cover the outsides of a home. They can be movable or in place and fixed.
Side Mount: This is when you secure a shade at the end instead of the top of the headrail. With our Symphony Shades, side mount brackets are optional. Side Tracks: A system that’s built for cellular shades to help block out additional light and add extra insulation.
Single Cell: A cellular honeycomb that’s configured with one layer of cells.
Skylight: Window’s that are mounted inside the room. They are typically angled or horizontal.
Solar Shade: Shades that have been designed to cut down on the sun and heat gain. These shades are similar to another shade type that we’ve mentioned, roller shades.
Starburst Arch Shade: It’s a cellular shade that’s half-moon shaped and has fabric that its pleats fan out as they radiate from the center.
Stationary Arch Shade: A half-moon shade that’s set in a fixed position. This means it’s always covering up the arch window. It cannot open, it is always closed.
Symphony Fabric: 3/8” double cell bonded polyester fabric that has been produced by the prestigious shade manufacturer Comfortex. This line of shade comes in both black out and light filtering fabrics.
Template: This is paper that will give you the exact dimensions of irregular shaped windows, like half round arches or trapezoids. Usually customers need to work with local dealers for templates.
Trapezoid Window: Is a window’s that’s not a rectangle or square but isn’t round on any side.
Top Down Bottom Up: This shade type is also known as “Duofold.” Top Down Bottom Up shades can either be raised from the top or the bottom and is available in a continuous cord, standard cord and cordless options.
Upgrades: Add-ons and options for your shades. An example of this would be a “cordless” option. Valance: A decorative board that’s mounted at the top of the window to hide the blinds hardware and the frame.
Venetian Blinds: Are made up primarily with metal and wooden slats, they are attached to cloth tape. The go up and down by a cord that’s on a pulley system.
Verticals: Very popular for large windows. They can be stacked on the sides, they also rotate to close. They were once manufactured using fabrics, not are mostly comprised out of a variety of other materials.
Virtuoso Fabric: ½” single cell fabrics that have been produced by Comfortex. This fabric is made up of both light filtering and blackout fabrics.
Window Quilt:A very insulating window treatment that has quilted fabric that sits on a roller. Window quilts come with a track system.
Wood Blinds: Blinds that are horizontal and made up of painted or stained wood.