Blackout Fabric v Dimout Fabric: The Differences

Have you ever looked at a fabric and wondered - Is this fabric BLACKOUT or DIMOUT? What are the differences?

These are just some of the questions we are asked by our trade customers on a daily basis. These are just some of the questions you are asked by your retail customers.

When it comes to selecting the correct fabric for your blinds, it’s not just down to picking the fabric design then making the blind and fitting it. We have to consider the functionality of the blind and what the customer is ultimately trying to achieve with the blind, out with the fabric design. This can differ depending upon which room the blind is going to be fitted in but may also differ due to the customers specification. It is important to decide whether the customer wants some light to be coming in through the fabric, or whether they want zero light coming through the fabric. The main differences in the fabrics are as follows;

  • Blackout fabrics ‘block’ 100% of light from being transmitted from one side to the other. This is achieved by applying one or a number of coatings to the reverse of the fabric which ‘blocks’ light.
  • Dimout fabrics Significantly reduce the degree of light transmission from one side to the other. A number of fabric manufacturers have now released fabrics which have names that are suffixed with the word ‘Dimout’. Those suppliers claim that the fabrics have similar performance to a blackout fabric, but they are found in lower price groups. Generally, this means that fewer coatings have been applied to the reverse of the fabric and whilst a very high degree of light transmission is blocked, they should not be considered to offer full blackout characteristics.

One thing that is worth bearing in mind when offering a blackout fabric, is to remind your customer that the fabric is blackout, but the blind itself will not be unless the requirement is for a Lightshield Cassette Roller Blind. Lightshield Cassette Rolle blinds are commonly used in home cinema rooms or laboratories where complete darkness is a requirement. The reason we mention this is that; for standard rollers and even perfect fit rollers; there are light gaps all around between the blind and the recess. This is a small point, but one worth keeping in mind when advising your customers.

The blinds industry changes as such a fast pace, that we can sometimes forget to mention some of the simplest of points.

In summary, a fabric with ‘Dimout’ in the name will provide a significant reduction of light transmission. A blackout fabric, will block 100% of light transmission through the fabric due to the combinations of coating on the back of the fabric.

Article by Kevin Muir

Sales and Marketing Manager

Kevin leads the Field Sales Team for the UK & Ireland, along with the Marketing Department at Stevens. Kevin has a wealth of commercial business experience and understands the importance of managing an efficient and effective team. He strives to ensure the business goes the ‘Extra Mile’ for our customers, partners and suppliers.