Fabrics and Daylighting: Two Things to Keep in Mind
Blog • June 18, 2020
Everyone wants a little sunlight! Gone are the days when the corner office was the only one with a window. Today, architects and interior designers strive to bring natural light throughout offices to create visually-stimulating work environments.
Daylighting offers several benefits. Research shows exposure to natural light is associated with higher productivity, lower employee absenteeism, reduced fatigue and improved mood and morale.
Natural light and fabric selection go hand-in-hand. When daylighting is part of your design, it’s essential to specify the right fabrics for your interiors. As the sun moves across the sky, different parts of the office will be bathed in sunlight at different points in the day. Carefully consider the impact that direct sunlight will have on your upholsteries.
When selecting fabric for daylighting, keep two things in mind:
- Ensure the right color-to-light performance.
- Safeguard durability with the right fibers.
How Color Interacts with Light
Light-colored fabrics can enhance the aesthetic of a space. Light colors preserve and promote a room’s natural light and can increase its brightness. But if a room has reflective elements, such as large windows, fabrics in lighter shades may contribute to glare or make the room appear too bright.
Dark fabrics absorb light and can provide a naturally lit room with contrast and balance. But it’s important to remember that dark materials also absorb heat. As a result, dark furniture and fabrics could cause discomfort for those using them, depending on where they’re positioned within a room.
Understanding where natural light lands throughout the day will help you make the right fabric color selections for any given interior.
The Power of a Fabric’s Fibers
If upholsteries aren’t constructed for colorfastness, the colors and dyes within them can fade or run over time -- especially if they’re exposed to direct sunlight. To combat fading, Pallas offers textiles crafted with solution-dyed acrylics, which can withstand exposure to sunlight. Each of our textiles meets or exceeds ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines to make it easier to specify fabrics without compromising on durability.
When your design plans include daylighting, be sure to ask about the colorfastness-to-light specifications of any fabric you specify. Coated fabrics are also resistant to fading, gloss change and surface deterioration.
Pallas offers two woven constructions that make excellent choices when designing for daylighting.
- Bella-Dura®: These woven fabrics are made with a proprietary fiber that offers serious durability, remaining fade-resistant even with heavy cleaning. The solution-dyed yarns meet or exceed 1,500 lightfast hours without color fading, in accordance with AATCC 16, the industry standard.
- Sunbrella®: These woven textiles are designed and engineered with robust performance characteristics that provide resistance to fading and degradation from sunlight. Sunbrella® saturates fibers with highly UV-stable pigments, allowing them to hold their color and strength. They’ll outlast fabrics made with traditional dyeing methods like yarn or piece dyeing, which only add color to the fiber exterior.
In addition to these constructions, Pallas offers a variety of woven patterns:
Bleach-cleanable fabrics made of polyurethane, silicone and vinyl also hold up well to exposure to daylight. A few of our patterns that fit the bill include:
On our website, you can refine your search by filtering textiles by the type of fabric, color family, price and more. It’s the perfect place to start when considering what textiles to use in the next sunny space you’re designing.